BP worker in Australia sacked after sharing Hitler meme wins £109,000 payout
The latest headlines in your inbox twice a day Monday – Friday plus breaking news updates
A BP refinery worker in Australia who was sacked for poking fun at employers by sharing a Hitler meme has been awarded $200,000 (£109,000) in compensation.
Scott Tracey used the popular meme from 2004 film Downfall, in which Hitler confronts his generals in his bunker, to portray scenes from company wage negotiations.
The video was posted on a closed Facebook site and titled “Hitler Parody EA Negotiations not going the [company’s] way”.
BP said the “inappropriate” video had likened managers to Hitler and Nazis, and Mr Tracey lost an unfair dismissal case in September last year which ruled that it was offensive.
But in February, Mr Tracey won his job back following an appeal judgement after insisting the video was meant to be humorous and it did not directly identify BP.
More than £1.2bn in coronavirus insurance payouts expected
He returned to work in March this year at the BP Kwinana oil refinery in south-west Perth.
Following a two-year legal battle, Mr Tracey was awarded $177,325 (£135,600) in wages and lost bonuses, minus tax, and also $24,070 (£18,400) in superannuation or pension payments.
Australian secretary Brad Gandy, who represented Mr Tracey, told the Sydney Morning Herald the payout didn’t make up for the “unnecessary drama and heartache Mr Tracey has been dragged through”.
He added: “We hope this marks the end of a truly unedifying chapter for BP management.
“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.”
Couple arrested over Gatwick drone chaos receive £200,000 payout
BP wanted money to be deducted from the payout on the grounds that the sharing of the video among colleagues was misconduct.
The company also argued that Mr Tracey could have found work during the trial. But the Fair Work Commission argued that was no evidence to suggest that Mr Tracey had not searched for employment.
A BP spokesperson told the Evening Standard: ““We are reviewing the decision.
“We remain committed to upholding our values and behaviours consistently across our company, including at offices, refineries, and retail sites”