Gothamist unionizes, Trumpist billionaire owner throws a tantrum and shuts it down

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Blatanly illegal action to shut everything down due to them unionizing. Unfortunately for the employees that is enforced by the National Labor Relations Board which is being stuffed full of Trumpian human detritus.


Wait, why was there a vote for unionization? Isn’t membership of a union a private choice?

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This greatly upsets me. I’ve been a reader of Gothamast since its very early days and it was the most in-touch, relatable and fun-to-read NYC news provider. I was also an avid Gawker reader, so I’m feeling a major void in my NY-media centric snarky news. At least BoingBoing’s still going.

I wish some people from Gothamist would get together with some people from Gawker and make Gawkthamist.


You mean, as opposed to one guy owning it all, having the final say in everything, and being able to fire employees at will?

Yeah. . . sure . . . unions cause the “us-against-them” problem.

“It’s about teamwork people, do you want to be on MY team or not!?


Obvious disclaimer first: I’m not an expert in labour relations in New York state, but a Union vote like this is usually to force the employer to recognise the Union and negotiate with them. The workers here have already joined up, the vote just formalises the process of recognition.


Ah, OK. Thanks. That makes sense.


If he was motivated by the profit motive, he already has his punishment: a company that has locked its doors cannot be profitable.

But he surely knows this, and is therefore exposing that something other than the profit motive was driving him.

Greed is relatively harmless as a motive. What’s really poisonous is when someone’s self-esteem depends on their ability to bully ever-increasing numbers of others. When that’s combined with good enough sales ability that the person actually achieves power, it lays waste to empires.


What are the chances we’ll see a new style Gotham-city site appear in the not too distant future?

There is no “I” in “team.”

But there is an “m” and an “e” in “team.”
There’s also “m,” “e”, “a” "and “t” which one may go and beat.
And if we take the liberty of duplicating one letter there’s “e,” “a,” “t,” “m” and “e.”

“You’re just not a team player.”


No offense to @winkybber, as he’s not at all unique in this, but it really disturbs me that people don’t really understand how labor unions function, especially with regards to their relationship with employers. They were a core institution in building the American postwar prosperity that so many republicans keep lamenting the loss of.


Sure. But that depends on how much capital they can raise to get the project on its feet.


Here is your I in team.
(Hint, it is hidden inside the A-hole, as shown.)


Remember, there is no “i” in “Team America” .

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I read DCist from a pretty early time, and commented for years. That site, and I think some of the other ists started as a volunteer effort, and later became paid gigs. A ton of local reporters here for other outlets cut their teeth on that site, and I imagine it’s similar in other cities. Hell, even the editor of Atlas Obscura was one of the early DCist editors.

This is insane.


My career has been in heavily unionised mining industry. Whilst it’s true that employers get the unions they “deserve”, and we generally had a good relationship throughout the business there were aspects such as “closed books”, compulsory membership and preferential employment for employees relatives that were offensive to me. Freedom of association was a concept that has emerged (practically) during my career. That a “son of a miner” would gain a position at the front of the employment queue was , to my mind, indefensible.


Whether it’s the owner of a British schoolbus company or the billionaire owner of a media outlet, the “I’m taking my ball and going home!” ragequit seems to be the next big management trend. In short order the simple-minded “government should be run like a private business” will be promoting it as well.


You’re from Australia, right? Here in the states it’s been “right to work” laws, primarily deployed across the south. It makes the hard work unions did building up middle class wealth from the 50s to the 1970s essentially meaningless in more recent years. It’s contributed to the stagnation of wages and the shift from pensions to less secure 401k programs tied to the stock market. That’s been a disaster and many baby boomers can’t retire, meaning that jobs that would normally be freed up now aren’t. In there states, we have bounced back with regards to job numbers, but far too many of the available jobs aren’t of the same quality, in terms of pay and compensation packages. More people are scraping by instead of being able to build up at least some wealth for themselves and their families. And I’d argue that there is a direct connection between this state of affairs and the diminishing role of unions in American life.

As far as your criticism, that’s fair enough. but everyone benefited from unions in open shops that had unions - even people who didn’t pay dues. Closed shops meant that everyone who was benefiting from the work union members did actually paid into the system, instead of being free riders.

I also don’t want to suggest that unions are institutions free of corruption or problems. They aren’t. But neither are the more politically connected, economically powerful corporations… they just get away with it more.


Because you cannot force employees to unionize, unless the majority votes to do so.

I’ve worked for people like him in the past.

“we don’t an us against them dynamic” What he wants is absolute authority and that everyone who works for him should bow and scrape and be thankful that he deigns to keep paying them for another week. There’s no recognition at all that the workers produce the product that keeps him in business. The only thing that matters is he’s (and it’s almost always he) is the “owner”.