Saturday, December 11, 2010

Could The NFL Lockout Unite The Labor Movement?

With the CBA between the NFL and the NFLPA set to expire after this season, the NFL is facing the very real possibility of a lockout when the free-agency period begins.  The fact that the owners unanimously agreed to opt out of the extension until 2012 makes this possibility all the more likely.  I for one believe this is very likely to take place.  The reason I believe this is that the NFL team owners have an agreement with DirecTV that pays each owner $1 Billion even if there are no games played.  

Did you catch that?

The owners make $1 Billion with no overhead or investment.  Why would they even consider negotiating with the NFLPA?  The answer is that they won't.  As is the case with most labor disputes, this is all about the money.

As bad as this situation appears for the NFLPA, their brothers and sisters(us!) in the labor movement may be able to save the day.  Imagine if, starting tomorrow, every union that has any members that do any work that affects the NFL(stadiums, concessions, supplies, etc) started putting public pressure on the NFL owners to come back to the table and bargain in good faith.  Can you picture union members picketing outside the stadiums this December and throughout the playoffs to protect the jobs of construction workers and maintenance workers who really make the NFL run every week?

The reality is that Big Labor has a huge opportunity to make some inroads in the realm of public relations, while at the same time standing up for it's members, from the athletes, to the vendors.  

Perhaps the AFL-CIO and CtW could come together and purchase a Super Bowl ad.  Now that's Solidarity!

In Solidarity,


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