Union Members Play Big Part in Super Bowl Game Plan

Written by Mike Hall, AFL-CIO

In New Orleans this Super Bowl week, there are plenty of fans sporting 49ers’ red and gold caps and jerseys and Ravens’ purple and black gear. But there are also thousands of union members—including many from unions in the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO (GNO)—who proudly display their union label and are making the game possible and the fan experience in the Crescent City run smoothly.

Starting on the gridiron, the players who are battling for the NFL championship are members of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). They share a bond with the men in the striped shirts—members of the NFL Referees Association. During the past two years, both have been locked out by NFL owners.

The announcers, camera operators, technicians and other hardworking folks who are bringing the game to the big flat-screen TV in your home or favorite watering hole are members of SAG-AFTRA, Broadcast Employees and Technicians-CWA (NABET-CWA), Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Laborers (LIUNA) .

The half-time spectacular isn’t a “Hey, kids let’s put on a show” kind of deal. The down-to-the-second, choreographed, on-the-field, off-the-field, 12-minute extravaganza is made possible by the skills of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the talents of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) and other performing artists.

For the fans who head for the concessions, their hot dogs are served and beer drawn by men and women from Teamsters (IBT) Local 270. They also staff the New Orleans Saints team store.

Don’t forget that much of the repair and renovation work on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome that was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina was performed by skilled workers from the unions of the Southeast Louisiana and Louisiana State Building and Construction Trades councils.

Many of the firefighters, emergency medical personnel and other vital New Orleans city workers, who are ensuring a safe and efficient Super Bowl week, are members of the Fire Fighters (IAFF) and AFSCME. While Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) members operate many of the buses and trolleys that are shuttling fans around town.

Anyone who’s staying at the Loews New Orleans Hotel is enjoying the services provided by UNITE HERE members. Of course, the fans who flew in for the big game got there safely, thanks to aviation workers from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Air Line Pilots (ALPA), Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), Transport Workers (TWU) and Machinists (IAM).

Enjoy the game.

This post was originally published by the AFL-CIO.


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Barbar Aamsel
Past Member 4 years ago

Awesome blog! Now In anticipation of a follow-up ….

Katii L.
Katii L5 years ago

Oh, Charles P, I'm sorry I didn't get back to your request sooner, but I was just now able to get into C2 to find it. Here ya go...

California’s “Prevailing Wage” – Floor Vacuuming at $45.93/Hour: http://unionwatch.org/californias-prevailing-wage-floor-vacuuming-at-45-93hour/ There are plenty of other sources if you don't like that one. But, had you - and the rest of you union defenders here - not been so lazy you'd have easily found the "proof" yourself. And that goes for "everything" I have shared here. If you doubt anything you read, its always most prudent to vet the information YOURSELF, like I do :) That's how I know that the pro-union drivel you people post is BS.

Susan Allen
SusanAWAY A5 years ago

Katii L., you're really quite pitiful. Lies, all lies.

Don H.
Don H5 years ago

Katii L, you are an expert on baseless comments.

Katii L.
Katii L5 years ago

One more thing, Doh... Unions have contributed greatly to the cost of living for EVERYONE (most of whom don't belong to a labor union, and are not depending on their fellow Americans to support their own kind of greed, a greed they are either OK with or are ignorant about) through much higher consumer prices for "union made" - which applies to ALL of our most expensive modern day necessities, like homes, cars, energy, appliances, etc. Add to that the dollar having been devalued by 95% via printing fiat (fake) money - by the trillions. If you don't understand why flooding the market with $trillions worth of "new" money backed by nothing (but debt) is a big problem then I suggest you study comparative economics a little bit - from ALL schools of thought, not just the one that agrees with your already formed opinion that is clearly based on just a single school of thought. If you do that, I promise you will come out the other side with a completely different view.

