James TweedieAll materialsWrite to the authorFerry operator P&O drew near -universal condemnation this March when it sacked hundreds of crew with zero notice via a video message. New Twitter owner Elon Musk has now been accused of giving the same treatment to the firm’s British-based IT geeks. A British tech trade union has compared Twitter’s lock-out of UK staff to ferry firm P&O’s mass replacement of crews with unqualified staff this spring.The cull of staff at the San Francisco-based social media site since Tesla tech tycoon Elon Musk’s takeover last week reached across the Atlantic at 3am on Friday morning.UK-based staff found themselves unable to log in to their laptops, the Slack workplace chat app and email accounts while they were told to wait for news of their possible redundancies.”Everyone got an email saying that there was going to be a large reduction in headcount, and then around an hour later, folks started getting their laptops remotely wiped and access to Slack and Gmail revoked,” Twitter UK senior community manager Simon Balmain told British media.”Most UK folks are probably asleep and don’t know yet,” Balmain added. “I was working mostly LA (Los Angeles) hours because of the projects I was on, so I was still awake when it happened.”One member of staff, Chris Younie, tweeted: “Well this isn’t looking promising. Can’t log into emails. Mac won’t turn on. But so grateful this is happening at 3am. Really appreciate the thoughtfulness on the timing front guys…” Trade union Prospect, which organises tech workers, tweeted a call for those affected to get in touch — even if they were not members of the union — adding that it would “not accept a digital P&O from Big Tech Barons.”
A tweet from British trade union Prospect encouraging Twitter staff facing redundancy to contact the organisation”Twitter is treating its people appallingly,” Prospect General Secretary Mike Clancy said. “The government must make clear to Twitter’s new owners that we won’t accept a digital P&O and that no one is above the law in the UK, including Big Tech barons.”
Fresh Trouble for Elon Musk: Twitter Sued for Mass Lay-offs Without Enough NoticeYesterday, 11:43 GMTLong-established ferry and cruise operator P&O drew condemnation from trade unions and politicians this March when it sacked its crews on entire routes with no notice via a video message. The firm replaced the staff with hastily-hired workers on lower wages — some below the minimum wage according to the Rail, Maritime and Transport union — who turned out to be so poorly-trained that a ship was barred from sailing.