Twitter News in Ghana

  • Posted by: Evans Asare
Twitter Africa staff use Ghana Labour Law to secure redundancy packages, lessons for Glo Ghana workers

Twitter Africa staff use Ghana Labour Law to secure redundancy packages, lessons for Glo Ghana workers

Social media giant Twitter (now known as X) has been forced to reach an agreement with some 11 laid-off staff from its African office in Ghana following about a year of back and forth. 

The eleven affected employees in Ghana’s capital, Accra, were fired in November 2022 without any redundancy packages, weeks after Elon Musk bought the company.

They began talks with the company after their lawyers at Agency Seven Seven requested that Twitter abide by local redundancy laws as provided in Section 65 of Ghana’s Labour Act 2003, Act 651.

In a statement on their X page, Agency Seven Seven said they have “successfully led negotiations on behalf of former staff members of Twitter Ghana Ltd. in their quest to get a fair settlement and repatriation expenses for foreign staff.

”They made the point that Twitter (now X), the employer, failed to file a notice with the National Labour Commission and also failed to negotiate a redundancy package with the workers as required by Section 65(4) of the Labour Act.

The Twitter office in Accra was opened by former CEO Jack Dorsey. Just over a year after the Accra office was opened, billionaire Elon Musk acquired the company for US$44-billion in October 2022, and fired nearly all of the African team as part of sweeping cuts, eliminating a division that had been seen as part of Twitter’s future.

Since Musk took over, thousands of staff around the world have been fired or walked out. In Accra, an initial termination letter said employees would receive a month’s notice without any mention of severance packages. A subsequent letter improved terms to a month’s notice plus two months’ severance. But that was still below the three-month severance offer tweeted by Musk on November 4, 2022.

“There were times when we did not hear from them for a while,” Carla Olympio, a managing partner at Agency Seven Seven, said. “Beyond that, as you know, every negotiation process has some level of back-and-forth.”

While the case drew the attention of Ghana’s employment ministry, the outcome was ultimately decided through direct negotiations between the company and the aggrieved employees’ legal representation, she said.

“My clients have had to be very resilient because this was a long process,” said Olympio, declining to give details of the final terms. “They are relieved to put this behind them and look to the future.”

One of the former Twitter Ghana employees said their experience should be a lesson for others: “to be brave enough to stand up for themselves, no matter who they are going up against and no matter how long it takes.”.

“No one is going to fight for you if you aren’t willing to fight for yourself,” Norvisi Sokpe Ndon said in a LinkedIn post reacting to the news.

Glo Ghana

Speaking of employees being resilient, brave, and fighting for themselves, some 79 Glo Ghana employees were also subjected to a similar ordeal just about a month ago, when the company paid them some pittance as severance awards, in complete disregard of the labour laws of Ghana.

The majority of the affected former workers were cajoled into taking the insulting packages after having been starved for six months without pay. They were made to sign letters and practically swear not to sue the employer after taking the money. But a few resilient ones have refused to take it and are willing to test the law in the hope of getting properly negotiated and much better packages.

Author: Evans Asare

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