Class Warfare Blog

November 3, 2017

Conservative A-hole Tanks Own Company Because Union

According to the California Today column in today’s NY Times:

“… popular news sites went dark on Thursday after its parent company DNAinfo shut down the entire Gothamist network of city-centric websites.
“The move came a week after reporters and editors at the New York newsrooms of Gothamist and DNAinfo voted to join a union.
“On Thursday, visitors to the websites were greeted by a post from Joe Ricketts, the company’s billionaire owner and founder of TD Ameritrade. He praised journalists who ‘reported 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.’“Mr. Ricketts, who started DNAinfo in 2009 and bought Gothamist last spring, had been outspoken in his dislike of unions.“As the company’s New York employees moved to unionize last spring, management warned that DNAinfo had been losing money for years. Mr. Ricketts later wrote, ‘I believe unions promote a corrosive us-against-them dynamic that destroys the esprit de corps businesses need to succeed.’”

Conservatives have poisoned their own minds about unions so much that this, er, gentlemen, couldn’t see a major opportunity right in front of himself.

If it were true that the company had been losing money for years (one has to ask why one expands a company by buying another one when one is losing money, but we understand one has to spend money to make money), but I digress, if the company has been losing money for years, open the books to your new union and ask them to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Closing the company is still an option, in fact it is a big hammer to use if conventional negotiations were to occur. (I’d rather avoid conventional negotiations and instead prefer interest-based negotiations, but one doesn’t always control how things will go.)

Possibly, if the company were losing money, the union could be a source of ideas as to how to reverse that trend. Certainly it would damper a unions lust after better wages and working conditions for its members.

Companies of European origin who set up shop in the U.S. actively encourage the formation of unions as being effective partners in the running of a profitable company. European countries include union officers on their boards of governors, often by law as well as custom. Of course, in the U.S. they run into conservative state and federal government representatives who put the kibosh on such efforts when they occur. We can’t have examples of working, cooperative unions to be able to point to now, can we?

We would like to know whether Mr. Ricketts has ever been a member of a union, or worked in a union environment, or managed a union-based company. I suspect not. I assume he got his information from other rich assholes like himself, who have no idea what they are talking about and would rather put out their eyes than see what is right in front of them.

In this case the creator of the “corrosive us-against-them dynamic” is certainly not the newly created labor union, it never had a chance to act one way or the other. Gosh, I wonder then, what the source of that “corrosive dynamic” was? Hmm.


  1. Saw this last night and had to just shake my head.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by john zande — November 3, 2017 @ 9:16 am | Reply

    • Yeah, the guy was losing money (he said) and the week after the union was formed, he wasn’t losing any more money. The union must have been mean to him.

      And I will bet you dollars to donuts that the asshole will go around and tell his rich friends how the union killed his company.

      On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 9:16 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 3 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 3, 2017 @ 9:20 am | Reply

      • It’s a pity we can’t simulate entire economies/societies, demonstrating just how fucked this world (his world) would be if it hadn’t been for unions (in part) lifting millions out of poverty, and the creation of the healthy/educated middle class.

        Liked by 3 people

        Comment by john zande — November 3, 2017 @ 9:24 am | Reply

        • It doesn’t require a sim, it only requires some reflection. As I started on my career, I had a negative impression of unions (I wonder where that came from? Possibly the press only covering cases of union corruption, etc.) but at one point I had a union officer go to bat for me and I wasn’t even a member, so I did a little reading and Jumping Jehoshaphat, boy, do we need unions to protect us from predatory employers! I had the joy of working in my last position with an enlightened employer who supported a cooperative relationship of working together. They opened their financial records of the school district to us and, of course, we had a union analyst check them over. He concluded that it was the cleanest set of books he had yet seen. When I shared this revelation with the Asst. Chancellor of finance, she was a little miffed I was surprised. She was proud of running a clean, tight, financial ship. We built trust by working together and being honest and our company was the envy of a great many others because of our “great labor relationships.”

          Conservatives in California were adamant about keeping any labor history out of the school curricula. The reason is obvious, any honest reading of the history creates sympathy for the unions. Since they opposed those teachings, we know they know and it is simple a matter of power and money.

