Eight SpaceX Employees Say Criticizing Elon Musk Led to Their Firing

The employees sent a letter in June decrying Musk's behavior on Twitter.

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Elon Musk gestures as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX's Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on February 10, 2022. - Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk delivered an eagerly-awaited update on SpaceX's Starship, a prototype rocket the company is developing for crewed interplanetary exploration.
Photo: Jim Watson (Getty Images)

In other bad news for Elon Musk this week, SpaceX is now facing charges of unfair labor practices after eight former employees say they were allegedly fired for speaking out against its founder and CEO. If this sounds remotely similar to what has been happening at Twitter recently, you aren’t wrong.

Anyway, Reuters reports that according to employees, they were fired for being part of a group that wrote and sent a letter to SpaceX executives this past June. The letter criticized Musk by name and urged other executives to make the aerospace company’s culture more inclusive.


The National Labor Relations Board charges alleged SpaceX fired five employees the day after the letter was sent, and four others a couple of months later. Reuters reports two of the employees filed charges on their own, and attorneys have filed charges on behalf of six others who have chosen to remain anonymous.

We first reported on the firings back in June. The letter reportedly called Musk’s tweets “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment.” SpaceX’s President and COO, Gwynne Shotwell, called the letter “overreaching activism” that didn’t reflect the actual opinions of the employees who signed it.


The employees who wrote the letter claim Musk’s conduct wasn’t in keeping with SpaceX’s policies on diversity and workplace misconduct.

This looks like part of a pattern of Musk firing employees who speak out against him. He very recently fired Eric Fronhoefer, a now former engineer at Twitter, for speaking out against him on the social media platform. However, the tweet now looks to be deleted. Maybe it was because of shame. Maybe he realized he looked like a dick (probably not).


A few days later, PCMag reported that three more employees had been fired after publicly criticizing Musk. I’m no expert on such things, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if similar NLRB filings come from Musk’s latest venture.