A spokesman for the company confirmed to The Local that five employees had been called in for talks with personnel managers after saying they ‘liked' a comment describing Chancellor Angela Merkel, former Baden-Württemberg state premier Stefan Mappus and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche as Spitze des Lügenpacks - or ‘top of the pack of liars.'
“We were alerted by someone to the website on Facebook that was insulting to the chancellor, our former state premier and our CEO,” said Florian Martens.
“Then we decided to talk with the employees who had answered this remark and we told them that this did not adhere to the guidelines that they signed when they joined the company. It is not okay to insult colleagues.”
He said the conversations were held in the presence of a representative of the workers' council.
“There were no consequences for the employees concerned, but they were on the page as Daimler employees,” he said.
“We wanted to alert them to the fact that they needed to be careful with anything they said online,” he said, stressing that the Facebook group was specifically identified as being Daimler employees.
He said the company had also contacted Facebook about the group – called ‘Daimler Colleagues against Stuttgart 21' – to say it was unhappy about the insults being posted there. A number of left-wing and information technology sites have reported that the group has since been removed.
A Facebook group with this name located by The Local only had one registered member on Tuesday evening.
Wolfgang Nieke, head of the Daimler workers' council said it was out of order for the firm to interfere.
“The personnel department showed no sensitivity in this case whatsoever,” he told the Stuttgarter Zeitung on Tuesday.
He said the workers had used the social network in their private time.
“A private expression has nothing to do with the company,” he said.