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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Godofredo A. Vásquez/PA The Twitter logo outside the company's headquarters in San Francisco.
Job Losses

Twitter begins cutting jobs, including in Ireland, in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover

Twitter employs more than 7,500 people around the world.

LAST UPDATE | Nov 4th 2022, 8:10 PM

TWITTER HAS BEGUN cutting jobs around the world, including at its Irish offices, in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover and his major shake-up of the platform.

There have been suggestions that as many as half of the social media giant’s global workforce could be cut as part of cost-saving measures.

Twitter employs more than 7,500 people around the world and many staff have already taken to the social media site to confirm they have been dismissed.

One former Irish employee tweeted this morning: “Woke up to the sad news that I’m no longer a Tweep. I loved every single moment working on the global @TwitterComms team, collaborating with and learning from an outstanding group of talented people.” 

Another employee that has been laid off in Ireland tweeted: “I loved this company with all my heart. I was incredibly proud to work here for nearly five years learning from the best people but all good things come to an end.” 

Internal email

According to an internal email reportedly sent to staff, the job cuts are “an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path” and action is “unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward”.

Staff have been told that everyone will receive an email by 9am California time (4pm Irish time), with those who are affected by the cuts set to receive the message on their personal email address rather than the one associated with their work.

“Given the nature of our distributed workforce and our desire to inform impacted individuals as quickly as possible, communications for this process will take place via email,” the internal email said.

The message said Twitter’s offices around the world would be “temporarily closed” and that staff badge access “will be suspended”.

“If you are in an office or on your way to an office, please return home,” the email said.

Despite the message asking staff to not discuss the cuts on social media, a number of workers have already taken to Twitter to confirm they are leaving the company, with some revealing they have been logged out of their work laptops and internal messaging systems.

Others are using the platform to say goodbye and thank their colleagues.


Taoiseach Micheál Martin has criticised the way in which staff were let go, saying that it was “not acceptable” and was “fairly unprecedented”.

“We are concerned, and our concern is there for the employees of Twitter,” Martin told reporters in Co Tipperary.

“There seems to be a fairly unprecedented approach being adopted here to a global workforce and that’s manifesting itself in Ireland,” he said.

“What I would say is no matter who you are or what sector you are in, one must always treat people with dignity and respect, and the employees at Twitter deserve to be treated with respect.

“The summary notice of dismissal or ‘you’re no longer working’ is not acceptable. It’s not the way we conduct industrial relations or organised relationships between employers and employees.”

Speaking from Singapore while on a trade mission, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said his thoughts were with the employees at Stripe and Twitter who will lose their jobs.

“Tech companies expanded very quickly, probably expanded a little bit too quickly in the past year or two, and as a result they now have to lay off some staff,” the enterprise minister told CNBC.

“But the number of vacancies in the sector still outweighs the number of people who are looking for employment, so even a slowdown or a downturn in the tech sector I think still means that you’ll have some very successful companies making profits and a lot of people working in that sector.”

Varadkar also said that Ireland had been “careful” not to become over-reliant on any one sector.

“Tech is really big, but so is life sciences, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and indeed our food and drink industry, and that’s just the traded sector.

“So we’ve been careful to make sure that we don’t have all our eggs in one basket and that’s been part of our success story.”

Sinn Féin spokesperson on workers’ rights Louise O’Reilly has offered her solidarity and support to workers at Twitter following today’s news. 

“The news that Twitter is due to begin a process of mass layoffs will come as a serious shock to 500 workers employed at the company’s Dublin office,” O’Reilly said. 

“Sources have indicated layoffs will be across the board with cuts in marketing, product, engineering, legal and trust and safety anticipated. It is speculated that the new CEO, Elon Musk, may cut as much as 50% of staff at the company,” she said. 

“It is up to the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, as the Minister responsible, to ensure that fair procedures and all statutory consultation processes are followed by the company,” she added. 

Labour spokesperson on workers’ rights Marie Sherlock said that “the manner in which Twitter employees are getting word today about their jobs is outrageous”. 

“Workers in a collective redundancy situation are entitled to a 30-day notice and consultation period, and teh Minister must be notified of the same. It is not yet clear whether Twitter are intending to abide by this,” Sherlock said. 

The secretary general of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ITCU), Owen Reidy, said that the decision by Twitter given its recent takeover to restructure and lay off some staff “is not in itself unusual”. 

“But what is appalling is the manner and appraoch the company has taken,” Reidy said.

Musk’s plans

Musk is thought to want to drastically reduce costs at the company after completing his $44 billion takeover of the platform last week and has since tweeted “we need to pay the bills somehow” in relation to further plans to begin charging a monthly subscription for users to keep their verified blue tick badge.

He has promised to make sweeping changes at the company and has already removed the entire board, leaving himself as the sole executive, and pledged to change how the site handles content moderation.

He has also suggested allowing banned accounts, including that of former US president Donald Trump, back on to the site.

However, this has raised concerns among many users and advertisers, with reports suggesting that some businesses will suspend advertising with Twitter if accounts such as Trump’s are allowed to return.

Advertising revenue makes up the vast majority of Twitter’s earnings, which is why some analysts believe Musk is looking to introduce more subscription offerings as a way of generating new income.

Before completing his takeover, the billionaire said in a message to advertisers that he would not allow the platform to become a “free-for-all hellscape” despite previously describing himself as a “free speech absolutist”.

His plans to overhaul the Twitter Blue subscription service so that it gives users the blue tick verification badge in exchange for a monthly fee is also reportedly set to be introduced later this month.

Includes reporting by Press Association

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