The Teamsters Would Like to Unionize UFC Fighters


The Teamsters—along with the Culinary Worker’s Union—are continuing their Vegas-heavy activities by stating their intention to unionize the MMA fighters of the UFC.

So says Nevada Public Radio. “We have been surprised to learn how poorly these professional fighters are treated in the UFC. We want to help them to improve conditions for themselves and raise standards for the sport,” said Chris Griswold of the Teamsters Local 986 in a statement.

For example: Via Fox News, a website created as part of the union drive points out the the pay disparity between men and women fighters. On average, between November 16, 2012 and January 3, 2015, their numbers say, average paychecks per fight were $61,691 and $37,476. respectively. Remove Rousey, and checks for women drop to $25,487. KNPR also talked to reporter Beau Dure, who offered up a recent league-wide sponsorship deal, in which fighters only wear Reebok, as a for-instance:

In the past, fighters could get their own sponsorships and advertise what they wanted, which would have been advantageous in the new era of undercards being televised.
“You had the opportunity for fighters to say, ‘well I’m the seventh fight on this card but I’ll be able to get these sponsor logos up behind me on television,’ now they can’t do that,” Dure said.
Dure explained that the way the Reebok sponsorship works undercard fighters are not paid very much.

Dure also pointed out that the Culinary Union has helped block MMA in New York thus far, making for an uneasy fit. And a spokesperson at UFC had this to say to KNPR: “UFC has spent considerable time and effort defending against the outrageous allegations by this local union about athletes who have chosen to compete in the UFC,” adding that “This is nothing more than the newest brazen tactic in a failing effort to organize culinary workers at a Las Vegas casino.”

Vegas sounds fun, right?

Contact the author at [email protected].

Image via AP.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin