Swindled WeWorkers Ask for Dignity

As the drunken mist clears in the wake of Adam Neumann’s long con that was WeWork, employees are calling for a modicum of sanity. In preparation for thousands of layoffs, which the company has reportedly delayed because it can’t afford severance, the non-unionized group who call themselves the WeWorkers Coalition submitted an open letter requesting…

Swindled WeWorkers Ask for Dignity

As the drunken mist clears in the wake of Adam Neumann’s long con that was WeWork, employees are calling for a modicum of sanity. In preparation for thousands of layoffs, which the company has reportedly delayed because it can’t afford severance, the non-unionized group who call themselves the WeWorkers Coalition submitted an open letter requesting fair separation terms, continued health insurance, and “a seat at the table” for continuing employees. They’ve also asked for compensation for lost equity after the company’s valuation dropped from $47 billion to $8 billion. Neumann, of course, understood it was time to cash out more than $700 million ahead of the IPO.In asking for fair terms from We Company, the employees point out that Neumann’s annual “consulting fee” of $46 million, paid by SoftBank, amounts to more than the salaries of almost all C.E.O.s of public companies in the United States last year. One employee told the New York Times about how Neumann charmed the staff with empty workplace-isms, which began to wear off at last year’s “summer camp” retreat when Neumann slept in an extravagant tent while lower-paid workers were relegated to small tents in the rain.They also note that building maintenance workers make just above minimum wage and that cleaners face uncertainty as they’ll be now forced to sign contracts with a third-party company.The layoffs have reportedly already started at the WeWork-owned app company Meetup and WeWork’s soon-to-be-shuttered Manhattan private school. According to Recode’s reporting, a Meetup employee shared the terms of their severance package, which included three months of paid leave and one month of severance. The contract also reportedly includes a non-compete clause (whatever that means for a ~flexible~ real estate-coworking-tech-educational-investment company) and an agreement not to sue the company for workplace disputes.Now that Neumann’s once-amusing ego trip (plans of eternal life and becoming Israel’s prime minister and/or President of the World, delusions that WeWork would “solve the problem of children without parents”) that single-handedly led to the company’s drastic overvaluation is no longer so funny–and the revelations of unchecked gender and pregnancy discrimination paint a much darker picture–the remaining thousands will have to negotiate over the scraps. So much for ending world hunger. Gizmodo has reached out to the WeWorkers Coalition and We Company and will update the post if we hear back. Read the full letter below. To the We Company Management Team:WeWork’s company values encourage us to be “ent
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