Laid off employees in Africa’s Twitter headquarters, accuse Elon Musk of discrimination and intimidation by recklessly flaunting the laws of Ghana after they were fired.
The ex-Twitter African employees has sent a letter to the company asking them to adhere to the western Africa labour laws, demanding they be paid for saverance like the rest of Twitter employees.
The team had already hired a lawyer and also petitioned the government of ghana to push Twitter to adhere to the West Africa laws and for their fair pay, according to the letter sent to the country’s chief labour officer.
“It is clear that Twitter, Inc. under Mr 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,” the letter states.
Twitter laid off all African employees, except one, after opening a physical setup in Ghana after Elon Musk took over Twitter.
About a dozen of the laid off staff were not given severance pay, as dictated by Ghana’s labor laws, according with employment contracts.
With no clarity of information on the next move unlike other Twitter employees in the United States and Europe until after when CNN reported on their situation.
The African employees rejected a “Ghana Mutual Separation Agreement” offered by Twitter, claiming they it was sent to their personal emails offering final pay that the company claims to have been arrived at after a negotiation.
Members of the team and their lawyer told CNN that there was no such negotiation on severance pay, saying it is less than what they expect as stated by law, as it refutes what Musk tweeted that departing employees would receive.
“Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required,” Musk tweeted. Twitter informed the Ghana-based employees in early November that they would be paid until their last day of employment — December 4. And they will continue to receive full pay and benefits during the 30-day notice period.
“It was very vague, did not talk about outstanding leave or paid time off, and just asked us to sign if we agree. I never bothered to go back to the document because it is rubbish and is still in violation of labor laws here,” one former employee told CNN on condition of anonymity.
The Accra-based team accuses Twitter of dealing with them in bad faith, not being transparent, and discriminating against them compared to laid-off employees in other jurisdictions.
“The employees are distressed, humiliated, and intimidated by this turn of events. There are non-Ghanaian employees, some with young families, who moved here to take up jobs and have now been left unceremoniously in the lurch, with no provision for repatriation expenses and no way to communicate with Twitter, Inc. and discuss or plead their case,” the notice to Ghana’s Chief Labour Officer says.
Their attorney, Carla Olympio, says the sudden termination of almost the whole team violated Ghanaian employment law because it is considered a “redundancy” which requires three-month notice to authorities and a negotiation on redundancy pay.
“In stark contrast to internal company assurances given to Twitter employees worldwide prior to the takeover, it seems that little attempt was made to comply with Ghana’s labor laws, and the protections enshrined therein for workers in circumstances where companies are undertaking mass layoffs due to a restructuring or reorganization,” she wrote in a statement to CNN.
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