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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 12:39 GMT
Worker sacked over blog comments
Man at computer
Mr Gordon claimed his right to free speech had been denied
An Edinburgh man has lost his job over comments made about his employer in an online diary, or "blog".

Bookseller Joe Gordon, 37, had worked for Waterstone's book chain for 11 years and was based at its Princes Street store.

In his blog, the Woolamaloo Gazette, Mr Gordon said he was dismissed for gross misconduct after the firm said his writings had brought it into disrepute.

Waterstone's said Mr Gordon would have two opportunities to appeal.

A spokeswoman added that she could not comment further as it was an ongoing disciplinary matter.

You'd think I had run a sustained propaganda campaign of subversion
Joe Gordon
The Woolamaloo Gazette

Mr Gordon wrote that he was called into his manager's office shortly before Christmas and told he was the subject of an inquiry into whether he should face a disciplinary hearing over comments posted on his blog.

"I was informed (more than once) that this could cause my dismissal.

"I was suspended on pay and escorted from the premises of the bookstore I had worked in for eleven years."

He said the disciplinary hearing took place on 5 January and he was dismissed.

'Evil boss'

Mr Gordon went on to say that he would occasionally mention his work life online, coining phrases such as "Bastardstone's" and referring to his manager as "Evil Boss".

"I pointed out that I had not set out to deliberately ruin the company's image.

"In fact I don't think I have even inadvertently; if I had wished to do that then I would have been running less satirical and far more biting comments on a rather more regular basis, rather than commenting from time to time about a bad day at work, a grumpy manager or the like.

"You'd think I had run a sustained propaganda campaign of subversion."

Mr Gordon claimed his dismissal breached his right to free speech.

He said that Waterstone's had no clear policy on blogging and had not accepted his offer to stop writing and accept a warning.


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