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Janitors Picket Outside Twitter's HQ in Elon's Latest Mess

The janitors went on strike this week after negotiations for a new contract fell flat.

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The Twitter headquarters building, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in San Francisco. (
The Twitter headquarters in San Fransisco.
Photo: Kirby Lee (AP)

Janitors are the latest group of workers left in limbo by the ongoing drama happening over at Twitter. The company reportedly terminated the contract that employed the striking janitors, according to the California Labor Federation (CLF). Elizabeth Strater, the communications director at CLF told Gizmodo in an email that at this point, the plan is to maintain “maintain a presence picketing outside Twitter HQ this week.

Twitter did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

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The workers began striking on Monday after Twitter reportedly failed to negotiate new contracts with Flagship, the company responsible for hiring the janitors. The striking janitors also claimed that they had been locked out of the Twitter headquarters building since Friday and had no warning regarding the contracts, NBC reported.

However, the law in California states that union janitorial workers should be given a rehire offer, and there should be a 90-day transition employment period, as pointed out by Strater. “Twitter doesn’t seem to understand how important it is to keep a clean house and respect the people who take out the trash,” CLF tweeted on Monday.

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Billionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter in October, and the company has been in shambles ever since. Hundreds of Twitter employees quit shortly after in retaliation against Musk’s ultimatum for them to commit to a new “hardcore” Twitter which includes working in the office and longer hours. The company also reportedly set up beds at the headquarters for employees to sleep at work, a similar move that Musk has already tried to pull at Tesla’s Shanghai factory earlier this year. In November, there were reports of Twitter employees using sleeping bags inside the office after working late.

Twitter’s apparent mistreatment of the company’s janitors is the latest example of the new direction the company is being steered towards with Musk at the helm. “Our janitors were given the bad news less than three weeks before Christmas [that] we’re gonna be out of a job with nowhere as a backup plan because all of this was unexpected,” Olga Miranda, President of the Service Employees International Union Local 87, said in a video shared on Twitter.

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The last day of the janitor’s contract is December 9.