Twitter employees have written an open letter to Elon Musk protesting reports that he intends to fire 75 per cent of the company.
Mr Musk had planned to reduce Twitter’s headcount from 7,500 to 2,000, the Washington Post reported, having previously complained that the company has a “strong left wing bias”.
Twitter’s current board had already planned to reduce wages at the company by around $800m by the end of 2023 and reduce staff by 25 per cent, according to the newspaper.
Twitter did not respond to The Independent’s request for comment.
The open letter, seen by Time, which has not yet been published but has been circulating around Twitter’s staff, states: “Elon Musk’s plan to lay off 75% of Twitter workers will hurt Twitter’s ability to serve the public conversation,” going on to say that “a threat of this magnitude is reckless, undermines our users’ and customers’ trust in our platform, and is a transparent act of worker intimidation.”
In a list of demands, the employees ask that Mr Musk not discriminate based on political belief and preserve Twitter’s existing employees. “We demand to be treated with dignity, and to not be treated as mere pawns in a game played by billionaires,” it says.
Twitter had already fired 30 per cent of its recruitment team, as well as two high-profile leads,
Mr Musk has suggested that buying Twitter is the first step in creating an “everything app” he calls X, which could be modelled after China’s WeChat.
He has also hinted that the platform will protect free speech and allow the return of banned users such as Donald Trump, whose account was locked after the January 6 insurrection by his supporters.
However, Twitter employees are more cynical about Mr Musk’s intentions: “It seems to me that he wants to buy the Twitter name, then completely gut and change it”, one anomymous employee has claimed.
“Speaking to people there, nobody feels safe in their job. I just don’t understand how it’s going to work as a company. There’s a mad attempt to restructure in some places to save face. It feels like the perfect time to try and get out — or prepare yourself for what’s going to happen.”
Elon Musk’s $44bn offer to buy Twitter in April, which he reneged upon before deciding to go through with it, will likely go through by the end of the month.