Twitter, Meta Offered No Severance Pay to Laid Off Staff in Africa
As part of Elon Musk’s efforts to reorganise the social media platform he recently bought, Twitter has laid off almost all of its staff managing its sole office in Africa, according to a new report.
Just days after the physical office in Ghana was finally inaugurated after approximately a year of working remotely, the mass terminations occurred without any mention of severance pay. The layoffs can potentially be against the law.
Since the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, his first move was to dissolve the company’s board of directors.
The CEO, CFO, and legal director of Twitter, among other senior employees, were all dismissed with immediate effect.
Next, as part of a restructuring on Friday, almost half of Twitter’s staff members were let go.
Elon Musk tweeted, “everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.”
Next, around half of Twitter’s employees faced the axe on Friday in a restructuring shake-up.
While in India, laid-off Twitter employees were given two months’ severance pay, according to CNBC.
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Twitter have given no severance for laid off employee in Africa
The absence of any mention of severance package for the staff working in the company office in Accra, Ghana’s capital city stood in stark contrast to Musk’s benefits to employees in the U.S.
“The company is reorganising its operations as a result of a need to reduce costs. It is with regret that we’re writing to inform you that your employment is terminating as a result of this exercise,” said the Twitter Africa staff-wide email sent by the director of people services at the company’s Dublin office in Ireland.
The mass email notification was different from what Twitter is set to provide its laid-off employees in the U.S for three months.
The employees in Ghana were informed that their last pay day will be on 4th of December, which is one month after the date they were notified of being laid off.
Since the lone email announcing the layoffs didn’t mention compensation, it’s unclear if that’s intended to act as severance money.
According to CNN’s foreign correspondent Larry Modowo, Twitter laid off employees in Africa discovered they were unable to access their company email accounts when they came to work.
Their company laptops were also abruptly deactivated. Just four days after starting on-site work at the Accra office, they were eventually informed of their dismissals via their personal email addresses.
The legal backing of the layoffs
The massive layoffs in U.S have led lawyers to sue Twitter for failing to give at least 60 days’ notice as legally required.
“Twitter is now engaged in conducting mass layoffs without providing the required notice under the federal WARN Act,” the lawsuit says about the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, a labor law that “helps ensure advance notice in cases of qualified plant closings and mass layoffs.”
While the same procedure that appears to be illegal is being used in Ghana, Madowo claimed that lawyers in Accra are looking into whether the layoffs are in violation of local labour rules.
Following a revelation that hate speech and anti-Black discourse had significantly increased since Musk seized control of the app late last month, news of the Twitter layoffs in Africa was announced. Such stuff was severely censored by the previous owner.
The increase in the usage of the N-word and other racist slurs on Twitter has prompted an rising number of companies to discontinue running ads on the platform, as racist trolls seem to have gained confidence because of Musk’s $44 billion acquisition.
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