Teamsters look to loan union muscle to UFC, citing lower pay for women fighters
No one needs to hold a benefit for Ronda Rousey, the charismatic face of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s women’s division who makes nearly $200,000 per fight, but the relatively meager pay of the women on the other end of her punches have the Teamsters looking to unionize the UFC.
In addition to the pay gap between Rousey and her fellow female fighters, the major union, as well as Culinary Workers Local 226 of Las Vegas, note that women in general get paid half what the UFC’s men get, and also receive a smaller piece of the endorsement pie. The labor groups say the sport’s exploding popularity make this the perfect time to strike.
“We have been surprised to learn how poorly these professional fighters are treated in [Mixed Martial Arts],” said Chris Griswold, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 986. “We want to help them improve conditions for themselves and raise standards for the sport.” SOURCE
Tell me that the writer of this story doesn’t have a flair for humor and a bit of a historic demeanor.
How did the unions get their guys in place, muscle! How did they keep their guys in a position of power, muscle! How did they expand their operations all around the nation, muscle! How did Union Bosses make fortunes and live the lavish lives they lived, muscle, corruption and organized crime.
What was the penalty for failing to adhere to the line being set by the bosses at the top of the chain? Well, maybe you need to ask Jimmy Hoffa about that.
Oh, wait … Hoffa seems to have been missing for a few decades.
Back in the late 1950’s the Teamsters were in all kinds of legal trouble and that was what brought Jimmy Hoffa into the picture.
A federal district court barred Hoffa from taking power unless he was acquitted in his wiretapping trial. The ruling was upheld by a court of appeals, but the trial ended in a hung jury on December 19, 1957, and Hoffa assumed the presidency on February 1, 1958.
The worsening corruption scandal led the AFL-CIO to eject the Teamsters. AFL-CIO President George Meany worried that corruption scandals plaguing a number of unions at the time might lead to harsh regulation of unions or even the withdrawal of federal labor law protection, began an anti-corruption drive in April 1956. SOURCE
The Teamsters might be a lot different than they were many years ago, maybe they learned that *muscle* is not the way to get the job done, but I have vivid memories of the conversations my Dad had with some of his fellow workers in the late 1950’s about joining the Teamsters and how it would make them all a lot of money.
My Dad had been a Teamster a few years prior and had taken a withdrawal when he went to work for an oilfield company in early 1954. He was not in the mood to come under the thumb of the Teamsters, or the cloud of corruption that seemed to follow the Teamsters everywhere they went.
Needless to say, I was raised in a very *non-union shop* and in MY mind I believe it would be best if the MMA fighters and UFC all stayed as far away from the Teamsters as possible.
The unions jointly created a website, Fightersagenda.org, which claims in a post called “Women Fight Cheaper” that after reviewing information dating back to November 2012 — when the women’s division was created — until January 2015, a woman fighter pulled in $37,476 per fight on average compared to $61,691 by men.
So, I have to ask; how much is it going to cost those female fighters in union dues and other assorted payoffs to reach that level of equality in pay? Do these union hacks think Ronda Rousey came out there and fought for $200K a fight right from the start?
The UFC dismissed the unions’ push in a statement, calling it their “newest brazen tactic in a failing effort to organize culinary workers at a Las Vegas casino.” It was an apparent reference to bad blood between the UFC’s primary owners, Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and Culinary Local 226, which has previously sought to unionize workers at the Station Casinos, which the couple owns.
“It is extremely duplicitous that the same labor union that has spent years demeaning UFC athletes, denouncing the sport of mixed martial arts and doing everything possible to keep MMA out of New York, is now claiming to care about the interests of athletes in the UFC,” the statement said. “We are proud of our relationship with all athletes who have entered into contracts with the UFC, and we are proud to produce a product that is enjoyed by millions of fans around the world.”
Those millions of fans might not like it if suddenly the fights they love to attend or watch on Pay Per View suddenly tripled or quadrupled in price just to cover the *competitive wages* for the undercard and the payoffs to every swinging sausage all the way to the top of the union change.
I’m not a business expert but I feel strongly that if such were to happen the most REAL contact sport in the world would be dealt a death blow, simply because of union greed.
“If they don’t get the headline fighters to join, their chances of unionizing diminishes significantly.” - Prof. Warren Zola, Boston College
And therein lies the *bottom line*. If the main card fighters don’t unionize and if they can stand the pressure, think MUSCLE, that will be brought to bear against them, then the UFC can easily retain the status quo and those that want to make the big bucks can *fight* their way to the top and make the money with the talent they have and exhibit, not for a *everyone plays and we all win* piece of crap philosophy that is so prevalent in Liberals all over America today.