Big Labor Spikes it in the End Zone

Posted by Tucker Nelson on Friday, March 28th, 2014 at 5:08 pm - Permalink

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is at it again, and this time they are coming after college football.

Yes, college football players at Northwestern University are now allowed to unionize.

It seems strange, right?

These players are still students in college, without a paying job. But that is not what the unions buddies at the NLRB are arguing.

The NLRB regional director for the Chicago area, Peter Sung Ohr, defended the decision Wednesday saying that “players” scholarships are "compensation for the athletic services they perform for the employer throughout the calendar year." The Chicago Tribune reported that an athletic scholarship at Northwestern was worth as much as $76,000 a year.

The NLRB ruling allowing the football players to unionize could have larger consequences beyond labor relations. The ruling indicated that the players are “employees of the school” and therefore would be obligated to pay taxes on their scholarships. Looks like the IRS maybe joining this game.

 Now if taxes were not enough, the problem with union dues also comes to mind. Students on academic scholarship are not given a salary. To join a union you must pay dues for the representation and collective bargaining that the union provides. That would mean that the student athletes would have to pay dues out of their own pocket to the union, even though they don’t receive a salary!

Well the University is not taking this lightly; they released a statement stating that:

While we respect the NLRB process and the regional director's opinion, we disagree with it…Northwestern believes strongly that our student-athletes are not employees, but students. Unionization and collective bargaining are not the appropriate methods to address the concerns raised by student-athletes.

The University has also filed a full appeal with the NLRB located in Washington, D.C.

Unions have been losing members for decades. They have been forced to try and find new members in the most ridiculous of places, now including college football.

What’s next peewee T-Ball?