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Northwestern University and the L A Clippers –

The student athletes at Northwestern University organizing a union is a great stride forward.

However let’s go to school, so to speak, on the mechanism they chose to accomplish that goal. Enter the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) – by placing the decision to advance their rights as employees/players in another entities hands, this may ultimately prove to undermine the goal they seek, which is to form a union.

The mission of the NLRB is to be fair in dealing with both workers and employers rights. History clearly shows that the NLRB can absolutely be manipulated by either party which can ultimately play out over a long period of time. Employers have at their disposal -time, money and a tight and highly trained group of anti-union lawyers and consultants in which to delay, and ultimately defeat workers /players using the NLRB to form a union. The win/loss record of workers using the NLRB to secure a union is overwhelming against them.

Whining and crying about how employers can manipulate entities such as the NLRB with the politicians they influence, and money they have is just that, whining!

Anytime a worker, employee, or in these cases, a player – places their rights in anyone else’s hands, then they cannot be surprised if the outcome does not go there way.

Now take the L A Clippers basketball team. While not wholly a labor issue, there actions clearly demonstrate what concerted activity can and will do when the employees/players stand together. They by-passed the NLRB and all the BS, and took there case of injustice in their own hands. The players made it very clear, both in word and actions that change is mandatory. Inside of a couple of news cycles – the change they want is already underway. No NLRB, no politician’s, no labor-management collaboration to undermine their rights as workers. Non-violent action! There was a time when our fore-fathers and mothers stood up against injustice and imposed there rights to fair wages, benefits and conditions. They didn’t Facebook and whine about injustice, they imposed change on the jobs and in the streets!

Will labor’s leadership learn to take decisive actions and lead, or continue failed policies and decades of decline?

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising

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