Twitter union of janitors went on strike; Musk fired them all

 December 8, 2022

A union of janitors who clean the Twitter headquarters in California went on strike over the company's recent changes, with CEO Elon Musk firing them in response.

The union workers protested 20 janitors who had been fired in a walkout, with Musk firing the rest of them and canceling the union's contract with the company.

The decision

“Our cleaning contractor at Twitter was told by Twitter that they are cutting the contract,” said Olga Miranda, union president for the janitors. “So we have about 48 families out of work. And it just so happens that it's three weeks before Christmas.”

"A representative from SEIU Local 87 told the New Republic that 20 janitors were told on Friday that they were fired with no notice and that they were fighting for wages, 'benefits and job protections,'"

The remaining union workers began a strike on Monday. They were then locked out of the building. Tuesday, Twitter canceled the contract with the janitors, leading to further protests by the fired workers outside of the building.

The union's complaint

"The way Elon Musk executed the layoffs was really inhumane," said former employee Amir Shevat, according to Fox LA. "At a certain point I was told that as a manager that I might felt fired if I just gathered my team just to answer questions."

"He chose to fire so many of us during a difficult time period in the tech industry," said Adrian Trejo Nunez, another former employee.

The lawsuit includes calls for severance packages for fired workers that have not yet been provided, according to the report.

The firings are among many the company has made since Musk's purchase of Twitter. Nearly half of its staff was laid off, with the remaining workers expected to mostly work from the office instead of remotely.

The pushback in California has led to multiple calls by leaders in Texas to invite Musk to move Twitter's headquarters to the Lone Star State.

Musk's SpaceX already operates in Texas after the space company moved from California, offering an example of greater freedom for a potential move of Twitter.

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