Contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592 or tmontana@upeditor
PITTSBURGH — The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that union-represented players have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new agreement with the United States Football League (USFL) covering roughly 350 professional athletes.
USW International President Thomas M. Conway said that football players, like all workers, deserve fair treatment on the job and that the new agreement empowers individuals to speak up.
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“Our union is committed to working with players to improve conditions and ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect by the league,” Conway said. “The contract provides a much-needed voice for players, whose jobs and earnings also will be more secure under the ratified agreement.”
USW International Secretary Treasurer John Shinn, who represents the union on the AFL-CIO Sports Council, said the new contract provides important improvements for players from last season.
“Through standing together in unity, players successfully bargained for enhanced economic and medical provisions, including a newly negotiated five-week injured reserve,” Shinn said. “Throughout the league, from training camp and through the season, players will receive better pay and have more security.”
Ryan Cave, an executive with the United Football Players Association, said that collectively bargaining for better treatment and working conditions is an important step toward raising standards of living in the future.
“From experience, we know that working together is the key to getting results,” Cave said. “Players throughout the USFL stood together, and we achieved a strong first contract as a direct result from that solidarity.”
The USW and the USFL announced tentative agreement on a first contract for players on December 15, 2022, about five months after their representation election in June, which was overseen by the National Labor Relations Board.
The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in manufacturing, metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number in tech, public sector and service occupations.