          On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 9:24 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — November 3, 2017 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  2. It’s amazing how employers see employees as adverse subjects whose input in company operations are “corrosive” They too have a long term stake in the companies success but then that might mean profit margins can’t be squeezed by management to fill their own pockets

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by lbwoodgate — November 3, 2017 @ 9:40 am | Reply

    • I think this is a result of “my way or the highway” thinking. Since they accumulated all of their power, they want to be in total control of everything that happens in their bailiwick. Lots of luck with that!


      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 3, 2017 @ 11:46 am | Reply

  3. The rich operate on a different set of rules. Never give the working class a break. And then they have THE golden rule, which is; them what has the gold makes the rules.
    Funny how he was losing money before they got a union, but not so much after the union was on board.
    I’ve been a member of a union at one time and we managed to get along with management. Of course this was back in the 1980’s. Yeah, even in the days of “saint” Ronnie, unions did work with the bosses and the company I was employed at made a profit nearly every year. The wages for us worker bees was quite good also. Happy, well paid, decently treated workers are very productive. Include the union perspective as a compliment to the management perspective and you can have a profitable company. Well, things once were that way.


    Comment by Walter Kronkat — November 3, 2017 @ 9:40 am | Reply

    • I remember even major corporations saying “Well, if we are going to have to pay you more, we want to see more productivity” and, guess what, it happened.

      All of this could be made moot with a standard business model in which the employees get 50% of the gross income of the company as remuneration. All of the overhead and profits, etc. come out of the other half. (This is basically the NFL situation and those guys are doing okay.)

      When everyone has a stake in how the company is doing, everybody works to the same ends. Of course, everybody in the same boat means that everybody needs to have input during decision making, as executives have been know to favor business practices that favor them. Maybe they should have a fix cut of the companies income, too.

      On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 9:40 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 3, 2017 @ 11:51 am | Reply

  4. I like you comment but you are sounding dangerous now. What you propose, sharing in the income of the company sounds close to socialism sir. Dangerous thing to say in ‘Merikkka today. I’m kidding you with that.
    Actually it is a form of socialism as I understand, or don’t, what socialism is. Marx is supposed to have said something along that line. Workers taking charge of the production/profits. Of course my brain may not be working so greta today.


    Comment by Walter Kronkat — November 3, 2017 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

    • Your brain is not working right. Socialism is where the means of production (the companies) are owned by the state (a stand in for “the people”). I am saying that a set amount of the companies income go to the various groups/needs. I worked in such a place. If the company did better we all got raises (proportionately so). If the companies income went down, after some belt tightening everyone’s income went down. We didn’t own the company, we just had a stake in its success.

      And since you have proven that your brain cannot always work right, I offer you membership in my club (I am the President), The Club for People Who Get Things Wrong. Obviously this is attractive to scientists, like me, because we get things wrong a lot and then we try to get them right, but is not open to the religious because, well, they never get anything wrong.


      On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 4:06 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 4, 2017 @ 9:13 am | Reply

  5. Thank you for your most generous offer. I accept, with honor.


    Comment by Walter Kronkat — November 4, 2017 @ 9:48 am | Reply

  6. Well, I used to be sort of good at vices. I had a really nice one that I made during my apprenticeship on my milling machine. The shop had three very good bench vices, all different sizes. Small, medium, and larger. Oh, them other vices? Well, at my age staying up and awake past midnight is about the only one I’m any good at now days. Unless using my old Marine language too often may be counted as a vice by the prudes, but I don’t bother with them much, they are too easy of a target.
    I suppose it pays zero and I probably even have to supply my own lunch and drinks. Well, OK, yeah, you convinced me, I’ll do it for…….for…..for the people? Um, er, nah, sounds too lame. I’ll do it for the honor and glory, plus I can make my very own cool VP badge, IF I ever et creative enough. Not to worry, I’ll be long turned to ashes before that day arrives.
    Yeah, I DO talk too much. Hey, that could be a half assed vice.


    Comment by Walter Kronkat — November 5, 2017 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

    • Since you have so many vices, I can’t suggest you get a grip, now can I?

      And this whole Internet thing was designed for people like you and me, people who talk too much, so we can jaw at one another and not bother the other folks.


      On Sun, Nov 5, 2017 at 8:24 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 6, 2017 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

  7. Oh, you do know what the very first thing the VP says every day when he/she wakes up? Is the president alive!


    Comment by Walter Kronkat — November 5, 2017 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

    • A few said “is he still alive” … the ambitious ones, you know.

      On Sun, Nov 5, 2017 at 8:24 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 6, 2017 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

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