Labor unions in this country are struggling. Union membership as a percentage of the overall workforce remains flat and the prospects for growth of their ranks remain bleak. Unions are sorely in need of new untapped markets from which to fatten their treasuries.
So, the recent announcement that the United Steelworkers are seeking to unionize Northwestern University football players shouldn’t come as a surprise. There are 66,000 Division I football players in Division I of the NCAA. That’s a great new market for organized labor to tap for new dues revenue. It’s an opportunity that has unions licking their chops.
NCAA basketball players may be another target of union organizing, but they are a much smaller target. There are approximately 900 NCAA basketball teams, each with only 12-13 players, so unions would be chasing only about 10,000 potential dues payers. But, given their stagnant membership it’s more than likely that union organizers will be moving from the gridiron to the hardwood shortly (if they haven’t already).