Thursday, April 24, 2014

It looks like Northwestern... doing everything it can to prevent its football players from forming a union tomorrow. From "At Northwestern, a Blitz to Defeat an Effort to Unionize" in the Times:

Northwestern’s campaign has been a textbook case of how to aggressively battle a union, labor experts say. It adds up to a lot of pressure riding on the broad shoulders of the 76 football players who are eligible to vote Friday by secret ballot.

For its part, Northwestern has not been content to let the vote play out on its own. As a result, Northwestern officials, from the assistant football coaches up to the university president, have pulled out all the stops to squash the union before it is formed.

[Coach Pat] Fitzgerald has held one-on-one meetings with players, along with mandatory meetings for the scholarship football players. The coach has written letters to the players and their parents. Position coaches have also been in contact with players’ parents.

“In my heart, I know that the downside of joining a union is much bigger than the upside,” Fitzgerald wrote in the April 14 letter he emailed to his team. “You have nothing to gain by forming a union.”

“We back Coach Fitz 100 percent wholeheartedly,” wide receiver Kyle Prater said.

Sounds like the kids are going to vote no, doesn't it? 

But, really, how long before another team at another school votes yes? Because these kids are employees, right? (Isn't fifty or sixty grand a year in tuition considered compensation?) And then the floodgates will open up. 

It's only a matter of time.

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