Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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SpaceX: employees say they were fired for criticizing Elon Musk

It’s not just Twitter, Elon Musk is under pressure. Today, several former employees of the SpaceX company belonging to the billionaire explain that they were fired for criticizing the whimsical boss in a letter, the Guardian reports based on information from the New York Times. Eight former employees therefore decided to approach the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an independent agency responsible for investigating illegal labor practices in the United States. They would have been victims of reprisals after writing this letter, they believe.

Fired in June, they would have helped employees write this letter, pointing out Elon Musk’s behavior on social networks in particular. The letter was largely in response to a joke the company’s chief made about a report suggesting he had paid $250,000 to a flight attendant who accused him of sexual harassment. Elon Musk had rejected en bloc. In this letter, which had been able to consult The Verge, it was written that Elon Musk’s behavior “in the public sphere” was “a source of distraction and embarrassment for all of us” and this, “especially in the last couple of weeks”.

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“Broader Culture”

According to the New York Times, after writing this letter, about 20 employees met with a senior SpaceX executive and were told by one of the vice presidents that their action was “extremist” and that it angered the company. In return, employees reportedly demanded that SpaceX publicly condemn Elon Musk’s behavior on social media. A case that repeats the series of dismissals, within Twitter, of employees who would have criticized it recently. Since then, Elon Musk would also have instructed his collaborators to find his “adversaries” within the social network. This is not the first time that one of Elon Musk’s companies has faced the NLRB, as Tesla had already been singled out in 2021 for firing a man who tried to form a union.

At this time, SpaceX has not responded to requests for comment from our English and American colleagues. In their letter, the protesters also asked their management to commit to a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment. Employees have already condemned such behavior in the past. “Recent events are not isolated incidents,” write the disgruntled employees. They also decry a “broader culture that serves many people that nevertheless allows SpaceX to accomplish extraordinary things”.

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