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Twitter has fired its employees in Africa with no severance pay


Twitter Africa: Since Twitter’s takeover by billionaire investor Elon Musk, the most consistent news we’ve heard is quirky lays offs, affecting every cadre of employees across the company.

Musk started off by firing top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal. Several other employees were laid off a few days later, with some reports indicating that others were recalled just days after receiving their termination letters. The confusion is unfolding in perfect Musk style, a man who thrives in chaotic environments. More job cuts are expected in the coming days.

On Tuesday this week, CNN reported that Twitter sent out a blanket termination letter to its employees in Africa, just days after opening a physical office.

The employees have been working remotely for nearly a year, but Twitter recently opened its African headquarters in Accra, Ghana hinting at a broader plan to enhance its ties with the continent. The African office, according to CNN journalist Larry Madowo, had only been operational for four days before the termination email was sent.

Unlike in other markets, Twitter didn’t mention any of the African employees by name, neither did it indicate the next steps they should take or the perks they will take home as termination benefits.

The company is reorganizing its operations, citing the 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,” the email told Twitter’s staff in Africa.

The employees were first locked out of the company’s computers, emails, and work collaboration platform Slack, just as it happened with global staff.

Some of the employees including Bernard Kafui Sokpe, senior Partner Manager; Gabriel Quarshie, Product Manager, and Nana Fynn, Social Strategist at the Africa headquarters, took to their respective social media pages to make the announcement. 

On Friday last week, Sokpe tweeted, “It’s been a year working at a place I never imagined I’ll ever get to work. I’m glad that I could represent Africa & I didn’t let us down,”

Nana Fyne wrote, “Honoured to have had the opportunity to create strategies and cook delicious Tweets for Twitter handles on the continent and globally.”

In the US, a class action lawsuit has already been filed against Twitter on the grounds that the impending layoffs were illegal under US and California law if employees are not given early warning or severance compensation.

Elon Musk is bent on effecting radical changes at the micro-blogging company. It was largely expected that workforce realignment would be one of his initial undertakings. Whether or not these actions lead to desired results remains to be seen.

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to snderitu@techtrendske.co.ke

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