I haven’t been able to confirm the posted Tweet, but Greenwell has been keeping close tabs on the now former employees of Deadspin. I assume the current owners of Deadspin will be able to keep the outlet running in some fashion — not that I’ll know, I unsubscribed. However the Spinoffs have already shown some plutocratic troglodytes the downside of buying a company and bullying the employees.
By the end of the day, at least 10 writers had quit their jobs — a sign of protest and solidarity with their interim editor-in-chief, Barry Petchesky, who defied a mandate from the company’s new owners to “stick to sports.”
The collective quitting stunned other journalists on social media and surfaced the deep tension between writers at the sports-focused news site and the new owners of its parent company, G/O Media. Univision sold the unit to a private equity firm in April, which then appointed former Forbes.com CEO Jim Spanfeller as its new chief executive.
Deadspin staff and other employees at G/O Media have had a lot of complaints about Spanfeller. They’ve accused him of handing out top editorial positions to his underqualified buddies, without promoting any women or people of color who would have been next in line for some of the spots.
They’ve also complained of the new leadership’s repeated interference with their writing, which is known for its irreverent, stick-it-to-the-man take on sports, culture, and politics. (Several former Deadspin staffers did not respond to Vox’s request for comment. G/O’s editorial director recently told the New York Times that the company is simply moving in a new direction, and some employees don’t like that.)
The article highlights two more businesses that were shut down by employees who left in masse, but if it were always practical or possible for people to tell their employers to take this job and shove it this would be a completely different planet.
One of the reasons the U.S. version of capitalism keeps oozing along is that employment is closely tied to survival.
It’s why people, especially executives and their enablers who are pro-corporation and anti-human, have a love/hate relationship with government welfare programs. The programs can allow companies to off-load their responsibility to pay workers a living wage onto the government. However, if the programs function properly they also could allow living labor units to escape the workplace all together. Unthinkable! Prison labor doesn’t work for every job and the robots that will perform labor that can’t be performed by prisoners are still at the techbros wanking over a drawing board stage.
Of course, those same people also have a love/hate relationship with any sort of sustainable economy. So maybe they’re just confused as fuck. If mass walkouts grow to the point where Planet Corporate picks up the signal I expect the response will be malicious and counter-productive. And I’m sure someone somewhere — probably Reason — is working on a think piece that explains in great detail why a free market demands that people stay at their shitty jobs. Maybe the Federalist will try to revive the concept of drapetomania. Who knows, or cares? If you want a demonstration of the power of the employee, look to Deadspins’ empty newsroom.