Fonterra reinstates second Harlem Shaker

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 09:38 15/01/2014
YouTube

Harlem shake milk factory

Relevant offers

Dairy

Better payout still sub break-even for West Coast dairy farmers Rachel and Kenneth Short challenged by 2016 Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards Crop trial continues at Waimate West Demonstration Farm Improving the six-week in-calf rate generates more profit, says Taranaki Veterinary Centre CEO Scientist's land use advice resonates with dairy farmer Farmers' right to stand for Fonterra board clarified Farmer ordered to pay more than $87,000 for not paying minimum wage 'Palmy' gets under the skin of globe-trotting chemistry professor Southland dairy cow welfare programme to go nationwide Strong beef schedule fuels buoyant bull sales

A second Fonterra employee sacked for performing the Harlem Shake at work has won his job back.

Henry Taufua, a packer and robot operator, was fired after he was filmed riding a pallet jack in a video that showed him and six other employees re-enacting the internet meme at the company's Takanini plant.

He and another colleague, Craig Flynn, were both dismissed over the incident.

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) yesterday released its decision on Flynn's reinstatement, and it has now ordered that Taufua also be reinstated.

Fonterra had accused the men of putting themselves and others at risk of harm because of their antics during the enactment.

Taufua was said to have "rode a paper trolley or pallet jack in an unsafe manner endangering himself and others, and failed to report unsafe acts by other employees".

Flynn was accused of "dancing with a shovel between his legs, hosing water where another employee was dancing, and splashing a pallet endangering himself and others".

Both argued their actions weren't dangerous, but simply "horseplay" and that they were unfairly dismissed.

The workers said they performed the Harlem Shake while on their break. One man filmed it on his iPad then uploaded two videos to YouTube.

The clips begin with the men doing a clean-up. It then switches to an enthusiastic dance scene where the men use their work gear as props, and one man hangs from the ceiling. Taufua rides the pallet jack across the floor.

While Fonterra said the situation was dangerous, the ERA ruled Taufua was going too slowly to cause harm and the jack was unlikely to tip over.

The ERA said therefore Taufua was unfairly dismissed. It declined to award compensation.

The videos remain on YouTube.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content