After criticism of Musk, SpaceX employees are fired from the company

At least five employees at SpaceX, an aerospace development company, have been fired after publishing an open letter criticizing the recent behavior of its CEO, Elon Musk. The number of layoffs was commented by two sources to the Reuters news agency.

The text cites Musk’s behavior – famous both for being the richest man in the world and for his polemics – as a frequent source of “distraction and embarrassment”. The company fired those responsible for writing and distributing the letter a day after the document circulated internally among employees.

The open letter, first reported by The Verge, criticizes Musk’s presence on Twitter, in addition to recent allegations of sexual harassment made against him, which the businessman denies. In the document, the employees urge the company’s leadership to “quickly and explicitly” separate the company from Musk’s “personal brand.”

The document reached 2,600 employees through an internal communication channel of the company and had the signature of employees, validated through digital forms or QR Code. The list of subscribers included all spectrums of gender, ethnicity, age and technical functions of the SpaceX.

“As our most prominent CEO and spokesperson, Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX — every tweet Elon sends is a public statement from the company. It is critical to make it clear to our teams and our potential talent pool that this message does not reflect our work, our mission or our values.”

The publication also cites the “Zero Tolerance” and “No Rudeness” policies adopted by the company to reprimand inappropriate behavior – but which are repeatedly violated by Musk.

“Exaggerated Activism”

SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell confirmed in an email to employees that SpaceX “dismissed several employees involved” in writing the letter following an internal company investigation.

“The letter, requests and the overall process made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign something that did not reflect their views. We have a lot of critical work to do and there’s no need for that. kind of over-the-top activism,” he said in a statement, relayed to The New York Times.

“Sorry for the distraction. Please stay focused on the SpaceX mission and use your time at work to do your best. This is how we get to Mars,” Shotwell finished in response.

The controversial letter comes almost a month after the release of a complaint that the company SpaceX had paid about $ 250,000 to a former flight attendant of the company to keep silent after the sexual harassment allegations made by her to Musk. .

Decision can go to court

Experts believe that this may not be the end point of the dispute between the employees and the company’s management, as the deadline for dismissal after the letter is published can set up labor lawsuits in US courts.

Charlotte Garden, a professor of law at Seattle University, explains that branding the letter as “exaggerated activism” is direct proof that the case is a court case. “To go to juryan action has to be orchestrated (certainly the case here) and has to be linked to working conditions”, he points out.

For Mary Inman, a lawyer who works at the whistleblower protection agency Constantine Cannon, the 24 hours between the publication of the letter and the decision to dismiss can constitute proof that it is a response to labor demonstrations.

“This could very well be seen as retaliation for taking a stand,” she tells The Verge. “What does this communicate to employees? Basically, it says [que] we don’t want you to manifest.”

With information from Reuters, The New York Times and The Verge

About Yadunandan Singh

Born in 1992, Yadunandan approaches the world of video games thanks to two sacred monsters like Diablo and above all Sonic, strictly in the Sega Saturn version. Ranging between consoles and PCs, he is particularly fond of platform titles and RPGs, not disdaining all other genres and moving in the constant search for the perfect balance between narration and interactivity.

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