Mass layoff at Twitter starts today, affected employees to be sacked via e-mail

Billionaire Elon Musk acquired Twitter on October 28, 2022. [Courtesy of Al Jazeera]

There will be a mass layoff at Twitter starting Friday, November 4, the micro-blogging platform said in a statement to its employees.

The company that has 7,500 employees globally is reportedly seeking to cut about 3,700 employees, the CNBC reports.

"In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday (November 4, 2022). We recognise that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company's success moving forward," said Twitter in the letter to staff members.

"Given the nature of our distributed workforce and our desire to inform impacted individuals as quickly as possible, communications for this process will take place via email. By 9am PST (7pm East Africa Time) on Friday Nov. 4th, everyone will receive an individual email with the subject line: Your Role at Twitter. Please check your email, including your spam folder.

"If your employment is not impacted, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email.

"If your employment is impacted, you will receive a notification with next steps via your personal email.

"If you do not receive an email from twitter-hr@ by 5pm PST (3am East Africa Time; Saturday, November 5) on Friday Nov. 4th, please email [email protected].

"To help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data, our offices will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended. If you are in an office or on your way to an office, please return home.

"We acknowledge this is an incredibly challenging experience to go through, whether or not you are impacted. Thank you for continuing to adhere to Twitter policies that prohibit you from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere.

"We are grateful for your contributions to Twitter and for your patience as we move through this process. Thank you," said Twitter.

Twitter was acquired by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk on October 28, 2022 at a cost of $44 billion (Sh5.3 trillion).

Musk, the founder of Tesla automaker, has a net worth of $200.4 billion (Sh24.4 trillion), according to Forbes Real Time Billionaires Index.

The tycoon has promised a raft of changes that would further commercialise Twitter. For instance, he stated that soon Twitter users will have to pay $8 (Sh970) monthly for the blue verification badge.

Musk started his tenure at Twitter by firing CEO Parag Agrawal and two other executives. He also dissolved Twitter's board of directors.

CNN reports that following the release of the memo that announces looming retrenchment, a section of Twitter employees have sued Elon Musk.

The class action lawsuit was filed on Thursday, November 3.

It argues that Twitter is in violation of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) after laying off some employees already.

The WARN Act requires that an employer with more than 100 employees must provide 60 days' advanced written notice prior to a mass layoff "affecting 50 or more employees at a single site of employment."

"Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, has made clear that he believes complying with federal labour laws is 'trivial,'" Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who filed the lawsuit, said in a statement to CNN.

"We have filed this federal complaint to ensure that Twitter be held accountable to our laws and to prevent Twitter employees from unknowingly signing away their rights."