Twitter downsizing is ‘not acceptable’, says Irish PM

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin criticized the manner in which staff were fired on Twitter, saying it was “not acceptable” and was “quite unprecedented”.

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

Twitter is laying off a significant number of employees – believed to account for up to half of its workforce – as part of the social media giant’s dramatic takeover by tech billionaire Elon Musk.

“There seems to be a pretty unprecedented approach being taken here for a global workforce and that is showing in Ireland.

“What I would say is no matter who you are or what industry you’re in, always treat people with dignity and respect, and Twitter employees deserve to be treated with respect.”

He said, “Summary notice of dismissal or ‘you’re not working anymore’ is not acceptable. This is not the way we conduct industrial relations or organized employer-employee relations.

Twitter’s announcement comes just a day after financial firm Stripe, owned by Limerick brothers and co-founders Patrick and John Collison, announced it was cutting its global workforce by 14%.

Earlier on Friday, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister said tech companies may have grown “a bit too quickly”.

“We’ve been over-hired for the world we find ourselves in,” the brothers wrote to staff in an email Thursday.

Speaking from Singapore on a trade mission, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said his thoughts are with Stripe and Twitter employees who will lose their jobs.

“Tech companies have grown very quickly, probably a bit too quickly over the last two years, and as a result they now have to lay off staff,” the minister for enterprise told CNBC.

“But the number of job vacancies in the industry always exceeds the number of people looking for jobs, so even a downturn or a slowdown in the tech industry, I think, still means you’ll have very successful businesses. which will make profit and many people working in this sector.

Mr Varadkar also said Ireland had been “careful” not to become too dependent on any particular sector.

“Technology is very important, but so are life sciences, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and indeed our food and beverage industry, and that’s just the merchant sector.

“So we’ve been careful not to put all our eggs in one basket and that’s been part of our success.”

Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said it was a “very worrying day” for those affected.

“Do I believe this is part of a larger movement? No, these appear to be specific to a particular Twitter purchase and movements there. But nevertheless, it will be a very worrying time.

Twitter employees received an email on Friday morning advising them not to enter the office because their badge access was suspended.

Staff have also been informed that everyone will receive an email on Friday at 4:00 p.m. GMT (9:00 a.m. PST) telling them whether or not their job is safe.

Labor’s spokesperson on workers’ rights, Marie Sherlock, said the way Twitter informed people about their job security was “scandalous”.

“While politicians were quick to show up for photocalls with Twitter, I hope they will be just as quick to remind Twitter and all other companies of their legal responsibilities regarding mass layoffs.

“Workers in a situation of collective redundancy are entitled to a period of notice and consultation of 30 days, which must be notified to the Minister. It is not yet clear whether Twitter intends to comply.

“The treatment of workers by some tech companies in recent days is cruel and appalling but not surprising,” she said, adding that mass layoff laws needed to be improved ahead of a tough winter.

Ireland is home to the European headquarters of several tech giants, including Twitter, Google and Facebook.

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