Twitter Staffers Share Open Letter Protesting Musk Cutting 75% Of Company’s Workforce
Last week, billionaire Elon Musk announced that he plans on cutting Twitter’s workforce by 75%.
Twitter staffers, as expected, have been in a state of panic ever since. And are circulating an open letter protesting Musk’s future plans for the company.
From an exclusive report from TIME:
TIME reviewed a draft of the open letter circulating among Twitter employees on Monday. “Elon Musk’s plan to lay off 75% of Twitter workers will hurt Twitter’s ability to serve the public conversation,” said the draft of the letter, which has not yet been published. “A threat of this magnitude is reckless, undermines our users’ and customers’ trust in our platform, and is a transparent act of worker intimidation.”
The letter demands that Musk commits to preserving Twitter’s current headcount if his takeover of the company goes through. It also demands he does not discriminate against employees based on their political beliefs and that he commits to “fair” severance policies and more communication about working conditions. “We demand to be treated with dignity, and to not be treated as mere pawns in a game played by billionaires,” the list of demands says.
The full text of the open letter is below:
Staff, Elon Musk, and Board of Directors:
We, the undersigned Twitter workers, believe the public conversation is in jeopardy.
Elon Musk’s plan to lay off 75% of Twitter workers will hurt Twitter’s ability to serve the public conversation. A threat of this magnitude is reckless, undermines our users’ and customers’ trust in our platform, and is a transparent act of worker intimidation.
Twitter has significant effects on societies and communities across the globe. As we speak, Twitter is helping to uplift independent journalism in Ukraine and Iran, as well as powering social movements around the world.
A threat to workers at Twitter is a threat to Twitter’s future. These threats have an impact on us as workers and demonstrate a fundamental disconnect with the realities of operating Twitter. They threaten our livelihoods, access to essential healthcare, and the ability for visa holders to stay in the country they work in. We cannot do our work in an environment of constant harassment and threats. Without our work, there is no Twitter.
We, the workers at Twitter, will not be intimidated. We recommit to supporting the communities, organizations, and businesses who rely on Twitter. We will not stop serving the public conversation.
We call on Twitter management and Elon Musk to cease these negligent layoff threats. As workers, we deserve concrete commitments so we can continue to preserve the integrity of our platform.
We demand of current and future leadership:
Respect: We demand leadership to respect the platform and the workers who maintain it by committing to preserving the current headcount.
Safety: We demand that leadership does not discriminate against workers on the basis of their race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or political beliefs. We also demand safety for workers on visas, who will be forced to leave the country they work in if they are laid off.
Protection: We demand Elon Musk explicitly commit to preserve our benefits, those both listed in the merger agreement and not (e.g. remote work). We demand leadership to establish and ensure fair severance policies for all workers before and after any change in ownership.
Dignity: We demand transparent, prompt and thoughtful communication around our working conditions. We demand to be treated with dignity, and to not be treated as mere pawns in a game played by billionaires.
Critics of Twitter are applauding Musk for seemingly following through on cutting 75% of the company’s workforce, claiming the social media platform has been “unprofitable by petty, overpaid nerds with a god complex and bots used for propaganda.”
“Time to drain the Big Tech Swamp,” wrote congressman Troy Nehls.
🚨 BREAKING 🚨
Elon Musk will fire 75% of Twitter employees.
Time to drain the Big Tech Swamp.
— Congressman Troy Nehls (@RepTroyNehls) October 20, 2022
According to the original report from The Washington Post, HR staff is trying to assure employees that mass layoffs will likely not happen. Even though Twitter documents show extensive plans to push out staff and cut down on infrastructure costs.
Notably, these plans were already in place before Musk offered to buy the company.
Elon Musk’s saga of taking over Twitter has been a long journey. Earlier this year, the billionaire walked away from his initial deal with Twitter citing the number of bot and spam accounts on the social media platform for his reasoning.
At the beginning of this month, Musk reversed course.
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