College Football Union Has More Obstacles to Tackle

published in The Wall Street Journal | March 27, 2014

While a recent National Labor Relations Board decision that paves the way for Northwestern University’s football players to form a collective bargaining unit was a big win for the college athletes, legal experts believe the path to unionization won’t be easy.

Charlie Plumb, a labor and employment attorney who first blogged on the topic when the players filed a petition with the NLRB in late January 2014, was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal on the government agency’s recent decision and the obstacles that lay ahead.

According to Plumb, one of the greatest challenges facing the prospective union will be to secure a stable and loyal membership out of members who, by definition, turn over heavily each year. “You’re going to have constant change in the names and faces of the bargaining unit.”

Northwestern University officials have said they will appeal the ruling. If the full NRLB agrees to hear the case, any election results would be impounded until a final ruling is issued.