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Content Moderators Sue Meta for 'Union-Busting' Claims Related to Illegal Layoffs in Kenya

© AP Photo / Richard DrewIn this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square
In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2023
Founded under the name of Samasource, Sama was the largest outsourcing partner of Meta* in Africa, which provided moderating services for the Silicon Valley-based giant before the two businesses were accused of a myriad of alleged rights violations.
Facebook* content moderators in Kenya, who were laid off due to a purported illegal reduction of the workforce, are suing American multinational technology conglomerate, Meta, the parent company of the website they worked for, and two outsourcing companies, the media reported, citing Foxglove rights group supporting the case.

The 43 content moderators reportedly said they had been fired from Sama, an outsourcing firm operating in Kenya, for organizing a union.

According to the Sama ex-employees, cited in the report, they are also prohibited from applying for the same positions at Facebook's new outsourcing company Majorel, which are paid worse for similar work.

"This is a union-busting operation masquerading as a mass redundancy. You can't just switch suppliers and tell recruiters not to hire your workers because they are 'troublemakers' – that is, because they have the temerity to stand up for themselves," Cori Crider, co-director of Foxglove, said in a statement cited by the media.

Moreover, this January, 260 content moderators for Facebook in Sama were told they would be made redundant, the rights group reported.
"The redundancy being undertaken is unlawful because no genuine nor justifiable reason was given for the redundancy," the moderators said in their application to the court.
Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on Oct. 28, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.02.2023
All You Need to Know About Facebook Moderator Abuse Case as Court Rules Meta Can Be Sued in Kenya
In February, while up against two other lawsuits from content moderators, Meta appealed against a ruling by a Kenyan labor court whereby the company could be sued in Kenya. The decision of the court to sue Meta followed a former Facebook moderator filing a legal battle over poor working conditions, even though the company had no official presence in Kenya.
On May 10, Daniel Motaung filed a suit, accusing Meta and Sama of union busting, wage theft, racial discrimination, psychological torture, unequal pay for equal work, human trafficking, and other offenses.
According to Motaung's earlier statements, it had not been stated in the job description that candidates would be content moderators or suffer from the disturbing content that triggered trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
* Meta, Facebook are banned in Russia over extremist activities
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