For the third consecutive Labor Day, American Rights at Work organized the #unionmember Tweet-a-Thon – connecting actors, athletes, writers, entertainers, rank-and-file union members, and workers’ rights supporters nationwide to share the value of unions and what it means to be a #unionmember through Twitter. We were proud to once again partner with Actors’ Equity, MLB Players Association, NFL Players Association, SAG-AFTRA, and the Writers Guild of America, East, to take over Labor Day on Twitter.
It’s been quite a year for workers. From Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., on the football field and the factory floor, we’ve seen unprecedented attacks on workers’ rights from Big Business and corporate-backed politicians. But we’ve also seen the resurgence of a movement to ensure fairness for all Americans and the beginnings of a great political awakening for the 99 percent.
The long-awaited end of the NFL lockout wasn’t just good news for sports fans or fantasy football fanatics. The resolution of the owners’ lockout was welcome news for thousands of stadium employees and a powerful reminder of the benefits of workers standing together for respect and a voice on the job. Read more »
Yesterday ESPN columnist Rick Reilly published one of the most inaccurate attacks on unions that we’ve seen this year, which, if you follow workers’ rights, you know is saying something. Reilly clumsily sets forth the following argument: Golfers don’t have guaranteed income, which Reilly assumes means their pay is tied to sporting performance, which he likes. Professional golfers also don’t have a union, so in Reilly’s view this means that players unions in other sports are bad. In this case, Reilly’s claims about the PGA are erroneous, and his attack on players unions is flawed. Read more »
At the start of this year, we let you know that a lockout of NFL players would hurt more than just the athletes. We underscored that it would also threaten the jobs and livelihoods of countless workers and business owners who rely on the industry to support their families. Read more »
Earlier this week, we described how entertainers and sports stars – most union members themselves – have taken to Twitter, the blogosphere, and other mediums to express solidarity with workers in Wisconsin and states across the country who are fighting to protect their basic rights.
While it’s great to see the outpouring of celebrity support, the sheer volume of messages can make tracking difficult. So we’ve assembled a roundup of their tweets, posts, and statements to make their messages easier for workers’ rights supporters to access.
Less than a week after the Super Bowl, the NFLPA and American Rights at Work met Thursday morning to discuss the economic impact of a lockout on the local economies around the country. Joining them were Ravens cornerback Chris Carr, former player Brian Mitchell, John Marler of UNITE HERE Local 24 and The Nation Sports Editor David Zirin.
“Despite every NFL team being profitable, record television revenues and a Super Bowl that now ranks as the highest rated show on television, owners are demanding the players take pay cuts and work longer, said Kimberly Freeman Brown, Executive Director of American Rights at Work.
Yesterday, American Rights at Work Executive Director Kimberly Freeman Brown and George Atallah, the NFL Players Association’ Assistant Executive Director for External Affairs, held a briefing call to discuss the implications of a lockout for all workers. Kim and George were joined on the call by a diverse group of non-labor organizations, coalitions, and think tanks, including: Center for American Progress , National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, Jobs with Justice, Military Saves, National Consumers League, Center for Economic and Policy Research, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
George began the call by reminding the participants that while labeled an “association,” the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is in fact a union. It was formed in 1956 with the rallying cry “clean socks and jocks,” in response to team owners refusing to provide clean uniforms. Ever since, the NFLPA has been fighting for many of the same workplace protections as workers in other industries—including health care, pensions, and safety on the job. And with the threat of a lockout looming, the NFLPA is standing with the hundreds of thousands of everyday workers – from the grounds crew in the stadium to the bell hops in the hotels – who would lose their jobs without a football season. Read more »
Today the NFL Players Association is taking to Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness about the owners’ threat to lockout the players and cancel the next season of football. Billed as #LetUsPlay Day, the event’s signature phrase reflects the players’ bargaining position – they’re just asking to continue under the terms of the previous contract, nothing more. It’s the owners who, despite major profits, want the players to take an 18 percent pay cut while playing more games each season.
Despite efforts by some to paint these negotiations as a dispute between millionaires and billionaires, the reality is that an NFL lockout will affect over 100 thousand everyday workers in cities across the country. Read more »