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Chrysler worker fired after Web note




Chrysler worker fired after Web note
Chrysler worker fired after Web note



http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080412/BUSINESS01/804120329/1002/rss02 

BY TIM HIGGINS 
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER 
April 12, 2008

When Rob Diel told people to contact Bob Nardelli, Chrysler's chief 
executive, about the automaker's decision to outsource jobs, he never 
expected to hear back from the boss.

Then corporate security showed up Friday at his desk at the Sterling 
Heights Assembly Plant. The message was clear: You're fired.

Diel, a contract information technology worker at Chrysler for the past 
10 years, was fired Friday after he posted Nardelli's office telephone 
number and e-mail address on a readers' comment section of freep.com 
last week, the Imlay City man said.

"I guess he started getting e-mails. They didn't tell me how many," Diel 
said of the security personnel. "They just said his Blackberry lit up," 
Diel, 40, told the Free Press.

For years, experts have cautioned against using company computers for 
personal reasons, and countless employees have been dismissed for 
disclosing internal company information.

Diel posted the information, which he found on the internal company 
directory, on freep.com in response to a Free Press story last week 
about Chrysler's decision to outsource several hundred information 
technology jobs.

Diel, who expected to lose his job at the end of May, said he made 
several postings on the Web site under the name "Chryslerworker," 
including: "Boycott Chrysler. If Chrysler is going to screw all the 
American workers, than (sic) it is only fair that America screws 
Chrysler. E-mail Nardelli and tell him what a great job he is doing."

The message went on to list Nardelli's Chrysler e-mail and telephone 
number. The Free Press deleted the posting last week after a Chrysler 
representative complained.

Unlike many corporations that use intuitive e-mail addresses, Chrysler's 
addresses are composed of a combination of initials and numbers. Diel's 
Chrysler e-mail, for example, was rjd28@chrysler.com. 

The automaker's security department looked at Chrysler computer records 
to determine that Diel had used his company computer during work hours 
to post the message, Diel said. Many companies have policies against 
using their computers for personal use and prohibit releasing company 
information.

"I think it's a legitimate concern for companies about the posting of 
confidential information up on the Web," said John Challenger, a 
workplace issue expert at Challenger Gray & Christmas in Chicago. "Once 
it is posted, it's out there."

Kevin Frazier, a Chrysler spokesman, declined Friday to discuss Diel's 
case specifically, citing a company policy that prohibits talking about 
employees and contractors.

In general, Frazier said, "Every individual working for the company, 
whether as an employee or contractor, is expected to comply with company 
policies. In cases where it's determined that a contractor violates a 
policy, the company notifies the contractor's employer that the services 
of the contractor are no longer needed and leaves to the employer's 
discretion any further action it may deem appropriate."

Diel said he was surprised to learn the address he posted was actually 
Nardelli's, figuring the mail was read by an assistant. He also was 
surprised his contract was ended early.

"I didn't suggest anybody go beat him up, I suggested you e-mail him and 
tell him this is wrong," said Diel, who is married with two children.

"I can see him being mad but you know what? I am mad, too. I am mad that 
after 10 years I am going to be replaced," Diel said.


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