More than half of Twitter’s 500 Dublin staff to be axed in ‘random and indiscriminate’ culling

Workers shut out of offices and IT systems on Friday as new owner Elon Musk instigates global cost-cutting measures

The Twitter bird symbol in the windows of the Twitter HQ offices on Cumberland Street South/Fenian Street in Dublin, which were closed on Friday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tech giant Twitter on Friday began a process of culling its 7,500 workforce globally, with more than half of its 500 workers in Dublin expected to be axed.

Twitter staff woke on Friday morning to find that their offices had been closed and that access to its IT systems had been shut off in “order to protect the security of our confidential information and user data”.

The company, which was acquired last week by Elon Musk for $44 billion, sent communications to the personal emails of staff at threat of being made redundant. The notice stated that “does not mean that we have made any final decisions in relation to this process or your role”, adding that they would have the opportunity to “express their views” via “employee representatives” who would be elected by staff shortly.

The communication to staff in Dublin who are at risk of redundancy, seen by The Irish Times, said they would receive statutory redundancy, plus an “ex gratia payment of an additional month’s salary”, plus two weeks’ salary per completed year of service.


The company told staff that they would have to serve their notice period on gardening leave.

As Twitter temporarily closed its offices amid global lay-offs, CEO Elon Musk directly challenged activist investors at a New York investor conference.

In Ireland, statutory redundancy amounts to two weeks of pay per year of service plus an additional week of pay, for those who have been in employment for two years or more.

Twitter told staff that it was considering a “workforce reduction in order to achieve efficiencies and stabilise its economic position”. Mr Musk warned that since his takeover Twitter “has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists”.

Twitter established its European headquarters in Ireland in 2011 and employs about 500 people at its Cumberland Place office in Dublin. Sources here described the situation inside the Irish arm of the company as “carnage”, with lay-offs “random and indiscriminate”.

The brutal nature of the notices to staff here on Friday led some to question whether Twitter might have breached employment law here.

Dublin-based employment lawyer Richard Grogan said: “The position on it is, if you are making a number of people redundant, like half your workforce, and you have 500, then in those circumstances you have to go through the collective redundancy legislation. That means the Minister must be notified. Then there is the consultation with staff for a period of 30 days before anybody is made redundant. You can’t just go sending people emails saying ‘you’re redundant’.”

Twitter is being sued in a California court over the cost-cutting plan, which workers say the company is doing without giving enough notice, in violation of federal and state law.

The Taoiseach on Friday said the Government was “concerned” about the developments at Twitter.

Speaking at the launch of a primary care centre in Thurles, Co Tipperary, Micheál Martin said: “No matter who you are or what sector you are in, one must always treat people with dignity and respect, and the employees of Twitter deserve to be treated with respect.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times