Twitter staff proved to be unwavering in a response to the latest tough talk from the company’s perhaps soon-to-be-owner Elon Musk. The Tesla and Space X chief told potential investors that he’d fire about 75 percent of current Twitter employees should his takeover of the tech company go through, the Washington Post reported last week. Time Magazine reported Tuesday that staff at Twitter have penned an open letter protesting that idea, calling it a “reckless” threat that would “hurt Twitter’s ability to serve the public conversation.”Time’s Billy Perrigo reported that the letter is circulating among staff, laying out demands for respect, safety, protection, and dignity if the Musk deal closes. “We demand transparent, prompt and thoughtful communication around our working conditions,” the letter read. “We demand to be treated with dignity, and to not be treated as mere pawns in a game played by billionaires.” Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) The letter, according to Time, said the employees would not be intimated and that threatening workers’ jobs threatened the platforms ability to “uplift independent journalism in Ukraine and Iran, as well as powering social movements around the world.” The letter read, in part:
A threat to workers at Twitter is a threat to Twitter’s future. These threats have an impact on us as workers and demonstrate a fundamental disconnect with the realities of operating Twitter. They threaten our livelihoods, access to essential healthcare, and the ability for visa holders to stay in the country they work in. We cannot do our work in an environment of constant harassment and threats.
Just because Musk claimed he would fire 75 percent of staff, however, doesn’t mean he necessarily would be willing or able to do so. The billionaire does have a penchant for exaggeration and making bold, baseless claims. Mashable’s Chris Taylor wrote about how Musk “probably won’t fire 75 percent of Twitter,” noting that it could be a move to please investors and that he’s actually said in the past that he’d increase the company’s headcount. In short, Musk says a lot, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen. It remains to be seen if the Musk deal for Twitter actually, finally goes through this time, though it now seems much more likely than it had in the past. The funding for the $44 billion purchase price is still coming together but lots of potential hurdles have already been cleared. If the deal does go through, we should know by end of the week. From there, who knows what happens.