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According to a rights organization on Monday, Facebook content moderators in Kenya are challenging Facebook's holding company Meta and two contracting firms for wrongful layoffs.

The 43 petitioners claim that establishing a union caused them to lose their employment with Sama, a Kenyan company hired to censor Facebook material. Moreover, they claim that once Facebook moved contractors, they were blocked from competing for the same positions at Majorel, another outsourcing company.

Despite having no formal representation in the east African nation, Meta last month appealed a judgment that indicated it may be sued in a parallel complaint launched by a moderator over claimed unfair working conditions.

The court cases might have an impact on how Meta collaborates with content moderators throughout the world. The US corporation collaborates with tens of thousands of moderators who are responsible for screening explicit material before it is uploaded on its site.

"This is a huge layoff that is really a union-busting effort. Because your employees are "troublemakers," or have the audacity to speak out for themselves, you cannot just switch vendors and instruct hiring managers not to hire them," "said Cori Crider of Foxglove, a technology rights organization that is behind the most recent legal action.

Commentaries requested from Meta, Majorel, and Sama were not promptly replied to.

Sama, the outsourcing company that has managed the office since 2019, informed the 260 content moderators working at Facebook's moderation centre in Nairobi that they will be let off in January, according to a statement from Foxglove.

As stated in the court suit, the moderators claim that Meta told Majorel not to recruit any moderators who had worked directly for Sama.

The moderators said in their claim that "the redundancy being done is illegal since no real or legitimate justification was presented for the layoff."

"The redundancy has been explained to the moderators in a variety of perplexing and inconsistent ways that simply cannot add up."

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