Sacked Harlem Shake miners split social media

Social media opinion across Australia is divided after 15 mine workers were sacked for doing the Harlem Shake dance craze while working underground.

The eight dancers, a worker who recorded the stunt as well as several onlookers were fired after the video they posted on YouTube went viral. 

A dismissal letter sent to the workers also stated the men were banned for life from working at any of Barminco’s projects.

A Facebook page calling for reinstatement of the “sacked WA Harlem Shake Miners” has attracted close to 800 ‘likes’.

The incident has also sparked furious debate on the Australian Mining’s Facebook page.

Many support the move to fire the workers.

“I'm sorry but if you breach safety guidelines in an underground mine or any mine for that matter expect to be punished and harshly for it,” Corinda McNaughton said.

“There's a time and place for everything, doing a dance in an underground mine while on-duty is probably not one of them,” Dan Crawford added.

Others thought the move to sack the workers was heavy-handed.

“Sad to see mining company with no sense of humour just a whole lot of money,” Amy Thomson said.

“That’s just mean they should have just got a warning,” Sara Wilson thought.

An unnamed worker who participated in the stunt said the group did not endanger safety because they abided by requirements for helmets, portable oxygen and other measures.

The sacked worker said the men wore helmets, cap lamps, glasses and rescue devices during the dance to ensure they met workplace safety rules.

He also added that long-sleeved shirts were only removed to prevent the Barminco brand being seen.

Barminco said they saw the stunt as a safety issue and a breach of its “core values of safety, integrity and excellence”.

The fiancée of a sacked worker told the West Australian many of the 15 tradesmen were "sick with worry" after losing their jobs.

"The dance was supposed to be funny, but everyone is sitting around now wishing they had not done it," she said.

Samantha believes the miners were unfairly dismissed, and said her fiancée was seeing a lawyer to discuss the case.


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