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Laid-off Twitter team in Africa has no severance package or benefits, ex-employees say

(CNN) — Former Twitter employees in Africa who were laid off as part of a global cost-cutting initiative after the Elon Musk acquisition have not received any severance pay for more than seven months since their departure from the company, multiple sources told CNN.

A fines de mayo, los examples, that tenían su sede en Accra, the capital of Ghana, accepted the offer of Twitter de pagarles tres meses de indemnización por despido, el costo de repatriación del personal extranjero y los gastos legales incurridos during the negotiations with the company. but they did not receive the money or any other communication, the sources said.

“We were literally duped,” a former Twitter Africa employee told CNN.

“While Twitter eventually placed former employees elsewhere, staff in Africa are still floundering although we finally agreed to specific negotiated terms,” the former employee added.

Former employees say they reluctantly accepted the severance package without benefits, even though it was less than what their colleagues received elsewhere.

“Twitter didn’t respond until we agreed to the three months because we were all so stressed and exhausted and tired of the uncertainty, unwilling to take on the added burdens of a court case, so we felt that we had no choice but to settle,” he said. another former employee told CNN.

The former employees spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity as they said they were required to sign confidentiality agreements as part of their severance terms.

According to Carla Olympio, a lawyer representing the former employees, the last communication from Twitter or their lawyers was in May, shortly after the termination of the contract was agreed.

CNN reached out to Twitter for comment on the status of severance pay for former Ghana office employees, but received an automated response: a poo emoji. It’s unclear if Twitter still has a media relations department.

In March, Musk tweeted that Twitter would respond to all press inquiries with the poop emoji. Musk reached a deal to buy the social media platform in October.

CNN has also requested comment from Ghana’s Ministry of Employment and Industrial Relations. A spokesperson said they were investigating the allegations.

It is unclear whether Ghanaian authorities can force Twitter to comply with the agreement. The former employees and their lawyer say the offer was never finalized.

A recently opened office

The dozen team members were made redundant just four days after the social network opened a physical office in Accra last November.

Some of them said they moved to Ghana from other African countries and relied on their work at Twitter to support their legal status in the country.

“Unfortunately, it appears that you have unethically implemented your dismissals in violation of your own promises and Ghanaian laws, dragging out the negotiation process for over six months, now that we have reached the point of almost reaching an agreement, there was complete silence on their part for several weeks,” Olympio said.

Twitter and Musk are facing multiple lawsuits in which plaintiffs claim the company failed to pay former employees their due.

Last week, a former Twitter employee in the United States filed a class action lawsuit claiming the company failed to pay the full amount of severance packages it promised last November before the mass layoffs.

The plaintiff said Twitter promised senior employees severance pay of six months base salary plus one week for each year of service, in addition to other benefits. Instead, the plaintiff said he received a total of three months’ salary, according to the lawsuit. In response to a request for comment on the lawsuit, Twitter sent CNN an automated poo emoji.

In April, Musk told the BBC that more than 6,000 people had been made redundant since he completed the takeover of the company in late October.

“We are exploring our options regarding causes of action against Twitter in various jurisdictions, including Ghana,” Olympio told CNN.

Twitter did not open negotiations with the African team until CNN reported in November that they had been offered separate terms than those offered to staff leaving for Europe and North America.