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AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler: NLRB Ruling Affirms Freedom to Join a Union for Dartmouth Men’s Basketball Team

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AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler released the following statement on the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) ruling recognizing the Dartmouth men’s basketball team as employees:

Yesterday’s NLRB decision affirming the right of Dartmouth men’s basketball team to join a union is game-changing. College athletes put their heart and soul into excelling for their schools, working long, grueling hours and risking bodily injury each and every day. These athletes, like so many other young workers, are standing together to improve their lives. The labor movement stands in firm solidarity with student worker-athletes seeking a voice on the job. 

The Dartmouth players’ desire to form a union mirrors what we’re seeing from young people throughout the country, in every industry. Nearly 9 in 10 young people under 30 approve of unions because they know “it’s better in a union.”

We applaud the worker-athletes at Dartmouth for doing the hard work to organize, and we support them in having a union election soon in the wake of this important ruling. We demand Dartmouth respect athletes by avoiding the type of corporate anti-union tactics that workers too often must endure to form their union, and instead leave the players to freely choose how to vote—without opposition or intimidation. When the players cast their votes, we hope Dartmouth will recognize their union and get to the bargaining table as soon as possible to work with these athletes on a contract that delivers the fairness, protections and security they deserve. 

Contact: Steve Smith, 202-637-5018

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