Apparently, college football players do. Think Progress reports that the National College Players Association has filed a petition on behalf of football players from Northwestern University to be recognized as members of a union. This effort is being support by the United Steelworkers Union.
I’ve long believed that college athletes who generate millions of dollars for their universities deserve some kind of compensation, and I have no problem with their organizing. However, it says a lot about our country when this story gets so much attention while the ongoing effort of low wage workers at Walmart and similar companies is almost ignored. Public sectors unions are under fire at the Supreme Court, again, with little or no coverage.
Until working people recognize that we are all in this together, it will be easy for the super rich and their lackeys in politics and the media to play games of divide and conquer. I hope low wage workers stand with college athletes in their struggle for union right. And I hope college athletes do the same for the people who serve them at fast food restaurants and big box retail stores. On this day that has seen the passing of the great Peter Seeger, a man who loved working people, we need to all stand together and support unions.
According to the good people at Demos, Walmart could easily give its low wage workers a raise, and, with a little sacrifice by corporate leaders, all of the company’s workers could earn a salary well above the poverty line. Where do they get the data to make this claim? From a presentation by Walmart CEO Bill Simon. Check out this infographic to see how Demos finds a happy solution that would please both Walmart workers and customers – no prices need to be raised. The rich heads of the company would still be rich, just not as rich.