Skip to main content

Northwestern University and Michigan State University football players lined up against each other.
There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding today's union representation vote by Northwestern University football players—not just how the players will vote, but whether the National Labor Relations Board will uphold a regional decision that the players are employees eligible to unionize in the first place. One thing is certain, though, and that's the pressure Northwestern has applied to its football players to vote no:
The president emeritus publicly said that a vote for the union could mean the end of Division I sports at Northwestern. A former quarterback visited the team to encourage players to vote no. Coach Pat Fitzgerald, a former football star who is revered on campus, has framed a vote for the union as a personal betrayal. [...]

Players have heard warnings that the formation of a union would make it harder for them to land jobs after graduation; that Fitzgerald might leave; that alumni donations would dry up; that Northwestern’s planned $225 million athletic center could be scrapped.

All this pressure adds another piece of uncertainty to the mix: If the players' right to unionize is upheld but they vote no, would that result stand in an NLRB appeal?
While U.S. labor law grants companies broad discretion to campaign against unionization, compel employees to attend anti-union meetings, and make dire predictions, ex-NLRB chair Liebman told Salon the published reports suggested “there would be probably adequate grounds” for the union to file charges against Northwestern, in the event of a defeat, arguing the university had violated the bans on making threats against voting “yes,” or promising benefits for voting “no.” Northwestern’s Cubbage told Salon the university had “followed [NLRB] procedures and all of the rules.”
Not only that, but, as part of the NLRB's review of whether the football players are employees who can join unions, the College Athletes Players Association is asking the board to reconsider the Bush-era decision that prevents graduate student teaching assistants at private universities from unionizing.

And amidst all this uncertainty, 76 football players who've faced intimidation and cajoling from their coach and their university are voting.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:16 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site