RUSH: Joe Ricketts is a first-rate businessman. He founded TD Ameritrade, and his family owns the Chicago Cubs. And, until recently, he was doing well in the online publishing business. Ricketts owned a couple of local New York news sites, The Gothamist and DNAinfo, with over nine million visitors a week and growing.
About a week ago, 25 employees decided they wanted to unionize. They joined the Writers Guild East. So, Ricketts would have to negotiate with unions and swallow higher operating costs.
When the union drive first began, Ricketts wrote to his employees: “As long as it’s my money that’s paying for everything, I intend to be the one making the decisions about the direction of the business.”
After the pro-union vote Joe Ricketts sent the employees another letter. He explained that businesses have to be economically successful. It was now too expensive to produce the kind of journalism he wanted to deliver. So he shut the publications down immediately.
The bottom line: The 25 people who tried to force a union on the business ended up costing 115 people their jobs.
One of the union backers, a reporter, defiantly says he has no regrets. He’s proud. He stood tall.
Standing tall is fine. You can even do it on the unemployment line. You can even eat standing tall if somebody else pays for it.