Sydney, March 4 (Reuters): An Australian mining services company has fired up to 15 workers who performed an underground version of the Harlem Shake and posted it online, in a second incident of the Internet dance craze sparking safety concerns.
The workers were part of an overnight crew working at the Agnew Mine in Western Australia owned by South African miner Gold Fields Ltd. The workers were employed by Barminco, an Australia-based underground services company.
The 30-second video posted on YouTube shows a group of miners, some wielding tools and shirtless, performing the Harlem Shake, which typically begins with a one solo dancer who is quickly joined by others, often in costumes or with props.
Barminco, based in Perth, could not be reached for comment after a dismissal letter sent to the workers was obtained by the local newspaper, the West Australian, saying the stunt breached the company’s “core values of safety, integrity and excellence”.
But a spokesman for Gold Fields said the decision to fire the workers was taken by Barminco after the video was posted on YouTube last week.
“Underground mining has strict safety standards as there are accidents and fatalities. The Barminco management saw this as a breach of standards,” said spokesman Sven Lunsche today.
The report came after the US Federal Aviation Administration said it was looking into a mid-air, aisle performance of the convulsive dance by a group of college students on a packed flight.