Why The NFL Lockout Matters
In football as everywhere else, we all lose when wealthy executives put profits ahead of quality workers.
Connect: Anyone who's been watching football lately can tell you that a bad or missed call by a poorly trained referee can ruin the game.
Illustrate: In the NFL lockout, we saw what happens when wealthy league owners try to drop in temporary refs instead of giving the real refs their due: bad calls and bad games for fans.
Explain: The regular NFL refs who had been locked out are experienced refs who team up together in unions to get a fair shake and protect the quality of their work.
Expose: When the wealthy owners locked out the regular refs to avoid negotiating fairly on their benefits and retirement, quality suffered -- harming everyone from the players to the fans and the game itself.
Validate: There's no one else who knows why good calls matter more than the football players, so it’s no wonder they sided with the real refs and called out the NFL owners, too.
ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
MITT ROMNEY: "I'd certainly like to see some experienced referees come back."
PAUL RYAN: "Give me a break. It is time to get the real refs."
GOV. SCOTT WALKER: "The #Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs"
- Given these Republican politicians' support for anti-worker proposals and attempts to take away rights from working families, they have some nerve trying to pass themselves off as friends of the unionized refs. Romney even said he's "good friends" with the other guys -- the wealthy owners.
- But even they couldn't ignore what happened in the NFL lockout: wealthy league owners sidelining well-trained referees instead of negotiating for a fair contract: bad calls by temp refs, bad games for fans, and bad injury risks for players.
- It's just unfortunate that these politicians don't see why unions are so important to middle class Americans everywhere, not just NFL refs -- like our teachers, nurses, and firefighters.
MITT ROMNEY: "Teachers unions should be banned from making political contributions."
- Let's first be clear about who we're talking about: Corporations look out for their CEOs and wealthy investors. Unions are made up of regular working people looking out for all working people -- and here's it's the teachers who look out for our kids, too.
- So Romney thinks teachers shouldn't be allowed to make small dollar donations so their voices get heard -- but he has no problems with billionaires and corporations spending millions buying off elections, so they can get billions of dollars back and stick taxpayers with the bill?
- In fact, corporations outspend unions by more than 10 to 1. And when it comes to "soft money" -- the type of indirect campaign spending that can evade all sorts of limits -- corporations have poured in almost 20 times more than labor over the last decade.
- It's bad enough that corporations have loopholes that let them hide their spending on our elections, while unions have to disclose everything. When corporations with millions to burn can spend unlimited amounts buying off politicians, working families don't stand a chance.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- In the NFL lockout situation, the wealthy league owners were trying to dig in their heels on 1% of their $9 billion annual profits while negotiating a contract with the experienced referees' union. But instead of continuing to negotiate, they "locked out" the well-trained referees from the games and brought in poorly trained temporary refs -- leading to bad calls and angry fans.
- The NFL players -- who are also unionized -- called on the league owners to bring back the official refs, citing the "poor calls, missed calls and bad game management" by the temp refs and the resulting risks that "jeopardize player health and safety and the integrity of the game."
- More than 80% of Americans think people should have the right to join together to form unions so they can negotiate with employers on things like safer workplaces, fair pay, and decent benefits.
- Unions also raise pay and working standards for everyone -- strengthening our economy along the way.
- In fact, the strength of unions and America's middle class rise and fall together -- when union membership rates decline, our middle class gets smaller, weaker, and poorer. (Click here to see what this means for middle-class families in each state.)
- Corporations outspend unions by more than 10 to 1. And when it comes to "soft money" -- the type of indirect campaign spending that can avoid all sorts of limits -- corporations have poured in almost 20 times more than labor over the last decade.
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Posted in - Labor - Economy