Britain's employment laws are stricter than America's, but that didn't stop Elon Musk firing Twitter staff there en-masse as if U.S. at-will employment rules prevailed worldwide. Now those affected are threatening legal action about a "sham redundancy" that amounted to them being locked out the office and told to sign their rights away if they wanted anything at all.
UK trade union Prospect, which represents more than 100 UK Twitter employees, also wrote to the company this week raising concerns about its layoff process, including claims that Twitter is "choosing not to honor" its promise that employees laid off following Musk's acquisition would receive severance with terms no less favorable than prior to his takeover.
Prospect also said the company has given workers "an arbitrary date to sign their rights away" in order to receive better separation terms, although negotiations over the layoffs are ongoing. (Typically, negotiations over mass layoffs by UK companies involve discussions of the reasons for terminations and how to minimize their size and impact.)
"It is to be celebrated that in the UK it is not possible to simply fire employees en masse at will as Twitter has done in other countries," Prospect,said in the letter. "Rest assured, Prospect will continue to lobby the Government and raise public awareness about employers who treat their workers like commodities to be discarded on a whim."