- 10 Nov 22
The social media giants have started locking employees out of systems before collective redundancy process has started as part of this year's largest tech layoffs.
Twitter and Meta have been facing scrutiny for "actively ignoring Irish labour laws" following two weeks of intense layoffs, resulting in thousands of employees losing their jobs at the social media companies unexpectedly.
The multi-million dollar networks cut down on tens of thousands of jobs around the world in the midst of a major IT crisis. Meta has reported to have fired a staggering estimate of 11,000 people-13% of its workforce-in what is quickly becoming the biggest tech layoff of the year. The job cuts come just a week after Twitter's new owner Elon Musk fired half of the social media giant's labour pool following is $44 million takeover.
Ireland is home to a large number of the possibly affected employees: around 3,000 people are directly employed by Meta in Ireland, with around 500 Irish Twitter employees. It is not yet clear how many Irish employees have been or will ultimately be effected by these cuts.
The firms have been rigorously criticised after employees were left unable to do their jobs after being suddenly locked out of systems and emails, even though theirs jobs had yet to be terminated under the collective redundancy process. Meta relayed to its workers that it was removing Meta systems access to people that are to be fired "given the amount of access to sensitive information."
A similar fate was met by Twitter employees, who were also cut off from their company emails and Twitter systems.
Looks like I’m unemployed y’all. Just got remotely logged out of my work laptop and removed from Slack. #OneTeam forever. Loved you all so much.
So sad it had to end this way 💔
— simon balmain (@SBkcrn) November 4, 2022
"The fact that some employees were notified while others were not is proof that the employers have already decided who should be made redundant," Labour spokesperson on workers' rights Senator Marie Sherlock said. "This is one of the principal issues that is meant to be the subject of negotiation and agreement during the 30 day standstill period.
"It is not in compliance with the law to make a pre-emptive announcement, pause for 30 days and then implement something that has already been decided," she said. "Under the 1977 Protection of Employees act, the whole point of the 30 day consultation period is that the status quo is retained and under Irish employment law, employers have no contractual right to lock workers out.
"The action by both companies show a disgraceful disregard for the workers themselves and for the Irish labour law," Sherlock added.
Many professionals and angry employees have taken to social media to voice their concerns. There has been a particular outrage over the companies' method of announcing redundancies by email, leaving many shocked and distraught over the sudden loss.
These #TwitterLayoffs are horrible, careless, and reckless. A devastation for a generation that truly believed they could change things.
May this tragedy now serve as a sobering reminder that Tech Bro culture and its capitalistic greed has never been nor will be aspirational.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) November 4, 2022
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