Employees of two liberal websites (DNAinfo and Gothamist) recently voted to unionize. They believed it was a major victory. Then they all got fired. It seems the man who owns the sites isn’t a fan of unions.
The New York Times reports:
DNAinfo and Gothamist Are Shut Down After Vote to Unionize
A week ago, reporters and editors in the combined newsroom of DNAinfo and Gothamist, two of New York City’s leading digital purveyors of local news, celebrated victory in their vote to join a union.
On Thursday, they lost their jobs, as Joe Ricketts, the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade who owned the sites, shut them down.
At 5 p.m., a post by Mr. Ricketts went up on the sites announcing the decision. He praised them for reporting “tens of thousands of stories that have informed, impacted and inspired millions of people.” But he added, “DNAinfo is, at the end of the day, a business, and businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure.”
All other articles promptly vanished from the sites; an official at DNAinfo said they would be archived online…
When the email from Mr. Ricketts landed, “it hit the newsroom like a thunderclap,” said Scott Heins, a Gothamist reporter.
The article points out that the union told the workers they wouldn’t lose their jobs. Oh well.