Twitter has started laying off employees in Ireland

Twitter has started laying off Irish employees as the social media giant plans to cut up to half of its global workforce today.

The company employs over 500 people in Dublin and over 7,000 worldwide.

“I woke up to the sad news that I’m not a tweep anymore,” a Dublin staffer tweeted this morning.

The company sent an email to employees telling them they would find out today if they still had a job.

“Team, in an effort to put Twitter on a healthy path, on Friday we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce,” the internal memo to employees read.

“We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but unfortunately this action is necessary to ensure the continued success of the company.”

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said some tech companies that were “probably expanding too quickly” had been the cause of widespread layoffs across the industry in recent days.

“My first thoughts are with the people who are going to get bad news today – be it people who work at Stripe, Twitter, and other companies who will find out they are losing their jobs.

“Tech companies have grown very quickly in the last year or two, probably a bit too fast, and as a result they have had to lay off some staff,” Mr Varadkar told RTÉ’s News at One.

The Tánaiste said that despite the layoffs at Twitter and Stripe, “the number of vacancies in the industry still outweighs the number of job seekers.

“A slowdown or even a downturn in the tech sector still means companies are making profits and many people are working in the sector.

“One thing that we are sure of in Ireland and that we do carefully is not to over-rely on any particular sector,” said Mr Varadkar.

Elon Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion, has already made several changes to the company, starting with firing three of its top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal.

He previously told potential investors that he intends to reduce the company’s workforce from around 7,500 to just over 2,000.

Mr Musk has pledged to change the way the site handles content moderation since completing his acquisition.

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Former US President Donald Trump was banned from Twitter last year for violating the social media platform’s “glorification of violence” policy. Photo: Reuters

He has also proposed allowing suspended accounts, including former US President Donald Trump, back onto the site.

However, this has raised concerns among many users and advertisers, with reports suggesting some companies will suspend advertising with Twitter if accounts like Mr Trump’s are allowed to return.

Ad revenue makes up the bulk of Twitter’s revenue, which is why some analysts believe Mr Musk is looking to roll out more subscription offerings to generate new revenue.

Before completing his acquisition, the billionaire said in a message to advertisers that he would not allow the platform to become a “free hellscape,” despite previously describing himself as a “free speech absolutist.”

Its plans to overhaul the Twitter Blue subscription service so that users can get the blue tick verification badge for a monthly fee are also reportedly set to roll out later this month.

Labor Senator Marie Sherlock said the way Twitter workers are being informed about their jobs today is “outrageous, cruel and appalling”.

With a string of recent announcements from some of the country’s biggest tech and manufacturing employers pointing to job losses, Senator Sherlock said it has undoubtedly sent a shiver to everyone else’s jobs in the country.

“While political leaders were quick to show up for photo ops with Twitter, I hope they’re just as quick to remind Twitter and all other companies of their legal responsibilities regarding mass layoffs.

“Workers in a mass redundancy situation are entitled to a 30-day notice and consultation period and the Minister must be informed of this. It’s not yet clear if Twitter intends to comply.

“The treatment of workers by certain tech companies in recent days is cruel and appalling, but not surprising.

“No matter how many of these companies try to obscure the reality of industrial relations in their workplaces using gimmicks and the veneer of workplace democracy, the hard truth is that respect in the workplace begins with workers joining a union. Many of these companies are decidedly anti-union and we can now understand why as they try to sack loyal workers,” Senator Sherlock said.

Labor spokesman for workers’ rights said the way Elon Musk is treating workers should serve as a “wake-up call for all workers… protecting yourself and joining a union is absolutely critical”.

Louise O’Reilly, Sinn Féin’s spokeswoman for workers’ rights, said understanding Musk’s past handling of workers means the move is “no surprise” but said the way workers communicated about job losses have caused considerable anger.
“It is the responsibility of the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, as the Minister responsible, to ensure that fair procedures and all consultation procedures required by law are followed by the company.
“Twitter’s move also reinforces the need to finally give workers and unions collective bargaining rights. The need for legally protected collective bargaining has never been greater.
“For too long, Ireland and Europe have been governed by an ideology of neoliberalism, with enormously damaging consequences for workers and families. We have seen a race to the bottom in working conditions, an increase in low-wage work and the marginalization of unions and workplace democracy.
“Workers’ rights must come first and strong legal protections must be put in place, otherwise workers will continue to suffer. Only when workers are given the tools to negotiate for themselves do they stand a chance of living a decent and happy life,” said Deputy O’Reilly.

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Twitter headquarters at Cumberland Place, Dublin 2

Twitter workers vented their frustration at the layoffs on the social network using the hashtag #OneTeam.

User Rachel Bonn tweeted: “Last Thursday on SF [San Francisco] Office, really the last day Twitter was Twitter. 8 months pregnant and 9 months old. Just got cut off from laptop access.”

In response to the #OneTeam thread, Twitter’s head of security and integrity, Yoel Roth, said: “Tweeps: My DMs (direct message routes) are always open to you. Tell me how I can help.”

Mr Roth was the most senior executive to publicly tweet in support of employees losing their jobs.

He seemed to still have his job. Last week, Mr Musk supported Mr Roth, citing his “high integrity” after years earlier he was confronted for tweeting critical of former US President Donald Trump.

Mr Roth did not respond to a request for comment.

https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/tech-companies-expanded-a-little-too-quickly-says-varadkar-as-twitter-to-lay-off-irish-staff-42118440.html Twitter has started laying off employees in Ireland

Fry Electronics Team

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