AFL-CIO Steps Into NFL Negotiations

By Nicole Allan

AFL-CIO leaders have sent a letter to all NFL owners discouraging a "hard-line strategy in collective bargaining negotiations with the players." The AFL-CIO frames escalating negotiations between owners and players, including rumors of a lockout, as threats to the "working women and men at numerous companies that rely upon professional football games for their economic health."

The union federation estimates that a lockout would "cost America thousands of jobs and cause over $140 million in lost revenue per American city" and singles out health care sticking points as well as the owners' reluctance to make profit and loss numbers public.

The letter, signed by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka as well as the federation's executive vice president and secretary treasurer, focuses on the jobs that would be lost by stadium employees and hotel and restaurant workers. It is relevant, however, that the NFL players' union, the NFLPA, is a member of the AFL-CIO.

Michael O'Brien at The Hill points out that NBA and MLB players are guaranteed more money in contracts than NFL players, who are looking to up this figure. Owners are expected to push for more money in revenues as well as a longer season and shorter pre-season.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/09/afl-cio-steps-into-nfl-negotiations/62890/