Twitter Scraps Employee Benefits Like Meal Allowances, Reduces ‘Family Planning’

Twitter reduced and nixed a number of employee benefits as Elon Musk tries to slash costs at the company.

Employees at the social media platform will no longer have access to commuter benefits or meal allowances, even though coffee and snacks will continue to be available in the office, according to an email seen by Platformer Managing Editor Zoe Schiffer.

Musk has made headlines for pivoting the culture of Twitter toward a rigorous focus he says is meant to improve the platform. The world’s second-richest man, who has dismissed two-thirds of Twitter’s employees, told remaining workers that they should expect “extremely hardcore” hours should they desire to stay at the company. He added that Twitter would become “much more engineering-driven,” implying a move away from “design and product management” emphases.

Musk has started asking employees to pay for lunches, a benefit that had previously been free, according to a report from The New York Times published two months ago. He revealed that lunches had cost more than $400 “per lunch served” since “almost no one came to the office.”

When accused of lying about the figure by a former employee, Musk said that average occupancy was below 10% at the San Francisco office even as Twitter spent more than $13 million per year on food services for the headquarters. “There are more people preparing breakfast than eating breakfast,” he said. “They don’t even bother serving dinner, because there is no one in the building.”

The social media company plans to sell kitchen equipment and furniture from the San Francisco office. Items for sale include La Marzocco espresso machines and Rotisol rotisserie ovens, as well as commercial blenders and grinders, refrigerators, grills and griddles, fryers, braising pans, and pizza ovens, according to a list posted by Heritage Global Partners, a company that conducts auctions for downsizing businesses.

The dismissals at Twitter occurred as commentators brought attention to social media videos of employees at prominent technology companies enjoying lavish amenities while appearing to perform minimal amounts of work. One 23-year-old product manager at Meta, for instance, recorded a “day in the life” video filled with workouts and free meals rather than staff meetings or work calendars. A similar video from an employee at Twitter featured wine on tap, foosball, a meditation room, and smoothies.

Schiffer revealed that family planning benefits would also be impacted. A report from Business Insider said that the $80,000 in lifetime costs related to fertility treatments and adoption would be reduced to $40,000.

Neither Schiffer nor Business Insider said whether the company’s abortion-related benefits would be impacted. A spokesperson for Twitter previously said in a statement for Platformer last year that all employees “should have equitable access to care” regardless of “medical conditions or geographical location.” Joining other firms in the technology sector, the social media company instituted a policy one month after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, offering employees and their dependents $5,000 of travel reimbursements if abortion is not accessible within 100 miles of their location.

Since the reversal of the landmark opinion, young workers have indicated that they are looking for an employer that “publicly supports access to abortion” and offers corresponding benefits, according to a poll from Lean In, a Left-wing nonprofit launched by former Meta executive Sheryl Sandberg. Among those in managerial positions, 43% of women and 40% of men are considering a job change, while 84% of women under 40 believe that the overturn of Roe v. Wade will “negatively impact women’s ability to advance in the workforce.”

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