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Twitter employees call Elon Musk’s planned layoffs ‘reckless’

Updated Oct 28th, 2022 9:44AM EDT
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Image: Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency

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Twitter employees are circulating an open letter to protest Elon Musk’s mass layoffs.

As reported by Time, the outlet has obtained a letter being circulated by employees within the company that seeks to protect against the potential layoffs being threatened by Musk. The billionaire and owner of Tesla and Space X said last week that he could seek to lay off as much as 75% of the company once he finishes the purchase of it.

With about 7,500 employees, a 75% layoff would equate to more than 5,600 employees losing their jobs. I have heard of major layoffs after an acquisition before, but 75% is a first. The internet went nuts over the news.

Musk has until the end of the week to buy Twitter

Elon Musk has only a few days left to buy Twitter before things will go to court. The billionaire has until Friday, October 28th to close the deal with the company in order to avoid the case going to the Delaware Court of Chancery.

Twitter has held Musk to his original offer of $54.20 a share, a $44 billion acquisition. Musk has said publicly that he knows he is overpaying for the company, so the layoffs could result from the new owner being held to the original purchase price.

Employees at the company are demanding for “Twitter management and Elon Musk to cease these negligent layoff threats.” The letter states that such a layoff proposal “is a threat to Twitter’s future.” Regardless, Musk says Twitter won’t be a “free-for-all hellscape” when he takes over.

You can read the entire letter 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.


Twitter workers

More coverage: Elon Musk is now in charge of Twitter.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.

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