Twitter Africa staff accuse Elon Musk of discrimination over severance phrases

CNN Enterprise

Laid-off staff at Twitter’s Africa headquarters are accusing Twitter of “intentionally and recklessly flouting the legal guidelines of Ghana” and attempting to “silence and intimidate” them after they have been fired.

The staff has employed a lawyer and despatched a letter to the corporate demanding it adjust to the West African nation’s labor legal guidelines, present them with extra severance pay and different related advantages, according to what different Twitter staff will obtain.

They’ve additionally petitioned the Ghanaian authorities to compel Twitter to “adhere to the legal guidelines of Ghana on redundancy and provide the workers a good and simply negotiation and redundancy pay,” in accordance with a letter to the nation’s Chief Labour Officer obtained by CNN.

“It’s clear that Twitter, Inc. beneath Mr Elon Musk is both intentionally or recklessly flouting the legal guidelines of Ghana, is working in dangerous religion and in a fashion that seeks to silence and intimidate former staff into accepting any phrases unilaterally thrown at them,” the letter states.

Twitter laid off all however one of many African staff simply 4 days after the corporate opened a bodily workplace within the capital Accra following Musk’s takeover. However the workers of a few dozen weren’t provided severance pay, which they are saying is required by Ghana’s labor legal guidelines, primarily based on their employment contracts. In addition they declare they weren’t knowledgeable in regards to the subsequent steps — not like staff in the US and Europe — till a day after CNN reported on their scenario.

Within the letter to Twitter Ghana Ltd, obtained by CNN, the African staff rejected a “Ghana Mutual Separation Settlement” from Twitter, which they are saying was despatched to their private emails providing remaining pay that the corporate claims to have been arrived at after a negotiation.

A number of members of the staff and their lawyer advised CNN that there was no such negotiation on severance pay. They declare it was beneath what’s required by regulation and contradicts what Musk tweeted that departing staff would obtain.

“Everybody exited was provided 3 months of severance, which is 50% greater than legally required,” Musk tweeted. Twitter knowledgeable the Ghana-based staff in early November that they’d be paid till their final day of employment — December 4. And they’ll proceed to obtain full pay and advantages throughout the 30-day discover interval.

“It was very obscure, didn’t speak about excellent depart or paid day off, and simply requested us to signal if we agree. I by no means bothered to return to the doc as a result of it’s garbage and remains to be in violation of labor legal guidelines right here,” one former worker advised CNN on situation of anonymity.

The Accra-based staff accuses Twitter of coping with them in dangerous religion, not being clear, and discriminating towards them in comparison with laid-off staff in different jurisdictions.

“The workers are distressed, humiliated, and intimidated by this flip of occasions. There are non-Ghanaian staff, some with younger households, who moved right here to take up jobs and have now been left unceremoniously within the lurch, with no provision for repatriation bills and no approach to talk with Twitter, Inc. and talk about or plead their case,” the discover to Ghana’s Chief Labour Officer says.

Their lawyer, Carla Olympio, says the sudden termination of just about the entire staff violated Ghanaian employment regulation as a result of it’s thought-about a “redundancy” which requires three-month discover to authorities and a negotiation on redundancy pay.

“In stark distinction to inside firm assurances given to Twitter staff worldwide previous to the takeover, evidently little try was made to adjust to Ghana’s labor legal guidelines, and the protections enshrined therein for staff in circumstances the place firms are endeavor mass layoffs attributable to a restructuring or reorganization,” she wrote in a press release to CNN.

The workers mentioned of their attraction to Ghana’s Chief Labour Officer that Twitter’s formal entry into the continent began with “nice fanfare and with the assist of the federal government,” they usually anticipate comparable consideration to their plight now.

They’re demanding 3 months’ gross wage as severance pay, repatriation bills for non-Ghanaian workers, vesting of inventory choices supplied of their contracts, and different advantages corresponding to healthcare continuation that have been provided to workers worldwide.

CNN has reached out to Ghana’s Employment and Labor Relations ministry for remark.