‘Brutal way to go’: Emotional tributes from the ‘Tweeps’ who lost their jobs at Elon Musk’s Twitter
- As Elon Musk begins firing thousands of employees from Twitter, people are taking to the app to share fond memories.
- Twitter offices around the world have closed and staff have been locked out of their work accounts from Friday.
- Employment lawyers are urging Australians made redundant to seek legal advice.
Scores of former Twitter employees are sharing emotional tributes online in their redundancy announcements from the social media network, as lawyers urge Australian staff to seek advice about possible unfair dismissal claims.
Australian staff members were among hundreds using the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked, writing largely positive personal experiences of working at the network.
One of the employees made redundant was San Francisco product marketing and digital brand manager, Rachel Bonn, who is eight months pregnant.
She posted a photo of herself on Twitter while carrying her nine-month-old child, revealing she has been cut off from accessing her work laptop.
“Really the last day Twitter was Twitter,” she wrote.
Another former Twitter data analyst from San Francisco, Shennan Lu, announced she’s been laid off while six months pregnant.
Thanking her colleagues, she signed off with “it’s been a fun ride”.
Others also thanked colleagues, referring to them as “Tweeps” – a portmanteau of Twitter and peeps or people.
Julie Steele in Los Angeles, the former head of internal communications at Twitter, said she leaves with fond memories and “unbreakable bonds with so many Tweeps”.
Elaine Filadelfo, a Washington-based ex-employee, described the departure from the social media network as a “brutal way to go” after being employed there for a decade.
The tweets come as new chief executive Elon Musk began implementing major changes to the company, which
Twitter sent an email to its staff around the world, including Australia, that their staffing levels would be reduced to put the company “on a healthy path”.
“In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday,” Twitter said in an email to staff on Thursday night announcing the cuts.
All offices were closed on Friday “to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data”, the email read.
Australian staff waited until 3am (AEST) to receive an announcement from either their work or personal email about the status of their employment.
At 2:30am, Katherine Gallo, former Twitter news curator in Sydney, announced that her employment was “cut short”.
Dozens of staffers tweeted they lost access to work email and Slack channels before receiving an official notice, which they took as a sign they had been laid off.
Twitter’s curation team, which is responsible for countering misinformation through contextualising “the best events and stories that unfold on Twitter”, was axed, employees said on the platform.
Mr Musk, the richest man in the world, tweeted on Saturday there was “no choice” but to reduce the workforce due to financial deficits.
“Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day.” he wrote.
“Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.”
Employment lawyer at Shine Lawyers Samantha Mangwana urged Australians who have been made redundant to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
“I would recommend that people take advice at the earliest opportunity because time limits can be incredibly tight in Australia,” she told SBS News.
“In some cases, there’s only 21 days to act from the date of termination.”
Ms Mangwana said it was “quite unusual” for staff to be locked out of their offices and awaiting notice of their employment via email.
“It does seem quite a shock and very alarming for employees. So this is why I say it’s very unusual,” she said.
“It may not be considered good practice, because it’s obviously an alarming time for staff and it doesn’t seem a good way of helping to allay employee concerns at a difficult time.”