The United Steelworkers (USW) have received recognition as the exclusive bargaining representative of UFL players

New League United Union

In a United Steelworkers press release on January 26, 2024, the United Football League Players Association (UFLPA) confirmed the United Steelworkers (USW) have received recognition as the exclusive bargaining representative of UFL players. Notably, for the 2024 inaugural season, the UFL will become the first spring football league to have players represented by an established labor union at the start of league operation.

The UFL will adopt the collective bargaining agreement between the United States Football League (USFL) and the USW as modified by the Memorandum of Agreement (CBA) entered into by the USFL and USW on January 3, 2024. The renegotiated contract will ensure continuity of labor relations between the league and players, as the merger officially transitions two eight-team leagues into one eight-team league for the 2024 season.

The deal includes the addition of incentive-based player bonuses, an increase in wages and roster size, a reduction in player fines, and adjustments to the league concussion protocol. The collective bargaining agreement will remain binding on the UFL and the USW for the duration of the CBA. The league shall bargain with no other union for the representation of UFL players within the bargaining unit during the life of this contract.

The UFLPA has adopted the USFL – USW CBA, which was negotiated by Richard Rouco (Union attorney), Alex Perkins (USW Staff Representative), Dartez Jacobs (Local Union President), Devin Gray (Local Union Vice President), Vad Lee (Philadelphia Stars), Jonathan Newsome (Birmingham Stallions), Boogie Roberts (Pittsburgh Maulers), Brandon Wright (Memphis Showboats), Kristjan Sokoli (Houston Gamblers), and Josh Love (Michigan Panthers).

About the UFLPA (USW Local Union 9004)

The United Football League Players’ Association (Local 9004) is the local union for professional football players in the United Football League (UFL). The players’ union serves as the exclusive collective bargaining representative alongside the United Steelworkers (USW) for 600 UFL players set to report in training camp February 23, 2024. Unionized in 2022, the Players’ Union mission is to ensure protection of player rights and establish fair working conditions regarding all terms of employment. In addition to enforcing player protection under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the UFLPA collaborates with community organizations to enhance players’ image and assist with post career endeavors.

The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in manufacturing, metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number in tech, public sector and service occupations. The USW continues to diversify with the representation of former USFL-XFL players who are now employed in the UFL.

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