Scab officials ruining NFL season

[Editor's Note: The following was sent around on September 25, 2012 by Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. While we are reprinting it here and hoping that our readers will comment on scabs in professional football — just as we are discussing scabs in Hollywood — we also hope that our brothers and sisters who tailgate at Soldier Field and who hold season tickets to the Bears will demand some accountability from the owners. As Brother Trumka points out, experience and expertise matter, and the FNG scab referees that the greedy NFL owners are putting in every week against the players and the union refs are just another example. Our brothers on the teams are union members (just as the Major League baseball players are). Why should union football players be forced to play injured every week? And having to play with scabs is an "injury" in the context of "An injury to one is an injury to all..." There once was a time in the history of the Chicago Teachers Union when a union officer began talking about "replacement workers" when a union delegate talked about SCABS. And, finally, one union president (Marilyn Stewart) hired a scab for an important union job, as if it no longer mattered. It's good that union workers are getting back to understanding some traditional values, but note below that Brother Trumka hasn't used the accurate word — SCAB — to describe the "replacement officials" on the field every time an NFL game is being played this year. And a former coal miner certainly knows what union men and women do with scabs.].


I'm so glad the Steelers weren't playing last night.

This football season has become a disaster because of the greed of NFL management and team owners — who brought in over $8.3 billion in revenue last year-and who would rather make a quick buck at the expense of NFL players' safety, NFL fans and the integrity of America's game.

Instead of settling a fair contract with experienced union referees, owners chose to lock out refs and replace them with untrained non-union officials. In only three weeks, we've seen these replacement refs making confusing or inconsistent calls and unable to control situations on the field, possibly putting players' safety at risk. On top of that, some of these refs have officiated games for teams they've worked for or publicly rooted for.

Sign our petition to NFL owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to demand they end the referee lockout. [The URL is: ]

Last night's Packers-Seahawks game takes the cake.

Replacement refs completely flat-footed a call that decided the fate of the game at the end. It was the final straw for me, and millions of NFL fans.

Even unionbuster Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker — who I'd never thought I'd agree with on anything — has been outspoken about bringing back the locked out referees.

What may be lost on Gov. Walker is that this lockout is not just about the NFL. It shows that training matters for a successful workplace — whether it's on the field or in the classroom. Like the regular, unionized referees, union members in workplaces everywhere are some of the most skilled workers in their profession.

Work connects us all, and we have to rely on each other to get the job done. This situation makes clear that no one does their job better than workers who have union training and a voice on the job.

Let's get this resolved before the next Steelers game: [ ]

In Solidarity,

Richard L. Trumka

President, AFL-CIO


To find out more about the AFL-CIO, please visit our website at

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter:!/aflcio

Text WORK to AFLCIO (235246) to join our text action team. (Message and data rates may apply.)


Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

4 + 2 =