T&F Athletes To Unionize


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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby bad hammy » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:51 am

Conor Dary wrote:Besides that, where should the IAAF be?

Considering the penurious conditions most T&F athletes work and live under, setting the HQ in the most expensive city on earth is a major "Fuck You". Pretty much anyplace else would be better.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby gh » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:08 pm

If being in Monaco makes for a better bottom line, then the IAAF is doing exactly what it should for the athletes, which is reduce its overhead.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:35 pm

bad hammy wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:Besides that, where should the IAAF be?

Considering the penurious conditions most T&F athletes work and live under, setting the HQ in the most expensive city on earth is a major "Fuck You". Pretty much anyplace else would be better.


And it is not like they just moved there. More like 25 years ago.

And these penurious conditions? Come on. For most athletes it should be a part time job. No one's career is that long anyways. I have been around long enough to remember when it was impossible to make a living in track, to a period about 30 years ago when it was relatively pretty easy, thanks to AW and the road racing scene, to now where for some it is very lucrative and for most....
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby TN1965 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:07 am

Conor Dary wrote:
tandfman wrote:
br wrote:Those are executive offices on Avenue St Michel. http://www.flotrack.org/article/13564-W ... -in-Monaco

That article is dated July 19, 2013. :!:


Besides that, where should the IAAF be? Any European capital is going to be costly. I suppose Symmonds thinks the IAAF should sell the Nazi house and move to Hoboken, NJ.


No. It's Beaverton, OR. :wink:
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby gh » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:18 pm

Just posted to the front page. Link to a story in T&FN titled "Can The New Professional Athletes Union Make Headway?"

Here's the kicker: it ran in the February 2006 edition. Here's hoping the TFAA has a more productive lifespan than did the PAA.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby GDAWG » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:19 pm

How difficult is it going to be for TFAA to get many of the European Athletes on board? I don't think it's going to have much of an affect without many of the Euros joining.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby gibson » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:06 am

gh wrote:Revenue numbers mean nothing without the corresponding expense numbers.

But I certainly won't be holding my breath waiting to see the IAAF's books!


all these guys just gotta go.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby gh » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:08 am

Getting people to join is easy. The $64,000 question is what any of the joiners (including the original membership) are willing to do to achieve their goals. They can continue to try their case in the court of public opinion, although with the Olympics no longer in the headlines, Rule 140 stories aren't likely to gain a lot of traction. And appealing to the better side of the alpha-soup boys is well.... doomed?

Do they really have any other weapon other than the big stick that unions have always relied upon, which is a withholding of services? AKA strike?

This is where we discover who has the courage of their convictions.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby Conor Dary » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:58 am

gibson wrote:
gh wrote:Revenue numbers mean nothing without the corresponding expense numbers.

But I certainly won't be holding my breath waiting to see the IAAF's books!


all these guys just gotta go.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/events ... /neb1.html


Primo is gone....too bad they don't have a picture of his gold suit.

Actually I kind of miss Primo...the years around 1996 was great for track. Zurich that year was awesome!
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby gibson » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:52 am

does anyone have a name list of the top 10 promoters in track and field?
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby gh » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:34 am

question too vague to answer

what does "top" mean?
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby tandfman » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:07 pm

For that matter, what does "promoters" mean? Are you limiting that to meet organizers/directors or are you including others who promote the sport, its events, its telecasts, its organizations, its athletes, etc.?
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby guru » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:36 pm

gh wrote:...appealing to the better side of the alpha-soup boys is well.... doomed?

Do they really have any other weapon other than the big stick that unions have always relied upon, which is a withholding of services? AKA strike?

This is where we discover who has the courage of their convictions.



I agree 100% here. Despite Khadevis Robinson's protestations that work stoppages are not what this is about, at some point they're going to have to back up their demands with action should those demands fall on deaf ears. And that's boycotting an IAAF meet like the world championships.

Must be music to Moscow's collective ears to hear the word boycott lol
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby tandfman » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:44 pm

guru wrote: Despite Khadevis Robinson's protestations that work stoppages are not what this is about, at some point they're going to have to back up their demands with action should those demands fall on deaf ears. And that's boycotting an IAAF meet like the world championships.

I would find that hard to imagine, given the prize money structure at the World Championships, which the athletes know is the richest of any track meet in the world.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby gh » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:57 pm

which is why I said "courage of convictions"; but what other option is there? It's too bad that 2013 isn't a World Indoor year. You could probably get "decent" support for a boycott of that and that would send a message in capital letters to Monaco without affecting remotely as many people as staying away from Moscow (something I think would never-ever-ever happen).
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby guru » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:58 pm

tandfman wrote:
guru wrote: Despite Khadevis Robinson's protestations that work stoppages are not what this is about, at some point they're going to have to back up their demands with action should those demands fall on deaf ears. And that's boycotting an IAAF meet like the world championships.

