The entire editorial staff of the digital media company Mic was unceremoniously laid off yesterday ahead of a likely sale to Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg. But before the site’s body was even cold, Goldberg said in a note to staff that he’s very excited to “relaunch” it, according to Mic’s union:
Goldberg is many things: a thirsty-ass SEO mogul, a poster of many red-hot, anti-social justice takes, and a man clearly hell-bent on gobbling up semi-vacant media properties and reanimating them in his own bastardized vision, optimized for profit. Mostly, he’s a boss. This is what bosses do. They use their employees for their own ends and then, once they’ve outlived their utility, they dump them. Digital media workers—and all workers—are expendable to people like Goldberg.
His play at Mic—axing the whole staff, who announced they voted to organize with the NewsGuild almost a year ago, only to likely start rehiring in the near future—is cravenly anti-union; it allows him to own Mic’s name and its various Facebook pages without the baggage. There’s one answer in response, as Mic’s union put so aptly: “ORGANIZE your workplaces now. Secure a voice in your newsroom, no matter the odds.”
Your boss will not save you when push comes to shove, as things did at Mic yesterday—even if he’s sobbing and appears quite distraught to cast a hundred people into an uncertain financial future. Your only recourse is to band together. Don’t wait another day.
Disclosure: Splinter is part of the Writers Guild of America East.