USMNT union blasts U.S. Soccer's handling of USWNT negotiations, doesn't want federation that 'behaves like FIFA'

·3 min read
The USMNT's union is not happy with the United States Soccer Federation. (Photo by John Walton - PA Images via Getty Images)
The USMNT's union is not happy with the United States Soccer Federation. (Photo by John Walton - PA Images via Getty Images)

The union that represents the United States men’s national team blasted the U.S. Soccer Federation for its handling of the USWNT’s collective bargaining agreement.

In a statement, the USMNT’s union called out the Federation for “misconduct,” and demanded the Federation “pay the women significantly more.” Near the end of the statement, the USMNT’s union cautions that the players “do not want a US Soccer Federation that behaves like FIFA.”

While the statement addresses a number of issues, the men’s argument revolves around the CBA they signed in 2011. That agreement lasted through 2018, and in it, the men negotiated for a 25 percent increase in pay over those eight years.

The men are using that negotiation to argue that the women deserve a significant raise when the women’s CBA expires in 2021.

What we believe should happen is simple. Pay the women significantly more than our recently expired men’s deal. In our estimation, the women were due at least triple what our expired deal was worth in player compensation. We believe the Federation should have agreed to a deal directly tied to a fair share of the revenue players generate. That is what should have happened, based on the entire history of labor negotiations involving the men and women players and the Federation.

The men believe the women deserve “at least triple” what the men’s 2011 deal was worth because the Federation’s revenue has tripled since the men signed that deal.

While the women had an opportunity to negotiate a better deal in 2017 — when their CBA expired, the men’s union explained that the women were forced to take a bad deal in 2017.

Our view is as follows. Yes, the women’s 2017-2021 deal is worse than the men’s 2011-2018 deal. Yes, the Federation continues to discriminate against the women in their wages and working conditions. We understand why the Federation’s control, not only over the USWNT but also over the only women’s professional league in the United States, the NWSL, might have created tremendous pressure on the USWNT players to get a deal done, even if it was on completely unfair and discriminatory terms. Faced with a monopolist controlling their two primary potential employers and aware that a work stoppage could destroy the third effort at a women’s professional soccer league in the United States, it is our view that the women had no reasonable alternative but to accept the 2017-2021 terms the Federation demanded.

The statement ends with the men’s union chastising the Federation for bad-faith tactics in its upcoming trial against the women’s team. The men’s union calls out the Federation as a corrupt monopoly. The union then calls on Congress and various other entities to reform the Federation.

Finally, the union advises fans to contact sponsors and pull support until the Federation gives the women a new, fairer CBA. The statement ends with, “Support the players, not the Federation.”

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