Laid-off Twitter Ghana Staff Get Justice As X Settles Protracted Dispute

By  |  February 18, 2024

In a resolution following a year of negotiations, X, the company formerly known as Twitter, has reached an agreement with laid-off staff from its Accra-based African office. The layoffs occurred in November 2022, shortly after Elon Musk acquired the company for USD 44 B. The affected employees, who had initiated talks with X after requesting adherence to local redundancy laws, were represented by Accra-based firm Agency Seven Seven.

“Agency Seven Seven has successfully led negotiations on behalf of former staff members of Twitter Ghana Ltd.,” stated the firm in a recent statement. The negotiations centred on securing a fair settlement and repatriation expenses for foreign staff.

The layoffs in Accra marked a significant shift from the initial positive reception in 2021 when Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo welcomed Twitter’s entry. Musk’s strategic move to dismiss nearly the entire African team, just over a year after the office’s opening, was part of broader global staff cuts under his leadership.

Negotiations were marked by back-and-forth, with initial termination letters offering a month’s notice without mentioning severance packages. Subsequent communication improved terms to a month’s notice plus two months’ severance, falling short of Musk’s tweeted promise of a three-month severance offer on Nov. 4, 2022.

Agency Seven Seven’s managing partner, Carla Olympio, emphasized the resilience of her clients throughout the prolonged negotiation process. Although the case drew attention from Ghana’s employment ministry, the final terms were determined through direct negotiations between the company and the legal representation of the aggrieved employees.

“My clients are relieved to put this behind them and look to the future,” said Olympio, declining to disclose specific details of the settlement.

Musk’s massive global staff reduction, which saw over 6,000 layoffs, included the African contingent, numbering fewer than 20, who had recently moved into X’s Accra office. Agency Seven Seven confirmed the successful negotiation of redundancy settlements and repatriation expenses, without specifying the payout amount.

“They are very pleased to finally be able to get their due, put this behind them and look to the future,” said Carla Olympio. Agency Seven Seven indicated that negotiations with X commenced after the BBC covered the story.

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