Waterstone’s ‘blogging’ dismissal rescinded

Your blogging feature (Personnel Today, 21 March), opened by describing Joe Gordon’s case against the Waterstone’s book store chain in January 2005.

He was, and remains, a member of the Retail Book Association trade union. I represented him in an appeal against his dismissal, which was successful.

Waterstone’s – generally an enlightened and liberal employer – accepted in the appeal that Gordon’s blogsite was “at that time” so obscure as to be unfindable without clear directions. The statements it contained were thus considered to be no more than the musings one would find in a private diary – a diary that did not truly enter into the public domain until after the dismissal.

He was offered reinstatement by his employer, but had meanwhile been headhunted by a retailer that believed his inventiveness and imagination would be of great value to its business.

The dismissal was thus rescinded, and an amicable settlement of the case was made.

Paul Lee
National officer,
Retail Book Association

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