Loretta, a single mom and janitor for years at the Twitter offices in New York City, wants Elon Musk, one of the world’s richest people and new owner of the social media giant, to know how he ruined her birthday.
Like other Twitter cleaners — and many others at the struggling company, which has shed thousands of employees — she said she received no explanation for her sudden layoff.
“I was so happy working at Twitter. I was able to pay my bills and get babysitters for my kids. Now, it’s a nightmare for me. I don’t know how I’m going to do that or know how to do it,” said Loretta, who didn’t want to use her last name for fear of future hiring consequences. What is going to happen?” “There was no explanation. We worked on Monday, the 19th, and that night we got the letter. It was shocking right before Christmas. We didn’t have a good holiday. No Merry Christmas, no Happy New Year, we’ve been thinking about our jobs and if we’ll ever come back.”
She described trying to explain to her six-year-old son what had happened, and trying to reassure his fears about eating now that she was laid off. She has no income and will lose health insurance for herself and her children that she relied on through her work at the end of this month.
She added, “I want to get back to work and I want to know why Elon Musk got rid of us.” “It’s not right that Elon Musk got rid of me and all my co-workers.”
She is one of 12 workers at Twitter’s 245-249 West 17th St in New York City who are protesting the social media company’s abrupt decision to lay off all of its cleaners, employed by Flagship Services, Twitter’s latest layoffs since Musk took over the company. On October 27, 2022.
On January 10, workers with their union, 32BJ SEIU, protest outside the Twitter offices in New York City to demand an explanation and the return of their jobs.
The workers received a notification from Twitter on the evening of December 19 that the contract with their employer and their jobs had been terminated, effective immediately. They say in previous cases where the contractor changed hands, Twitter kept the same employees who had been working at Twitter since 2015.
Merita, another janitor who has worked out of Twitter’s New York offices since opening in 2015, has criticized the layoffs, particularly the impact of losing health insurance, on which she relies for the gastric treat she needs regularly.
“They told us at work at the last minute. We didn’t know anything. It was a shock to us. We left the building crying because we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Mirita said. “It’s very difficult because we live on cash salary to pay the bills. We are very afraid of losing our health insurance. I take medication. We need health insurance, and that’s why we need to fight to get our jobs back for our union and our health care and everything.”
Earlier in December, Twitter abruptly laid off cleaners at the company’s San Francisco headquarters. San Francisco city attorney David Chew said he is investigating whether Twitter broke the law with sudden layoffs due to laws that require employers to keep workers for at least 90 days while transitioning between contractors.
Twitter has laid off nearly half of its employees since Musk seized power, and this tactic has prompted numerous lawsuits or arbitration requests.
The termination notice provided to the cleaners did not include any explanation for the sudden termination of the contract with Flagship Services or information on how to replace these workers.
“Twitter’s decision to cancel the cleaning contract for its New York City office has transformed the lives of the dedicated cleaners, many of whom have worked at the location since Twitter moved seven years ago. Dennis Johnston, 32BJ SEIU executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said in a statement about the cuts. Jobs, essential NYC janitors have done far too much for this city to be treated as such.
“They are putting their lives on the line to keep workers and the public safe during the pandemic and are essential to the city’s economic recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic. These union members and their families are now facing great hardship due to the loss of their well-paying jobs with good health insurance.”
Twitter and Flagship Services Inc did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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