I would find that hard to imagine, given the prize money structure at the World Championships, which the athletes know is the richest of any track meet in the world.



They also know it's the place the IAAF will take the biggest hit, if they(the IAAF) choose to fight. Most, if not all, of the athletes that would be likely to be in the money can probably afford to miss one paycheck, especially if they more than make up for it in the end.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby gh » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:08 pm

The problem there becomes that as soon as the "first-level" athletes who decide they can live without a WC payday go on strike, the pressure on the "second-liners" becomes so intense with a major payday that they stay on board almost to a man. And while the meet might be diminished, by and large it's still a success.

Think Moscow '80 and LA '84. Huge disappointments to the trackoscenti, but to the average person.....?

They need to be thinking about "top to bottom" solidarity
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby guru » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:12 pm

gh wrote:
Think Moscow '80 and LA '84. Huge disappointments to the trackoscenti, but to the average person.....?



It's a different (media)world than 30 years ago. Just look at the NFL referee melodrama
Last edited by guru on Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby vip » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:13 pm

Unless Bolt and maybe Rudisha sit out the World Champs, hardly anyone would notice who's missing. That in itself is the problem for the athletes. There's only one "face" of the sport, OK maybe two.

Anyway, it's almost impossible to unify hundreds of athletes from several dozen countries. But good luck.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby guru » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:15 pm

vip wrote:
Anyway, it's almost impossible to unify hundreds of athletes from several dozen countries. But good luck.



Dont have to get them all. Just the ones the sponsors pay the IAAF to bring eyeballs to TV sets for(and it seems most of them are on board)
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby GDAWG » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:27 pm

guru wrote:
gh wrote:...appealing to the better side of the alpha-soup boys is well.... doomed?

Do they really have any other weapon other than the big stick that unions have always relied upon, which is a withholding of services? AKA strike?

This is where we discover who has the courage of their convictions.



I agree 100% here. Despite Khadevis Robinson's protestations that work stoppages are not what this is about, at some point they're going to have to back up their demands with action should those demands fall on deaf ears. And that's boycotting an IAAF meet like the world championships.

Must be music to Moscow's collective ears to hear the word boycott lol


If the TFAA does strike, then next year's World Championships will be more "Euro-Centric" provided that many of the European Athletes choose not to join.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby Ned Ryerson » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:34 pm

guru wrote:They also know it's the place the IAAF will take the biggest hit, if they(the IAAF) choose to fight. Most, if not all, of the athletes that would be likely to be in the money can probably afford to miss one paycheck, especially if they more than make up for it in the end.


What's "one paycheck" mean to you? These shoe companies aren't paying theae major stars to not compete at the year's biggest and most visible track meet. It would be a massive financial hit ( self-inflected if they have a spot to go).

Bolt's the only one with any name power that could garner attention by sitting out, and it's not as if the UK has changed its tax laws so that he might compete in their major meets. And he'll be gone after a few more seasons anyway and his legacy is already firmly established. Then what? There is no solidarity here as there is in the team sports. Being a member of the players union is a requirement for competing in the US big four and there's good reason to stick together in those leagues, as you're negotiating with alligned team owners paying salaries. It's a totally different world in track. You can be the best track athlete in the world and technically earn no money from it at all. There is no guaranteed money for being the best and certainly not for being one who is just around for a few seasons.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby j-a-m » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:22 am

Now this thread is on page four, and I still don't get all the talk about unionizing and boycotting. How is that even supposed to work, being independant contractors and not employees? Does the TFAA website say anywhere that it would even be within their mandate? And what exactly would be the goal?
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby mump boy » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:03 am

I've yet to understand what anyone is going on strike over !!

What are the demands ? i've not heard one realistic thing that this union will be campaigning on :?
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby gh » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:55 am

Their main goal is pretty simple and has been well stated on multiple occasions. They want the opportunity to do more self-marketing, free of the oppressive rules of the various federations. It's not an unreasonable goal.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby j-a-m » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:36 am

gh wrote:Their main goal is pretty simple and has been well stated on multiple occasions. They want the opportunity to do more self-marketing, free of the oppressive rules of the various federations. It's not an unreasonable goal.

That's a completely reasonable goal and I agree with it. What I don't get is how that relates to potential unionization/strikes.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby polevaultpower » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:09 am

j-a-m wrote:
gh wrote:Their main goal is pretty simple and has been well stated on multiple occasions. They want the opportunity to do more self-marketing, free of the oppressive rules of the various federations. It's not an unreasonable goal.

That's a completely reasonable goal and I agree with it. What I don't get is how that relates to potential unionization/strikes.


The athletes have said nothing about strikes, that's all speculation by the public. Unionization is a way of showing solidarity of athletes. The athletes have formal representation within USATF and the USOC, so the more unified they are, the more likely they are to get votes in their favor.

