Downfall: BP worker sacked after Hitler meme wins payout

Published by BBC.COM

Summary generated on August 10, 2020

    A BP refinery worker in Australia who was sacked for parodying the company via a well-known Hitler meme has been awarded a $200,000 payout.

    Scott Tracey used the popular meme, from 2004 film Downfall, to portray scenes from company wage negotiations, posting it on a closed Facebook group.

    BP had said it was "Highly offensive and inappropriate" and dismissed Mr Tracey.

    The refinery worker first took his case to a tribunal, arguing unfair dismissal, but lost.

    The federal court ruled it was unreasonable to say the meme had likened BP managers to Nazis and Mr Tracey was allowed to return to work.

    BP had argued that Mr Tracey should be paid $150,000, less than what he would have earned if he had not been dismissed.

    BP also said more money should be deducted as Mr Tracey could have found work during the trial.

    The Fair Work Commission said there was no evidence to argue that Mr Tracey had not searched for employment.

    Brad Gandy, secretary at Australian Workers Union, said that Mr Tracey had been through "Unnecessary drama".

    "To dig in and drag an honest worker through nearly two years of stress and uncertainty, all because a few stuffed shirts didn't get a joke, is poor corporate behaviour," Mr Gandy told the Sydney Morning Herald.