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Musk sued even as a handful of employees organize to slander him

Musk hate: In the past twenty-four hours, the rising effort to damage SpaceX and Elon Musk by many in our generally petty and envious elitist culture reached new levels, as illustrated by two different stories.

First, it appears a small group of anonymous “woke” employees at SpaceX organized a campaign to publish a letter condemning Elon Musk.

An open letter to company executives was posted in an internal SpaceX Microsoft Teams channel with more than 2,600 employees, the Verge reported on Thursday (June 16). The letter asks the founder of SpaceX and Tesla to change his ways. “Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks,” the letter states.

…”As our CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX — every tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the company,” the letter adds. “It is critical to make clear to our teams and to our potential talent pool that his messaging does not reflect our work, our mission or our values.”

Unlike most corporations today — that routinely kow-tow to such attacks — SpaceX’s management pushed back hard, with the company’s CEO, Gwynne Shotwell, immediately issuing a strong company-wide email condemning the letter and announcing that an investigation has identified several people involved and has fired them. From her email:

You may have received an unsolicited request from a small group of SpaceX employees for your signature on an “open letter” yesterday and your participation in a related survey. Based on diverse employee feedback, this has upset many. That is, the letter, solicitations and general process made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign onto something that did not reflect their views. Employees also complained that it interfered with their ability to focus on and do their work. … We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism — our current leadership team is more dedicated to ensuring we have a great and ever-improving work environment than any I have seen in my 35-year career.

We solicit and expect our employees to report all concerns to their leadership, senior management, HR, or Legal. But blanketing thousands of people across the company with repeated unsolicited emails and asking them to sign letters and fill out unsponsored surveys during the work day is not acceptable, goes against our documented handbook policy, and does not show the strong judgement needed to work in this very challenging space transportation sector. We performed an investigation and have terminated a number of employees involved.

Without question Shotwell’s response was the proper one. It is absolutely none of the business of the employees of SpaceX what Elon Musk does on Twitter. Nor is it their place to publicly critique his behavior. Their job is to do the work they were hired to do, and if Musk’s behavior bothers them that much they should leave the company. It now appears Shotwell has helped these trouble-makers do so.

In the second story Musk has been sued in the New York courts by one man for $258 billion for engaging “in a crypto pyramid scheme by way of dogecoin cryptocurrency.”

Johnson, a US citizen, wants $86 billion in damages, plus tripled damages of $172 billion for losses incurred from trading dogecoin since 2019. He is seeking to represent a class of people who have lost money investing in dogecoin.

The lawsuit also demands that Musk, Tesla and SpaceX cease promoting dogecoin.

This suit, which appears in many ways to be frivolous (though not to be ignored), is wonderfully ironic. Johnson’s suit accuses Musk of manipulating the price of dogecoin by his public actions. Yet, Johnson’s own court suit did exactly that, causing the value of dogecoin to quickly rise almost 5%. One wonders how much Johnson himself has invested in dogecoin, and what his real motives for filing this lawsuit.

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  • pzatchok

    All digital currency is a pyramid scheme. The courts know this and the market shows this.

    As for the employees. I hope they didn’t sign a contract. I bet a small part of it talks about disparaging the company or its officers.
    Hourly employees don’t even get that much protection they are starting a union or ‘whistle blowing’ so they have no legal protections.

  • I read between the lines and see the phrase “mean Tweets”. I also smell the odor of “stakeholder” entitlement that the Left has encouraged.

    The response is yet another reason to respect Musk and his companies.

    Snowflakes, don’t let the door hit you on the way out .., good luck on finding a company that can meet your standard of “woke” and still stay in business.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Imaginary translation of Shotwell letter:

    Dear (formerly) Valued Employee,

    If you take issue with the way Mr. Musk runs his life’s work of helping humanity to inhabit another planet, feel free to establish this as your own goal, with your own resources. Mr. Musk and I have taken steps to ensure that you will be free of nagging SpaceX duties in order to accomplish this for yourself, and we will be taking notes on your progress.

    Best of Luck,

  • sippin_bourbon

    Smells of Lawfare.

    He has this lawsuit, as well as another for supposedly “pump and dump” on Dogecoin.

    Interesting that they come out now.

    My cynical take: This is an attempt to lock up his money in legal fights, so he cannot afford to buy Twitter.
    Why do I think this? Twitter has been key in influencing younger voters. It is also been instrumental in the culture war.
    TikTok is also, but so many tickety-tocks get amplified by posting them on twitter for a much wider audience.

