WA BP worker in Hitler video court win

Rebecca Le May
BP sacked a worker for posting a parody video on a private Facebook group

A BP worker who was sacked after privately sharing a version of a Hitler parody video during pay negotiations has had a win in the Federal Court.

The Downfall meme format has been widely circulating on the internet for more than a decade, with users adding their own subtitles to a clip from the 2004 German film Der Untergang, showing a highly agitated Adolf Hitler in his final hours.

BP technician Scott Tracey used it to parody the heated and protracted enterprise bargaining negotiations process at the company in a video distributed to a private Facebook group of friends and colleagues.

The oil and gas giant fired him, alleging the video depicted the negotiating team as Nazis and breached the company's code of conduct.

Mr Tracey claimed unfair dismissal, which the Fair Work Commission rejected, ruling the video inappropriate and offensive.

But he won his job back on appeal after the full bench of the commission found it was satirical.

BP then challenged that finding in the Federal Court, which was dismissed on Friday.

The Australian Workers' Union hailed the decision as "a victory for the larrikin spirit".

"The meme Scott Tracey used has been appropriated thousands upon thousands of times to poke fun at sport, culture, politics, and everything else," national secretary Daniel Walton said.

"Australian workers have always been able to take the piss out of their bosses, with their colleagues, in their own time.

"For BP management to spend so much time arguing otherwise reveals real arrogance."

A BP spokesman said the company was reviewing the decision.

"We remain committed to upholding our values and behaviours consistently across our company, including at offices, refineries, and retail sites," he said in a statement.