Steelworkers union attempts to organize USFL players

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The USFL is trying to get its feet off the ground. A national union is trying to guarantee collective protections for its players.

Via Daniel Kaplan of  TheAthletic.com, the United Steelers union has filed a petition to represent all USFL players. Roughly 360 players currently are employed by the Fox-owned league. The steelworkers union was brought in by the United Football Players Association, a union formed in 2020 after XFL 2.0 imploded due to the pandemic.

“We needed some backing when it comes to labor, labor law, and things like that, and being able to unionize,” said UFPA c0-founder Kenneth Farrow said. “So the steelworkers have done some great work in the field of football, you know, with the NCAA and some of the things that they’ve been able to accomplish in the past.”

One of the goals would be to negotiate better terms for USFL players, who currently have little or no leverage.

“We’re not trying to come in and shut anything down,” Farrow said. “But we believe that if these leagues are going to continue moving forward, year after year, we need to have a collective voice.”

The USFL has until May 10 to post the petition in the workplace. Although no employer wants a union, the USFL is saying all the right things.

“The USFL welcomes and respects the right of our players to organize with any union they elect to represent them,” the league said in a statement. “We understand that the federal agency responsible for addressing these issues is currently dealing with potential representation of our players. We intend on fully cooperating with the agency to resolve any questions that exist concerning representation.”

Privately, the USFL and Fox surely feel differently. At a time when the USFL hopes to make enough money to thrive, having a union representing the players won’t make it any cheaper or easier.

That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen. The players deserve proper representation. For many, the desire to play football will get them to agree to any terms — even if they aren’t fair to the players.

12 responses to “Steelworkers union attempts to organize USFL players

  1. If you’re trying to shut the league down before it even gets off its feet, this is how you do it. Successful businesses with years and years of revenue and profitability, which then leads to larger employer bases, have unions, not start ups. Start ups have costs, and having union costs factor into those costs is basically signing a death warrant. This is an idiot and panic move by the players union bc guys want to play for the XFL instead.

  2. It will be years before anything like that could actually have a chance. Just leave things along and see how things play out. Right now they have a chance, but with stupid ideas like this. Then it will fold just like before.

  3. If they do this, it will shut the league down. Pathetic. Goodbye USFL.

  4. They need to chill. I respect the USFL but it is a step below Power 5 football so let this guys play some ball and see where we are at in five years.

  5. They should be more worried of surviving more than a year or two first.

  6. its what is and will be the kiss of death for ALL sports soon enough

  7. Might want to work on getting fans in the stands and an actual working business model.

  8. That’s like a startup trying to IPO before their seed round

  9. Does anyone under 50 understand what the phrase “Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs” means?

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