Game On For Northwestern Players: Tanja Babich of ABC News 7 reports that football players at Northwestern University will have their chance to argue their case in front of a National Labor Relations Board hearing officer this morning. The hearing, set to take place in Chicago, is the first step in what in all likelihood will be a long and drawn out process to determine whether the football players are employees in the eyes of the National Labor Relations Act. If so, the players can ostensibly form a labor union.
Not surprisingly, both the University and the NCAA have publicly expressed the position that the players are student/athletes, not employees. As we at the blog have previously explained, the legal battlefield over this issue is uncertain and could last for years. Regardless, we will keep you posted as to the hearing officer’s decision.
VW Election Voting Begins Today: Brent Snavely of the Detroit Free Press writes that employees at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, TN plant will begin voting today on whether to unionize with the United Auto Workers (UAW). Unlike most union elections, the UAW has worked in close cooperation with VW on organizing at the plant. This is primarily due to VW’s desire to implement a "workers’ council," which would only be lawful if there was first a union on-site.
Voting will take place today through Friday under the supervision of a National Labor Relations Board official. We will post the voting results once they are in and certified.
MLS Refs Still Seeking CBA: Steven Goff of the Washington Post writes representatives of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) referee union have been regularly meeting with officials who oversee refereeing in an attempt to secure the first ever collective bargaining agreement for the referees. Progress has been slow, with the two sides meeting at least 20 times since the summer and the parties still reportedly far apart "on the economics." We will let you know of any new developments in negotiations.