Government to review Northwestern bid to unionize

Austin Carr

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Labor Relations Board has granted Northwestern University’s request that it review its ruling that football players at the university are essentially employees of the school with full collective bargaining rights.

It said a previously scheduled vote by Northwestern football players on whether to unionize could go forward Friday but ballots would be impounded for now.

The Chicago office of the National Labor Relations Board ruled on March 26 that Northwestern scholarship football players are essentially employees of the school — and thus have the right to form a union and exercise full collective bargaining rights. Northwestern is appealing the potentially far-reaching decision, insisting that its scholarship athletes are students first and don’t have collective bargaining rights.

The full five-member federal board is now weighing the appeal request.

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