Steelworkers (USW) is voicing its “strong support” for the effort by
Northwestern University football players to secure union representation with
the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA).
President Leo Gerard and USW National Political Director Tim Waters joined
Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter and CAPA President Ramogi Huma at a
press conference on Tuesday to announce that the group had petitioned the
National Labor Relations Board for representation by CAPA. “An overwhelming
majority of Northwestern players have signed cards supporting the effort,”
the statement said.
“Too many athletes
who generate huge sums of money for their universities still struggle to pay
for basic necessities, and too many live in fear of losing their
scholarships due to injury or accident,” Gerard said. “These students
deserve some assurance that when they devote weeks, months, and years of
their lives to an academic institution, that they will not be left out to
dry, without the same basic protections that we all expect from the
institutions we serve.”
CAPA is a new union
established by Huma, Colter, and former University of Massachusetts
basketball player Luke Bonner, with the goal of achieving “greater legal
protection for students’ scholarships and to improve the conditions under
which all student-athletes live and play.”
The USW is covering
CAPA’s legal expenses.
movement requires effective leadership, and college athletes across the
nation are fortunate to have Kain, Ramogi and Luke as leaders,” Gerard said.
“Our commitment to college athletes in their pursuit of basic protections
will not cease.”
The USW is the
largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range
of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil
refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments and