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Twitter agrees to severance talks with laid-off Africa staff after legal threat

19309559 Twitter Africa team at their headquarters in Accra

Wed, 23 Nov 2022 Source:

Lawyer for Twitter Africa employees who were laid-off earlier this month by the social media giant has confirmed that the company has reached out to the former employees after a threat to sue over discrimination.

The unnamed lawyer confirmed to a CNN Africa journalist, Larry Madowo, that the company had "finally agreed to negotiate with the laid-off Africa team."

Madowo, who has been keenly reporting on the story, reiterated in a November 22 tweet, that the redundant staff "weren’t offered severance until CNN reported" their plight and that they weren't "allowed to negotiate their separation terms until" CNN report was aired.

Africa office closed down four days after opening

The Africa office was closed four days after employees who had over the last year been working remotely converged at the Africa Headquarters located in Ghana.

They initiated legal action against the new owner of the platform, Elon Musk, over discrimination and the imbalance in the severance pay they were offered compared to others who were laid off in the United States and Europe upon his takeover.

Madowo revealed the contents of their termination emails in his earlier reports, which read in part: “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 November 4 letter read.

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What Madowo said about threat to sue:

The staff hired a lawyer who was on the verge of suing the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, over this matter. They also reported Twitter to the Chief Labour Officer in Ghana over breaches in the way their appointments were terminated.

“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 the resulting loss of jobs on their workforce in Africa.”

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