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Australian worker sacked over Hitler parody video has win in federal court Australian worker sacked over Downfall meme video wins job back in federal court
(about 3 hours later)
The BP technician privately shared a Downfall meme to parody heated pay negotiations The BP technician privately shared the video to parody heated pay negotiations
A BP worker who was sacked after privately sharing a version of a Hitler parody video during pay negotiations has had a win in the federal court.A BP worker who was sacked after privately sharing a version of a Hitler parody video during pay negotiations has had a win in the federal court.
The Downfall meme format has been widely circulating on the internet for more than a decade, with users adding their own subtitles to a clip from the 2004 German film Downfall, showing a highly agitated Adolf Hitler in his bunker screaming at his military commanders in the final days of the war.The Downfall meme format has been widely circulating on the internet for more than a decade, with users adding their own subtitles to a clip from the 2004 German film Downfall, showing a highly agitated Adolf Hitler in his bunker screaming at his military commanders in the final days of the war.
The BP technician used it to parody the heated and protracted enterprise bargaining negotiations process at the company in a video distributed to a private Facebook group of friends and colleagues.The BP technician used it to parody the heated and protracted enterprise bargaining negotiations process at the company in a video distributed to a private Facebook group of friends and colleagues.
The oil and gas giant fired him, alleging the video depicted the negotiating team as Nazis and breached the company’s code of conduct.The oil and gas giant fired him, alleging the video depicted the negotiating team as Nazis and breached the company’s code of conduct.
The technician claimed unfair dismissal, which the Fair Work Commission rejected, ruling the video inappropriate and offensive.The technician claimed unfair dismissal, which the Fair Work Commission rejected, ruling the video inappropriate and offensive.
But he won his job back on appeal after the full bench of the commission found it was satirical.But he won his job back on appeal after the full bench of the commission found it was satirical.
BP then challenged that finding in the federal court, which was dismissed on Friday.BP then challenged that finding in the federal court, which was dismissed on Friday.
The Australian Workers’ Union hailed the decision as “a victory for the larrikin spirit”.The Australian Workers’ Union hailed the decision as “a victory for the larrikin spirit”.
“The meme … has been appropriated thousands upon thousands of times to poke fun at sport, culture, politics, and everything else,” the AWU national secretary, Daniel Walton, said.“The meme … has been appropriated thousands upon thousands of times to poke fun at sport, culture, politics, and everything else,” the AWU national secretary, Daniel Walton, said.
“Australian workers have always been able to take the piss out of their bosses, with their colleagues, in their own time.“Australian workers have always been able to take the piss out of their bosses, with their colleagues, in their own time.
“For BP management to spend so much time arguing otherwise reveals real arrogance.”“For BP management to spend so much time arguing otherwise reveals real arrogance.”
A BP spokesman said the company was reviewing the decision.A BP spokesman said the company was reviewing the decision.
“We remain committed to upholding our values and behaviours consistently across our company, including at offices, refineries, and retail sites,” he said in a statement.“We remain committed to upholding our values and behaviours consistently across our company, including at offices, refineries, and retail sites,” he said in a statement.