Nearly half of LGBTQ dating app Grindr’s workforce has quit after the company enacted a strict two-day-per-week in-office requirement — and furious staffers claim the mandate was in retaliation for their campaign to unionize.
Last month, Grindr informed employees that they had two weeks to decide whether they would relocate to a “hub” office location and work on site two days per week or terminate their employment, according to the labor group Communications Workers of America.
Through the end of August, about 80 employees — roughly 45% of Grindr’s 180-person workforce — had left the company due to the mandate, union organizers said.
Grindr offered a severance package for employees who could not or would not comply with the relocation requirement — a move that the group described as an attempt “to silence workers from speaking out about their working conditions.”
“These decisions have left Grindr dangerously understaffed and raises questions about the safety, security and stability of the app for users,” said Erick Cortez, a member of Grindr United-CWA. “It is clear Grindr wants workers to be silenced and deterred from exercising our right to organize, regardless of the expense.”
Grindr employees had announced their intent to unionize on July 20 through CWA, but the labor drive has yet to receive formal recognition.
The company announced its return-to-office mandate on Aug. 4.
The CWA has filed a formal complaint on behalf of Grindr employees with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that the company’s actions amounted to unlawful retaliation.
“It is unimaginably disappointing that dozens of our colleagues have had to leave their jobs because Grindr management did not want to sit down with workers and respect our right to organize,” Cortez added.
When reached for comment, a Grindr spokesperson said the claims have “no merit.”
“We have full confidence in our team and their ability to continue to drive the business forward and make the world and lives of our users freer, more tolerant, and more just,” the spokesperson added. “We are looking forward to returning to the office in a hybrid model in October and further improving productivity and collaboration for our entire team.”
During an appearance at a Goldman Sachs conference in San Francisco earlier this week, Grindr CEO George Arison said job losses were expected and would improve the company’s books.
“The team will be smaller than where we were before and where we want to be,” Arison said at the event, according to Bloomberg.
“So that’ll obviously impact margin in a positive way in the near term. But I also think that shows that you can have a lot of leverage in this business because you don’t need that big of a team to do the things that we need to do,” Arison added.
Grindr’s stock is up more than 9% this year.
The dating app is one of many tech firms that has experienced significant clashes between top brass and employees over return-to-office policies.
Last month, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy issued a stark warning to employees who don’t comply with its three-day-per-week office requirement.
“It’s past the time to disagree and commit,” Jassy said. “And if you can’t disagree and commit, I also understand that, but it’s probably not going to work out for you at Amazon because we are going back to the office at least three days a week, and it’s not right for all of our teammates to be in three days a week and for people to refuse to do so.”
Meanwhile, Facebook parent Meta recently enforced its own three-day requirement for many employees — and warned that deliquents could be fired.
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