Grindr had a significant reduction in its workforce, with approximately 45% of its employees quitting rather than adhere to a return-to-office policy. The LA TIMES and Bloomberg Business report that this policy was introduced in response to a majority of employees expressing their intention to unionize.
The LGBTQ dating app company based out of West Hollywood mandated that workers return to in-person work for two days a week last month at designated “hub” offices or face termination. This led to the resignation of around 80 out of 178 employees, as reported by the Communications Workers of America in a statement released on Wednesday.
Additionally, Grindr provided severance packages to staff who couldn’t relocate, a move criticized by the CWA as an attempt to stifle workers’ voices concerning their working conditions. The CWA filed a new labor complaint against the company, marking the second such complaint in approximately a month.
CEO George Arison stated that he expected staff attrition resulting from the mandate during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology conference in San Francisco. He indicated that the downsizing of the team would positively impact the company’s short-term financials, emphasizing the efficiency and leverage achieved with a smaller workforce. Arison acknowledged that staffing expenses were a significant cost factor for the company, second only to fees paid to app distribution platforms like Apple and Google.
The situation at Grindr underscores the broader tension between employers and employees as companies transition back to in-office work after adopting flexible remote work policies during the pandemic.
In August, the CWA informed the National Labor Relations Board that Grindr’s policy was a retaliatory response to the unionization efforts initiated by workers on July 20. The labor organizing campaign, which is ongoing and has not yet received official recognition from the company, enjoys substantial support among a proposed bargaining unit of approximately 100 employees, according to pro-union staff.
According to the LA TIMES these workforce challenges, Grindr recently increased its full-year revenue and profit margin outlook, citing strong demand for its new weekly subscription offering and other features. The company’s shares have risen by 17% this year.