Dow has announced plans to fire 40 employees for sending inappropriate e-mail messages in the workplace. Offensive messages range from off-color jokes to nude pictures to violently explicit material.
Union officials claim Dow's search of 6,000 e-mail accounts in response to one complaint about offensive e-mail is nothing more than a "witch hunt" and an opportunity to fire people.
Last month, Dow fired 50 employees and disciplined 200 for e-mail violations. The company has no previous record of monitoring e-mail, but employees had been warned of company rules prohibiting the distribution of objectionable material on company computers.