Treatment of Twitter workers is outrageous says Sherlock

Senator Marie Sherlock
04 November 2022
  • Serious questions to be asked about compliance with collective redundancy Irish law

Labour spokesperson on workers’ rights Marie Sherlock has today (Friday 4th November) expressed her solidarity with the hundreds of tech workers who were told not to come to work today and to wait to hear if they will be laid off.

With a raft of recent announcements from some of the biggest tech and manufacturing employers in this country flagging job losses, Senator Sherlock said this has undoubtedly sent a chill throughout all other workplaces in this country.

Senator Sherlock said:

“The manner in which Twitter employees are getting word today about their jobs is outrageous.

“While political leaders were quick to be present for photocalls with Twitter, I hope they are just as quick to remind Twitter and all other companies of their legal responsibilities with regard to collective redundancies.

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

“The treatment of workers by certain tech companies in recent days is cruel and appalling but it is not surprising.

“No matter how many of these companies try to cloak the reality of industrial relations in their workplaces by using gimmicks and the veneer of workplace democracy, the harsh truth is that respect in the workplace place starts with workers joining a trade union. Many of these companies are stridently anti-union, and we can now see why, as they seek to discard loyal workers.

“The manner in which Twitter’s new owner is treating employees must now be a wake up call to all workers that working with others to protect yourself and joining a union is absolutely crucial.

“It must also be the wake up call to State that a right to be recognised for collective bargaining purposes is vital. Sympathy from Government rings very hollow unless they are prepared to take comprehensive action on that.

“The other reality today is that two and half years on from Debenhams, despite lots and lots of promises, the Government has yet to make good its commitment to improving collective redundancy legislation in this country in the event of a liquidation. That specific issue does not impact on Twitter but there are plenty other tech, retail and hospitality companies located here who are now facing the harsh winds of a downturn this Winter.”

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