As best I can tell, the biggest issues athletes are having are:

Domestically: USATF's inconsistent and arbitrary enforcement of random logo rules at USATF Championships. What shoes they can/can't wear on the medal stand.

Internationally: Rule 40 and its crippling affect on athletes' ability to capitalize on their accomplishment of making an Olympic team.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:54 am

polevaultpower wrote:

Domestically: USATF's inconsistent and arbitrary enforcement of random logo rules at USATF Championships. What shoes they can/can't wear on the medal stand.

Internationally: Rule 40 and its crippling affect on athletes' ability to capitalize on their accomplishment of making an Olympic team.


The first might be doable. On the second, I wouldn't hold my breath.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:56 am

gh wrote:Their main goal is pretty simple and has been well stated on multiple occasions. They want the opportunity to do more self-marketing, free of the oppressive rules of the various federations. It's not an unreasonable goal.


With the IAAF that might be doable. But with the IOC? Right....

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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby mump boy » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:03 pm

If there's a sponsorship free for all, you can say good bye to any big time sponsors. In any sport or walk of life there are restrictions imposed by those that can pay for them. Letting athletes wear any sponsor they like is totally unworkable.

The idea that it is to allow poverty stricken athletes to get local sponsorship may have some merit (but using spurious stats about the % who make 15k or whatever it was is unhelpful) but i will always believe that this demand is driven by massive sports companies being able to run spoiler campaigns against their rivals at major champs.

Or do you really believe that everyone is going to go down the Phillis Smith route for a few joints of meat

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olym ... 38732.html
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby guru » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:40 pm

Excellent editorial regarding the path forward

http://www.writingaboutrunning.com/2012 ... field.html
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby mump boy » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:08 pm

guru wrote:Excellent editorial regarding the path forward

http://www.writingaboutrunning.com/2012 ... field.html


If No2 is something they want to strike about i'll join them on the picket line
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby Ned Ryerson » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:10 pm

guru wrote:Excellent editorial regarding the path forward

http://www.writingaboutrunning.com/2012 ... field.html


I'm a top-class international track and field athlete. How is union membership a necessity to me?
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby guru » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:18 pm

Ned Ryerson wrote:
guru wrote:Excellent editorial regarding the path forward

http://www.writingaboutrunning.com/2012 ... field.html


I'm a top-class international track and field athlete. How is union membership a necessity to me?



Sometimes it's bigger than just you - something the headliners - to their credit - are realizing.

http://tracking.si.com/2012/09/21/repor ... orm-union/

Sanya Richards-Ross wrote:A lot of athletes in our sport are severely underpaid, hold two or three jobs just to train and stay in the sport, and what pushed me over the edge to get on board and mobilize was just seeing how much money was generated from the Olympic Games.

"I do relatively well with great sponsors, but for the majority of my peers, that's not the reality and it's disheartening
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby Ned Ryerson » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:33 pm

That doesn't tell me how it's necessary for me to be part of this in order to compete as I have been. It's very clear that, in order to have a career in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL, I need to be a union member. How is that going to be the case here?
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby guru » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:47 pm

Ned Ryerson wrote:That doesn't tell me how it's necessary for me to be part of this in order to compete as I have been. It's very clear that, in order to have a career in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL, I need to be a union member. How is that going to be the case here?



A question all professional sports unions faced at their inception - why do we need a union to play this sport, and why do I need to be a member.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby Ned Ryerson » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:56 pm

guru wrote:
Ned Ryerson wrote:That doesn't tell me how it's necessary for me to be part of this in order to compete as I have been. It's very clear that, in order to have a career in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL, I need to be a union member. How is that going to be the case here?



A question all professional sports unions faced at their inception - why do we need a union to play this sport, and why do I need to be a member.


Because there's collective bargaining in determining the parameters of salaries, revenue sharing and benefits. That's not the case here. How do I need to be a union member to compete in the Diamond League, World Championships or Olympic Games?
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby 26mi235 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:32 pm

It might increase the ability to alter rules to be more beneficial to the athletes.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby guru » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:55 pm

26mi235 wrote:It might increase the ability to alter rules to be more beneficial to the athletes.


Exactly. It may not be a collective bargaining advantage in this particular situation, but a group certainly can turn screws better than an individual.
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Re: T&F Athletes To Unionize

Postby polevaultpower » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:15 pm

Develop the Track Club system in an organized manner


The big shoe companies are largely to blame for this. They want exclusive sponsorships of their athletes, and, with a few exception (Oregon TC), are unwilling to allow their athletes to add a club logo to their uniforms.

I don't have a problem with exclusive sponsorships per se, but the big players have also managed to twist the IAAF/USATF/USOCs arms to make logo rules that make it almost impossible for clubs to have a presence at the top level.
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