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SpaceX illegally fired workers critical of Elon Musk, U.S labour agency says

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Rocket and satellite maker SpaceX on Wednesday was accused by a United States (U.S) labour agency of unlawfully firing eight employees for circulating a letter calling founder and Chief Executive Officer, Elon Musk, a “distraction and embarrassment.”

A regional official with the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint claiming SpaceX violated the workers’ rights under federal labour law to band together and advocate for better working conditions, according to Kayla Blado, a spokeswoman for the agency.

According to Reuters, the letter sent to SpaceX executives in June 2022 focused on a series of tweets Musk had made since 2020, many of which were sexually suggestive.

The employees claimed Musk’s statements did not align with the company’s policies on diversity and workplace misconduct, and called on SpaceX to condemn them.

Blado said the complaint also accused SpaceX of interrogating employees about the letter, disparaging the workers who were involved, and threatening to fire workers who engaged in similar activity.

SpaceX and lawyers for the workers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The case is the latest to accuse companies run by Musk of violating employees’ rights under labour and employment laws.

In October, the NLRB issued a complaint accusing X, the Musk-owned social media service formerly known as Twitter, of illegally firing an employee over tweets challenging the company’s return-to-office policy.
X had denied wrongdoing.

And electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, where Musk is Chief Executive Officer, had faced several NLRB complaints amid a union organising campaign and numerous lawsuits alleging widespread race discrimination at its factories.

Tesla had said it did not tolerate discrimination.

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