Tuesday, August 18, 2015

NLRB Punts on Northwestern Union

Inside Higher Ed
August 18th, 2015


The National Labor Relations Board on Monday declined to assert jurisdiction over whether football players at Northwestern University may form a union.
The NLRB's vaguely written decision ends the drive to unionize at Northwestern, but left higher education, sports and labor experts divided on whether the ruling kills all efforts to unionize college football or just slows the movement down. In its order, the NLRB stated that it was not judging the merits of the players’ argument, and that the board could later return to the issue.
"The board went to great lengths to make sure the decision is very much limited in this instance to Northwestern and to college football players," said Dan Johns, a lawyer who leads Ballard Spahr's Higher Education Group and who specializes in labor organizing efforts at colleges. "But the board's underlying reasoning here makes it difficult to see another team having success."

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