Employee Activists Hit Brick Wall at Space X: A Giant Step Backwards for Free Speech and Employee Activism at Space X!
If their employees point out discrepancies between their stated aim and their actual actions on climate change, sexual harassment, human rights, and other issues, leading internet businesses are fending off the reputational damage that might result.
SpaceX is now in the driver’s seat. As opposed to others who have attempted to put out the fire, SpaceX has instead put itself in jeopardy and now faces the danger of losing out in the competition to attract and retain elite people.
Space X’s Staff Issues a Behavioral Warning.
The Verge reported the text of an open letter to SpaceX management that was shared on an internal Microsoft Teams channel on Wednesday, causing a stir. SpaceX personnel, according to Loren Grush, a reporter for The Verge, have more than 2,600 followers on Twitter.
Over 400 employees signed the letter before it was removed offline, Grush claimed in a follow-up story less than two days after it was posted. Many employees also used other methods to express their support for the letter without fear of being fired, according to a source cited by The Verge.
SpaceX CEO and Chief Engineer Elon Musk has a propensity of spewing vitriol and other unpleasant comments on Twitter, and the letter was sent by a number of concerned employees. In particular, they were alarmed by his casual approach to claims of sexual harassment that had arisen against him recently.
‘It is vital that we make it clear that his messaging does not reflect our work, mission, or values.’ The writers caution.
Significant concerns were also voiced by the letter’s authors regarding the company’s handling of complaints of harassment.
According to the authors of the letter, “To be clear: recent occurrences are not isolated episodes; they are representative of a wider culture that underserves many of the people who enable SpaceX’s incredible accomplishments.”
Deviating from The Competition for Great Talent
Management at SpaceX, especially the CEO, was criticized by the letter’s authors for undermining the company’s capacity to recruit and retain elite people.
Many employees continue to experience unequal enforcement of our often-repeated ‘No Asshole,’ and ‘Zero Tolerance,’ policies at SpaceX, they said. Later, they added that “the collaboration we need to make life multi-planetary is incompatible with a culture that treats employees as consumable resources.”
It is arrogant and contemptuous to refer to a significant DEI policy by an expletive, and the letter points out that the policy’s contents were never explicitly spelled out.
“Is the civilization we are cultivating now the one we hope to bring to Mars and beyond?” the authors ask in their conclusion.
Free Speech and Employee Activism Have Taken a Huge Step Backwards at Space X
Given that Musk’s interest in free expression has risen throughout his discussions to acquire Twitter, SpaceX’s response to the letter was either humorous, hypocritical, or hazardous.
Gwynne Shotwell, the CEO of SpaceX, reportedly fired at least five employees who were suspected of writing or disseminating the letter.
Shotwell went far beyond simply threatening employees with immediate dismissal as a means of limiting their ability to express themselves.
Because they were compelled to sign on to something that didn’t reflect their values, Shotwell’s employees were made to feel “uncomfortable,” “intimidated,” “bullied,” and “angry” by the letter.
According to her, “We have too much vital job to accomplish and no need for this overreaching activity.”
White supremacy is utilized as a weapon against individuals who combat bigotry in these few simple lines of Orwellian thought, reflecting a full opus.
Racism, diversity training, trans rights, and other issues that affect business diversity, equality, and inclusion initiatives all have a common thread of bruised sentiments that white supremacists use to stoke a chorus of lies.
Intolerance, Arrogance, and Violence
Shotwell’s use of familiar language is not an accident.
In his public support of Facebook board member Peter Thiel, who played a key role in the 2016 campaign of former president Donald J. Trump, Mark Zuckerberg used the same dishonest “diversity” argument.
“We take diversity very seriously. As simple as it sounds, standing up for what you believe in is not difficult. Fighting for the freedom to express one’s views is much more difficult when one is defending the rights of others to do the same.
That’s even more crucial,” stated Zuckerberg on an internal message board in October 2016 (emphasis added).
What they care about is elevated to the status of an indisputable, unquestionable truth that is more significant than any moral, ethical, legal or constitutional evaluation of what is actually being said and done.
As a direct result of the post-election eruption of emotion, entitlement, and physical violence, the almost successful insurrection of January 6, 2021 has continued to this day in attacks on Pride Month events across the country by organized groups of white supremacists, and this trend is expected to continue for some time.
Pride Month attacks have served as a training ground and a recruiting tool for individuals determined to succeed in their next insurgency.
It’s time for companies to quit censoring employee activists and start paying attention to the warning flags, like SpaceX, which claims that personal feelings are entitled.
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