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Axed HMV staff hijack their master's voice on Twitter

By Adam Sherwin

HMV faced a mutiny yesterday as disgruntled staff took over the struggling retailer's Twitter account to express their anger at being fired.

Workers at the entertainment store "live blogged" their own sacking on the social media site as the administrators who took over the business confirmed news of 190 job losses. HMV quickly moved to delete the offending remarks from the @hmvtweets account, which broadcast news of a "mass execution of loyal employees" to 61,500 followers, but not before they had been widely redistributed.

The rebellion began with the message: "We're tweeting live from HR where we're all being fired! Exciting!!" Another tweet, apparently from an iPhone, reported "60 of us being fired at once". A subsequent posting read: "Just overheard our Marketing Director (he's staying, folks) ask 'How do I shut down Twitter?'"

The insurrection lasted for 20 minutes before the company removed the tweets. Shortly afterwards Deloitte, appointed to run HMV after the firm's collapse into administration, confirmed that about 190 jobs had been cut across the company's head office and distribution network.

The cuts were concentrated mostly in HMV's office on Eastcastle Street, London, where 78 jobs have gone. Others were lost at Canning Town, Marlow and two sites in Birmingham. But no redundancies have been made at the company's shops and all the outlets continue to trade. The administrators have been in talks with the restructuring specialist Hilco about taking over the business. Hilco bought HMV's debt, a move that could pave the way for it to take over.

Nick Edwards, joint administrator, said: "Following [our] review, a number of redundancies at the head office and distribution centres have been made. Although such decisions are always difficult, they are a necessary step â?¦ to enhance the prospects of securing [HMV's] future as a going concern."

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