G/O Media Told Staff It Fired Editor for Activism, Union Says

Online publisher G/O Media Inc. told employees of its tech-news website Gizmodo that it fired a co-worker because of her union activism, the Writers Guild of America East alleged in a complaint filed with a U.S. regulator.

In filings Thursday with the National Labor Relations Board, the union claimed that management fired a senior editor, Alex Cranz, in retaliation for her discussion of working conditions, following “a pattern of harassment and intimidation for union activity.” Management then violated federal labor law again by telling employees that Cranz was terminated because of her activism, according to the union’s complaints.

In response to the allegations, G/O Media said the action was “in no way involved with labor activity.”

“A thorough nine-week process was conducted and did not net satisfactory results,” the company said in an emailed statement. “The claims of ‘ongoing harassment’ and ‘fabricated allegations’ are meritless. We thank Ms. Cranz for her contributions at Gizmodo, and wish her the best in future endeavors.”

G/O Media was created in 2019 when the private equity firm Great Hill Partners purchased several media brands from Univision Holdings Inc. Journalists at Gizmodo and sibling publications such as Jezebel and Kotaku have been represented by the Writers Guild since 2015, when employees at what was then called Gawker Media voted to unionize.

In an emailed statement, Cranz alleged that rather than respecting workers’ rights at the already-unionized brands it acquired, G/O management has worked to undermine them. “It fabricated problems to instill fear in me and silence me,” she wrote.

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