Twitter employees circulated a list of demands on Monday, calling on billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk to address their concerns when he completes his purchase of the social media platform.
According to a report published by Time Magazine, the letter comes in response to rumors that Musk planned to downsize by as much as 75% upon taking ownership of the company — and demanded, among other things, that Musk “preserve” the current employee headcount.
Directed to “Staff, Elon Musk, and Board of Directors,” the letter claims that a move to gut the platform’s staff would endanger the “public conversation” to a degree that they claimed was unacceptable.
“Elon Musk’s plan to lay off 75% of Twitter workers will hurt Twitter’s ability to serve the public conversation. A threat of this magnitude is reckless, undermines our users’ and customers’ trust in our platform, and is a transparent act of worker intimidation,” a draft of the letter read. “Twitter has significant effects on societies and communities across the globe. As we speak, Twitter is helping to uplift independent journalism in Ukraine and Iran, as well as powering social movements around the world.”
They are also worried Elon firing employees "will hurt Twitter’s ability to serve the public conversation."
I can't 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/qWT5Ydt5m4
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) October 25, 2022
The letter went on to claim that unless they were all assured that they would be allowed to keep their jobs and all of their benefits, Twitter would cease to exist.
“We cannot do our work in an environment of constant harassment and threats. Without our work, there is no Twitter,” they wrote. “We, the workers at Twitter, will not be intimidated … We will not stop serving the public conversation.”
Calling on Musk to “cease these negligent layoff threats,” they followed those statements with a list of concrete demands.
Under the heading “respect,” they said, “We demand leadership to respect the platform and the workers who maintain it by committing to preserving the current headcount.”
Under “safety,” they added, “We demand that leadership does not discriminate against workers on the basis of their race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or political beliefs. We also demand safety for workers on visas, who will be forced to leave the country they work in if they are laid off.”
Under “protection,” they demanded a commitment to preserve current benefits and allow for continued remote work — a topic Musk has already addressed at Tesla — as well as “fair” severance policies.
Under the last heading, “dignity,” they concluded, “We demand transparent, prompt and thoughtful communication around our working conditions. We demand to be treated with dignity, and to not be treated as mere pawns in a game played by billionaires.”
The authors promised not to make the signatures on the letter public “unless we have critical mass.”