A father-of-three who has cancer has been sacked by Argos after complaining about his job on Facebook.

David Rowat was fired for gross misconduct after moaning about work on the social networking site when he arrived back from a two-week holiday.

The 56-year-old stock room worker did not mention the store by name but his employers were alerted to the comments.

Mr Rowat today pledged to fight his dismissal and told how he was frogmarched from the Argos superstore in Romford on Tuesday.He said that for 13 years he had started work at 3.30am and was committed to his £17,500-a-year job, which included heavy work unloading lorries. He met his wife, Jan, there before she was made redundant.

Mr Rowat said that when he went back to work after the holiday “the deliveries hadn’t been done and the place was a bit of a tip”. He posted on his Facebook wall: “Had a great day back at work after my hols who am I kidding!!” This was followed by: “Back to the shambles that is work.”
He was told the comments breach the Argos “social networking policy” and could “damage the reputation of the company”.

Mr Rowat said: “The store manager told me to be honest and apologise. He said I’d get a telling off but I was sacked and run off the premises like a criminal.”

He described his Facebook postings as “a little grumble”.

Mr Rowat, who suffers from cancer of the lymph nodes, is consulting Acas. He said: “I’m the sole breadwinner in my house ­- my wife had to take early retirement because of ill-health.”

His daughter, Tina Jackson, 43, said: “He is a sick man and this stress is not going to make him any better – he has served that company loyally and this is how they repay him.” Alison Humphry, an employment solicitor at Russell Jones & Walker, said: “I am sure that most of us do not expect to be dismissed for complaining about a bad day at work.”

An Argos spokesman said: “We take matters of this nature extremely seriously and have arrived at this course of action after an extensive internal investigation that involved multiple factors and events.”