Former employees of Twitter Ghana, who were recently laid off, have accused the company of breaching labour law and have sought legal counsel. They have also filed a petition with the Ministry of Employment and National Labour Relations to officially intervene.
The petitioners, recently sacked from Twitter’s Africa headquarters, claim they were not notified of the termination of their services.
The legal firm representing the petitioners, Agency Seven Seven, stated: “Our checks with the Labour Department revealed that as of 8th November 2022, 4 days after the termination notices were sent to staff by email, they had not received any notice of intended redundancy from Twitter Inc. or Twitter Ghana Ltd. This is a breach of the provisions in Ghana’s Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) that require such a notice to be filed with the Chief Labour Officer at least three months prior to the implementation of a redundancy exercise. The employees affected include foreign nationals whose terms of repatriation were not included in the termination notices.”
Legal representative and Managing Partner at Agency Seven Seven Carla Olympio said her clients have appealed to the Ministry to intervene and the relevant authorities have taken a keen interest in the matter.
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The legal firm added: “It is hoped that Twitter Ghana Ltd and its parent will engage in amicable negotiations in order to arrive at a just and equitable severance package for its former staff members – as it has done in other jurisdictions… failure to do so would not only set a terrible precedent for other local and international companies for the treatment of workers in Ghana, but may also call into question the commitment of such international tech companies to Africa, as well as raise eyebrows regarding the reasons for the difference in treatment of former Twitter employees in Africa vs elsewhere.”
It has been widely reported that new Twitter boss Elon Musk told employees that a new strategy, which includes layoffs and pushing a subscription model for verified accounts, was necessary to enable the company to rise above looming global economic uncertainties and a drop in advertising revenue.
Musk also posted a tweet: “Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.”
Twitter informed Ghana-based workers in early November that they would be paid until their last day of employment on 4 December and would continue to receive full pay and benefits during the 30-day notice period.
Twitter Ghana had not responded to requests for further comment at the time of publishing.