Twitter Africa staff 'fired' by Elon Musk threaten legal suit over unfair severance

Twitter Africa Staff To Sue Elon Musk Employees of the Africa office in Accra and Elon Musk

Wed, 23 Nov 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The employees of the Twitter Africa office in Ghana have initiated steps to take legal action against their employer, Elon Musk, over the imbalance in the severance pay they have been offered.

This is in comparison to other colleagues of the microblogging site in other parts of the world, like the United States, where a proper outline of severance packages have been offered to the sacked employees.

It would be recalled that at the start of November 2022, just a few days after the Twitter Africa office started physical operations from its location in Accra, all the staff of the office received termination notifications via their personal emails.

The CNN’s Larry Madowo reported that this was because the Twitter Africa staff had been locked out of their work emails as well as from accessing their working machines.

“The company is reorganizing 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.

“Your last day of employment will be 4th December 2022. You will be placed on garden leave until your termination date,” the termination notices to them on November 4 read.

The earlier story also indicated that unlike other staff of Twitter in other locations of the world, the Africa staff received no indications of severances.

“At least for the African staff, that email did not even mention them by name; it just said ‘see attached.’ And even though Elon Musk said everybody who got fired would be getting at least three months severance above the law – that’s in the US, those in Africa office didn’t get a next step, or if they’re going to get any severance at all, which some lawyers in Ghana are now pointing out could be a violation of Ghanaian employment law,” Larry Madowo added.

But an updated report by CNN has said that the displeased sacked Africa staff want fairness in the severances they are being offered.

The staff have since taken a lawyer who is on the verge of suing the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, over this matter, Larry has said.

“They are asking to be treated the same way Twitter treated employees who were departing in the US and Europe; they want three months severance pay like Elon promised and other relevant benefits: stock investing, continued healthcare, and that sort of thing.

“But they feel that’s not happened; they have not been treated the same way as everyone at Twitter,” he stated.

The journalist also reported that it was only after CNN’s first report on this subject that Twitter offered the Africa staff severance pays.

He added that the team got personal emails that claimed to give them what they called “Ghana mutual separation agreement and it offered a certain figure. They say this email claims to have been arrived at after a negotiation with the staff but they say they have actually never negotiated with anyone at Twitter.

“In fact, they don’t even have a way to contact anyone at Twitter because their emails keep bouncing back. So, they’ve rejected that severance pay offer, they have hired a lawyer and have written a demand notice to Twitter, asking Twitter to comply with Ghanaian employment laws.”

The Africa staff of Twitter have also petitioned the Ministry of Employment in Ghana to compel Twitter to do the right thing, he added.

Here is a portion of that notice to the authorities in Ghana:

“It is clear that Twitter, under Elon Musk, is either deliberately or recklessly flouting the laws of Ghana, is operating in bad faith and in a manner that seeks to silence and intimidate former employees into accepting any terms unilaterally thrown at them.

“Without pressure from higher authorities, they are clearly not willing to provide a fair or just package in order to minimize the hardship of this takeover and resulting loss of jobs on their workforce in Africa.”

It is worth mentioning that the Twitter Africa staff includes some employees who were hired from Nigeria and other countries and they want to be paid to move back to their countries.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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