Grindr App Launches Campaign To Unionize Its Staff

On Thursday, the majority of eligible workers at the LGBTQIA+ dating app Grindr launched a union with Communications Workers of America (CWA) in response to mass tech layoffs and homophobic threats.

“As members and allies of communities that are systematically oppressed, we know that strength lies in working together, not alone,” Grindr employees wrote in a mission statement. “We’re already all in this together: we just want to DTR” -- a dating term that means “define the relationship.”

The workers of Grindr United say they are seeking to solidify their current benefits -- trans inclusive healthcare, PTO, remote work -- in a collective contract, while also seeking added benefits they feel to be common in the tech work, such as gift matching, a professional development budget, layoff protections, clear severance protocols, cost-of-living pay increases that match annual inflation, pay transparencies surrounding wage disparities among marginalized communities and more. 

“These demands aim to create a fair and inclusive work environment that values workers' contributions, protects the current vibrant LGBTQIIA+ culture within the company and upholds workers’ rights,” the statement reads. “A protected union voice on the job will help the workers ensure that Grindr is investing in trusted safety features and partnering with global and local governments to protect the queer community from which the company benefits.”

The union also addressed the rise of systemic homophobia in the U.S., with over 400 anti-LGBTQ bills having been proposed in 2023 thus far -- a record-breaking amount, according to American Civil Liberties Union data as of April 3. 

Alongside mass layoffs in the tech industry, the workers of Grindr United called out its new CEO George Arison for publicly supporting anti-LGBTQ politicians through various tweets and political donations. 

Even before Arison’s appointment as CEO, Grindr received widespread flack for being a toxic place for people of color, allowing its users to filter their searches by ethnic group.

In 2018, the app launched its “Kindr” campaign, meant to encourage a more inclusive in-app environment, and updated its community guidelines to combat discriminatory statement on user profiles before doing away with the “ethnicity filter” in 2020. 

If Grindr United is not recognized by management, they say that they are confident in their ability to establish their union’s collective bargaining rights through an National Labor Relations Board election. 

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