Workers sacked after “madhouse” Facebook update

Three employees of a car plant in central Sweden have been fired after one of them described their work place as a “madhouse” on Facebook.  According to local newspaper Skaraborgs Allehanda, one man was given his marching orders from the Volvo factory after updating his online status with the words: “One work day of the week to go in this madhouse”, while on a break from duties.

The man, whose mother died two days later, defended the outburst by saying he was in a bad mood due to family matters. The fact that he had previously praised Volvo on the popular social networking site also failed to save him from the sacking, reports Skaraborgs Allehanda.

According to several media reports, two further employees were then also canned after commenting on the post, which was regarded as “disloyal” by Volvo.

The use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter at a place of work is not currently covered in any policy of the Swedish trade union organisation LO, but the group’s ombudsman Johan Ingelskog said he did not agree with Volvo’s actions. “If you write something on Facebook, your employer should not be able to sack you for it,” he told The Local.

Head of media relations at Volvo, Marten Vikfors, however said employees should exercise caution online. “They should, among other things, be judicious and show respect as well as follow the company’s code of conduct,” he said.

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