Not everyone has the option that Joe Ricketts chose, but unionistas would probably do well to tread more carefully. Ricketts owned the news websites DNAinfo and Gothamist, and when writers and editors in the New York offices unionized, Ricketts shut down the web sites, putting 115 newsroom workers across the country out of work.
If an owner completely closes a business - not just a portion of the business, and doesn’t reopen a similar business - he/she has the legal right to do so for just about any reason whatsoever.
When the journalists had first tried to organize in the spring, Ricketts had warned them in a letter, “As long as it’s my money that’s paying for everything, I intend to be the one making the decisions about the direction of the business.” Apparently they didn’t take him at his word.
In a larger corporate setting, the consequences can be devastating even if the company doesn’t close. Dave Sussman shares this tale of what happened when one small group within a national chain hotel decided to unionize. In the end, he was forced to take his business elsewhere.