Former X Employees in Africa Fight for Promised Compensation
Last updated on November 6th, 2023 at 06:29 am
In an unexpected twist to the ongoing drama surrounding X (previously Twitter) and its restructuring under Elon Musk, a group of former X employees in Africa is stepping into the spotlight, demanding the unpaid compensation they were promised upon their termination. Their story is part of a larger global trend where employees are taking on the tech giant over unfulfilled severance packages, creating a growing headache for the company and its new leadership.
The African Team
Less than 20 ex-employees had just settled into X’s shiny new office in Accra, Ghana, following a prolonged period of remote work during the pandemic. Their journey at the tech company was cut abruptly short when they received the distressing news of their termination last November, most having been with X for just a short while.
As they recall, they were initially told that despite the termination of their contracts, they would receive a compensation equivalent to a month’s salary. However, that promise quickly unraveled when they found themselves locked out of their work emails and facing a paycheck drought.
A Year of Frustration
Since their sudden exit, these former X employees have been locked in a year-long tug-of-war with X over their due compensation. The promised financial cushion meant to soften the blow of being let go remained elusive, casting a dark cloud of frustration and financial instability over the affected workers.
“Every time we thought we were close, they’d go radio silent for weeks with no explanation. It’s been a year since they were all laid off, completely defeating the purpose of a redundancy package,” lamented Carla Olympio from Agency Seven Seven, the legal representation firm assisting the ex-employees.
Back in September, X and the African group mutually agreed to conclude all discussions and finalize a settlement by October 5. Yet, in a pattern that has become all too familiar, X allegedly let that deadline slip by without resolution.
Scrutiny on X
Ever since Elon Musk took the reins, X has been under a microscope. Massive layoffs affecting over 6,000 employees, accompanied by claims of unmet compensation promises, have cast a shadow of suspicion over the tech giant. Musk initially stated that laid-off employees were entitled to three months’ severance pay, but the African ex-employees insist they never received this promised relief.
Ironically, these African employees only started negotiations with X after the BBC brought their story to light, underscoring the role of external pressure and media attention in their pursuit of compensation.
Legal Battle on the Horizon
The situation has escalated to a point where the African ex-employees are exploring legal avenues to take on X. According to Carla Olympio, “We’re finalizing arrangements with international legal partners to pursue the matter in jurisdictions where X, formerly Twitter, might be compelled to do the right thing.”
For the ex-X workers in Africa, this legal battle is the culmination of their quest for rightful compensation. They’ve been stranded in a state of uncertainty for far too long, and the toll on their mental well-being and family finances has been considerable.
Globally, arbitration cases against the company have mounted, exceeding 2,200 as of August this year. X’s handling of layoffs and the alleged non-fulfillment of financial commitments to former employees are increasingly tainting the company’s reputation.
While the future outcome of these legal battles remains uncertain, the former X employees in Africa remain unyielding in their determination. Despite a year filled with dashed hopes and frustration, they stand resolute, firmly committed to claiming the compensation they believe is rightfully theirs.