For instance... you, like most Americans, undoubtedly applaud "minimum wage mandates" but are you aware of the unintended negatives of that mandate? I'll bet you $100 dollars you didn't know that min. wage mandates actually increases poverty and causes higher unemployment for those who need it most. Sounds crazy, right? But it's statistically true.

Katii L.
Katii L5 years ago


1. by your standards, as an "employee," ONLY your desires should be taken into consideration, and "employers" are nothing but greedy abusers - never mind you wouldn't HAVE a job without the business your employers built.

2. It's the economy on life support with fake money that causes you to say erroneous pro-union things like, "we need unions more than ever before." Again, I nvite you or anyone else to provide evidence that what I say is false instead of issuing more baseless comments and "opinion."

3. Your inference that I am a paid corporate troll at care2, here to lie to people, is laughable LOL I have been a member of this community for about 12 years now, and there are dozens of people here who can attest to who I am. I don't recall ever seeing "DOH" around tho... maybe it's yourself who is the paid union troll.

4. I don't believe in coercion, or "forcing" anyone against their will to do anything. That's what despot regime's do. It is by force and coercion that unions exist today, which I'm sure has at least something to do with why union memberships are down and still dropping.

5. As I said before your last comment, I am not anti-union (or don't you read a comment before you respond to it?). I am anti-coercion, anti-forcing others to bend to your will. HUGE difference Doh.

6. I used to be just like you, I believed the same filtered so-called news and information you still do. Like you, I didn't venture far or for ling in circles that

Don H.
Don H5 years ago

Katii L said,

"I don't hate unions, and I fully support your right to form one and join one if that's what BOTH you and the employer desire."

I have yet to see an employer "desire" a union. So, if we left it up to you there would be no unions.

We do not need employer approval to start a union. If we did there would be no unions.

Your anti union passion is just a tad overboard. It is a bit suspicious to see such anti-union passion when private sector unions only comprise 7% of the work force.

You are pumping out an awful lot of anti-union propaganda there.

Katii L.
Katii L5 years ago


How nasty can union violence get and still be legal? A labor racketeering case against one of the biggest building trade unions in New York promises to clarify just how far union violence can go without becoming illegal -- if not at the polling place, at least on the work site.

In Hamburg, New York, near Buffalo, leaders of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 17 stand accused of violent acts, threats of violence, and destruction of property. The defendants have denied the allegations, according to the Buffalo News.

According to court papers and to coverage by the Buffalo News, the charges against them include stabbing a knife into the neck of a construction company president, throwing hot coffee at non-union workers, pouring sand into gas tanks and transmissions of 17 construction vehicles, and threatening sexual assault against the wife of a company representative. The racketeering case was first filed in 2008.

According to court papers, the executive who was stabbed in the neck asked a union organizer what benefit he would get if he hired members of the union. "You guys slash my tires, stab me in the neck, try to beat me up," he protested. "What are the positives?"

"The positives," reportedly replied the organizer, "are that the negatives you are complaining about would go away."

At the ti

Katii L.
Katii L5 years ago

DOH said,

"Did your dad cross a picket line and get a punch in the eye?"

Well, no, but as you know, union thuggery and intimidation is alive and well even at this late date, that and frankly is enough reason to view unions negatively when you will get beat up or worse because you want/need and have the AUDACITY to exercise your natural right to work for whom you want at a wage you and the employer AGREE upon. That unions DO use violence to "get their way" is reason enough to hate unions.

I don't hate unions, and I fully support your right to form one and join one if that's what BOTH you and the employer desire. And, Thomas, when states no longer has to pass RIGHT TO WORK laws is when you can claim there is "no such thing" as forced unionism.

Luckily my dad wasn't FORCED to join a union (and made a fine living at about $150/day FIFTY YEARS AGO), but my mother was, so don't EVEN try to tell everyone there is no such thing as "forced unionism," Thomas P. And yes, electronic voting machines get used for voter fraud - often (or do you not keep up with news outside CNN, Thomas? It's been widely reported)

Bruno Moreira
Bruno Moreira5 years ago