Wednesday, August 14, 2019

You are DUMB if you threaten to fire employees who support labor unions, and even DUMBER if you tweet about it #barstool

Meet Dave Portnoy. He’s the editor of Barstool Sports, a website that I can only describe as having missed the memo entirely on #MeToo. Mr. Portnoy describes himself as: “El Presidente/3 time Bee Sting survivor. Heart attack survivor. 2019 #dipoff champion. Shot 4 under at Shinnecock. Worshipped like a 3rd world dictator.”


Portnoy also holds some strong opinions, including about labor unions.

What started as a twitter discussion of the editorial staff of The Ringer recently announcing their intent to unionize, ended with the following tweet by Portnoy.

This is not Portnoy’s first public foray into anti-union animus. After staffers at Gawker Media voted to unionize in 2015, Portnoy made it known what would happen if his employees tried the same:

BAHAHA! I hope and I pray that Barstool employees try to unionize. I can’t tell you how much I want them to unionize. Just so I can smash their little union to smithereens. Nothing would please me more than to break it into a million little pieces. Oh you think you deserve health insurance? You don’t think you should have to work with squirrels in the office? You don’t think I should duct tape Hank to the walls? Well now yis can’t leave! No more free water! No more vacation days! I’m gonna dump rats into the walls! You haven’t seen anything yet! Unionize Nate! Unionize Trent! I dare you! Trent you’ll be back working security at Walmart in a blink of an eye! KFC will be doing my accounting! No more fancy pants weddings! Hank will be an exhibit at the Museum of Science! UNIONIZE I DARE YOU!

There are lots of good ways to convince your employees not to unionize—treat them with respect, listen to and take seriously their complaints, pay them a fair and transparent wage. What can’t you do? Threaten to fire employees who talk about labor unions. It’s one of the reasons why we have the National Labor Relations Act in the first place, and a textbook unfair labor practice. But my guess is that if Dave Portnoy was a good boss—one who treated his employees with decency and respect, and paid them fairly—his employees might not be talking about unionizing in the first place.

But even if you’re not a good boss, don’t post your anti-union threats for the world to see on a public medium. That’s just plain dumb.