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SpaceX fired nine employees after they wrote an open letter raising concerns in regards to the online behaviour of CEO Elon Musk, in response to a report.
The workers claim they faced retaliation after circulating the letter in June, urging SpaceX to take motion over the billionaire’s “harmful Twitter behaviour”, The Latest York Times reported.
It was initially reported that five employees were let go by the rocket company following the letter, but now that number has been increased to nine, staff and their lawyers told the newspaper.
Charges alleging unfair labour practices were reportedly filed with the National Labor Relations Board by eight of the nine employees on Wednesday.
The group alleges that it was illegal for the California-based company to fireside the employees over the letter, says the newspaper.
The letter was circulated earlier this 12 months after Mr Musk tweeted a joke a couple of May report that SpaceX had settled a sexual harassment claim made against him.
“Elon’s behavior in the general public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks,” the staff wrote within the letter, which the newspaper obtained in June.
It went on to demand that the corporate “separate itself from Elon’s personal brand” and for Space X to make clear that his online behavior “doesn’t reflect our work, our mission, or our values.”
Two SpaceX employees told the newspaper that the day after the sackings the corporate held a gathering for 20 SpaceX engineers, where vice-president Jon Edwards confirmed the staff had been fired for criticising Mr Musk.
“SpaceX is Elon and Elon is SpaceX,” Mr Edwards reportedly told the meeting.
Meanwhile, Twitter has fired “dozens” of employees over critical comments they made about latest owner Mr Musk on the corporate’s internal Slack channel, in response to ABC News.
“We regret to tell you that your employment is terminated effective immediately,” read an email from Twitter HR to some employees earlier this week.
“Your recent behaviour has violated company policy.”
The Independent has requested comment from SpaceX.