Fifteen workers at an underground gold mine in Western Australia have been sacked for doing the “Harlem Shake” dance at their place of work.
Recorded last year by American DJ and producer Baauer, the “Harlem Shake” became the latest global video craze after YouTube personality “Filthy Frank” uploaded a dance scene template set to the song. Around the same time, a group of Australian teenagers produced their own video, and the meme went viral.
Unfortunately, 15 Barminco workers employed at the Agnew gold mine found out the hard way that their boss was not a fan of the hit. After a video emerged of the workers performing the dance, they were given a lifetime ban from every Barminco project around the world.
The Guardian reports [via a local Australian newspaper], that the workers were served with a dismissal letter from mine owner Barminco. Wording in the letter stated that the company considered the electrical contractors’ prank breached its “core values of safety, integrity and excellence.”
In the YouTube video, around eight miners are seen performing the convulsive dance. One of the sacked workers, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the West Australia newspaper that up to 15 people were fired, including some who watched the performance but did not participate.
Another of the sacked men reportedly said the men, who are wearing hard hats in the video, were only “having a bit of fun,” Agence France-Presse reports.
A spokesman for Barminco, which has operations in Africa as well as Australia has since informed multiple media outlets that the company would not be commenting on the reports.
As is the way with viral news, a Facebook page has been set up to help the mine workers get their jobs back. However, Paddy Gorman, a spokesman for the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union, had said none of the miners at Agnew Gold Mine is a member of the mining union, The Telegraph notes.
The “Harlem Shake” dance craze has since been copied by Jimmy Fallon, Ryan Seacrest, the Today show, passengers on a plane, fire-fighters, Indie-pop duo Matt & Kim, Norwegian soldiers on skis, the English National Ballet and literally thousands of Internet copycats at rate of 4000 uploads a day.
Just as bizarre as the global appetite of people wanting to imitate the comical moves, are the reactions to it in different parts of the world. Performances of the ‘Shake have even led to clashes with police in Tunisia and arrests in Egypt. Agence France-Presse reports.
Somewhat ironically, the song “Harlem Shake” is currently number two on the Australian singles chart.
Do you think the mine owner was right to have sacked them, or is it an over the top response?