During a break at work one of the workers updated his Facebook status with the words, “One work day of the week to go in this madhouse”, the local Skaraborgs Allehanda newspaper reports.
What took the man less than thirty seconds to write cost him his job. Upon viewing the man’s status update, his employers interpreted the post as disloyal and sent the man packing.
Two colleagues were also fired for commenting on the post, according to several media reports.
Although the man was not a direct employee of Volvo, but was working for a staffing agency, Volvo made it clear that the man was not welcome back.
The fact that he had praised Volvo in other status updates made no difference, according to the Skaraborgs Allehanda.
The man defended himself by saying that he was in a bad mood as his mother was seriously ill. She died two days later.
After taking a three day absence from work, the man returned and was called into a meeting where he learned that he wasn’t welcome back because of what he wrote on Facebook.
The Swedish trade Union organisation LO, which represents 1.5 million workers in Sweden, has no central policy on the use of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook at the place of work.
However, LO ombudsman, Johan Ingelskog is skeptical toward employers who fire workers over what they may write on social media websites.
“If you write something on Facebook, your employer should not be able to sack you for it,” he told The Local on Monday.
Mårten Vikfors, head of media relations at Volvo Group AB, the parent company of Volvo Powertrain, told The Local that employees are welcome to use social media.
“They should, among other things, be judicious and show respect as well as follow the company’s code of conduct,” he said.