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Grindr Employees to Unionize Amid the Rise in Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation, Tech Layoffs

Grindr Employees to Unionize Amid the Rise in Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation, Tech Layoffs

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Workers also are cautious after Grindr's new CEO was found to have supported anti-LGBTQ+ politicians in the past.


Employees at the gay hookup app Grindr announced Thursday that they had launched a union. They also did so in part, they say, due to the company's CEO George Arison's prior backing of anti-LGBTQ+ politicians.

In a press release through the labor union Communications Workers of America, the employees said that a supermajority of workers at the company had announced the creation of Grindr United with CWA.

Approximately 100 eligible members of the union signed representation cards at Grindr. Grindr United members come from departments across the company including cloud engineering, customer experience, design, engineering, IT, marketing, privacy, product, and quality assurance.

Workers said they are unionizing to protect current benefits that would be maintained through a collective contract. Employees will also push for gift matching, a professional development budget, and cost-of-living pay increases that match annual inflation, according to the release. They also want clear severance protocols in case of layoffs.

They add that a union would not only protect the workers but would enable partnerships with local governments to protect queer Grindr users as well.

“I've been a proud member of the Grindr team for almost two years, and honored to enjoy the incredible vibrant queer culture we've built together,” said Erick Cortez, knowledge specialist and member of Grindr United. “Through our union we will preserve and expand the things we love about Grindr, like trans-inclusive health care and remote work options. Additionally, we seek clear protections against layoffs in the midst of an evolving industry. Lastly, we want to foster a workplace where everyone can speak up without fear of retaliation and find opportunities for career growth. Together, we're committed to creating a stronger, more inclusive Grindr for workers and users,”

The Grindr workers point to the hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been proposed in state legislatures across the country as something that creates a need for protection as well as the need for a collective pushback against these pieces of legislation.

In the announcement, the Grindr employees also point toward the company’s new CEO, George Arison, who took the helm in October. He's voiced support for Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who has backed various anti-LGBTQ+ policies, including restricting gender-affirming care for transgender youth, and has not supported marriage equality.

“This urgent need is further underscored by revelations surrounding the new CEO’s previous support of anti-LGBTQIA+ politicians on Twitter and via political donations,” the workers said, linking to past tweets and public data about his political donations.

The union hoped Grindr would voluntarily recognize the union, but the workers believe they will still establish the union through a National Labor Relations Board election. The second option seems to be the prime choice for the company, according to a spokesperson with Grindr.

“The overwhelming majority of Grindr workers are coming together to use their power to make a positive influence in our workplace and in our world. By having a key voice in business decision making we can ensure that Grindr is investing in trust and safety features and partnering with global and local groups to protect the queer community,” said Quinn McGee, trust and safety product manager at Grindr and member of Grindr United. “We want to make sure that our voices are being heard at the highest levels of the organization so we can work to ensure all members of the LGBTQIA+ community can experience safety and joy whether at work, on the apps, or in the real world.”

The spokesperson for the company told The Advocate in an email, "We respect our employees' rights and point of view, and we will continue to work together to make Grindr a great place to work for all."

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