    This is about maintaining that bullhorn, and keeping that influence. If Musk buys this major platform and opens it up to the free speech as he describes, that control and influence is in jeopardy right before a election.

    I think the purchase cannot really be stopped. But if they can stall it till past NOV, they can limit the electoral bloodshed.

  • Steve Richter

    Which legal lines did the fired SpaceX employees crossed which enabled the company to be able to legally terminate them.?

    Sending unauthorized messages on internal company communication channels? What if the messages had been sent as email, after hours, to SpaceX email accounts?

    Would they have been protected if they phrased the messages as attempts to form a union?

  • Robert Pratt

    Steve, if any were in Texas it doesn’t matter as Texas is an at-will employment state. Most were likely in California and the best way to handle that is to continue removing the jobs from the once Golden State.

  • Jay

    In Shotwell’s email, she mentioned that the employees who were fired were not doing their job per company policy. If you are spending time talking about how bad the boss is and not doing your work, you can be fired for that.

    To answer your second question, that can be looked at as using company resources for personal use. You can be terminated for that.

    To answer your third question about forming a union, that one is complicated. You and your workers have the right to form a union under federal law, but there are a lot of rules to follow in order to organize. In how they did it, I would answer ‘no’ to the question.

  • Mitch S.

    Steve Richter,

    I found when I first glanced at this post I was given the impression the firings were due to the open letter.
    But further reading of Shotwell’s email clarified the cause:

    “blanketing thousands of people across the company with repeated unsolicited emails and asking them to sign letters and fill out unsponsored surveys during the work day is not acceptable, goes against our documented handbook policy”

    Perhaps all of Musk’s employees should be reminded that they work for the company (SpaceX, Tesla etc) and are not responsible for the actions of Musk.
    Musk is a senior officer of the company but is a human with individual thoughts and actions that have nothing to do with the company or its employees.
    Unfortunately with the Gestapo like mindset on the left side of politics I can imagine employees getting flak from leftie acquaintances such as “how could you work for that terrible man”. Should all the lefties with Federal jobs have quit once Trump became President? (might have been nice if they had…)

  • DJ

    It would seem that they have clear Policies and Procedures, plus employees handbooks that have been most certainly vetted by Attorneys. Those actions are not taken unless the ground Management stands on is solid. There are enough agencies around to “oversee” HR in corporations that one needs to walk a narrow path. I dealt with similar issues at a large company. The important things were communicate about the issue(s), communicate again, warn, warn again, continually document all steps, and then you can take appropriate action. My guess is she is on solid ground.

  • George C.

    Gwynne ,,, shot … well ,,, indeed.

  • Jeff Wright


  • BLSinSC

    TECHNICALLY, the firings WERE from the publishing of the emails, but the REASON for the firings was NOT the insubordination against MR. MUSK, the REASON was the bullying of other workers. The WOKESTERS found out who is TRULY in charge and how a REAL business operates! Twits – take notice!

  • Cotour

    Its all related:

    BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY MEANS EXACTLY THAT. (Copy and share with any American with a pulse)

    If this in fact happens in the coming midterm elections, the Democrats hold a majority in the Congress and gain seats in the Senate, then you will finally understand that we all as Americans are now held captive and there is no such thing as the Democratic process and any degree, any semblance of honesty in our election system in place in America. It is all then a fraud.

    History tells us that the party in power generally losses that political power to some degree in the midterm elections and given the insanity and clear incompetence and extreme un and anti American Leftist radical agenda that the Democrats are insisting on our country that is the Biden / Harris / Democrat Party Machine administration that historical political power trend should be proven true in the extreme.

    And if that does not happen then you will all understand that our system has been compromised and is owned not by the people of America. Someone else owns you.

    Opinion: George Soros: “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.”–~D

  • Cotour

    Related, its all related:


    The difference between the ideological concept of Libertarianism and Libertarianism applied in the real world.–~D

    Some people desperately need the word *NO* introduced into their lives. They need to be taken into custody for their and others own good, they need to be dried out and rehabilitated as best as they can be.

    “Freedom” to them means a doped up perverted express ride to death.

    And this picture below is where the Liberal, “Progressive” governments around our country fail, and they fail in a very perverted and depraved manner. This is what ideological political agenda results in.

    This is a disgrace; this is what political fiduciary failure looks like and it has gone on for much, much too long.

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