Last week the Teamsters Union announced that they were linking up with the Culinary Union in Nevada and pushing towards somehow, someway making life better for fighters. Here are some excerpts from their press release:
Today, two of the largest unions in the “fight capital” of the world launched an initiative to organize MMA fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), the largest promoter of professional MMA events.
“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, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 986, one of the largest Teamsters locals in the country with 17,000 members in Southern California and Nevada.
“UFC fighters can set a new agenda for their sport and make it better by working with regulators, sponsors, investors, and other stakeholders,” added Griswold. “As our efforts did for workers in other industries, fighters united for change can make a huge difference.”
“All workers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer of UNITE HERE’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226, the largest union in Las Vegas with 55,000 members. “Housekeepers, kitchen workers, and tens of thousands of other workers in Las Vegas have stood up together to fight for an opportunity to provide for their families. There is no reason UFC fighters cannot do the same.”
“Our unions can bring more tools and resources to the table, including our relationships with other professional athletes’ unions,” added Arguello-Kline. “Mixed martial arts play a big part in the success of the Las Vegas tourism industry, and UFC fighters deserve to share in that success, too.”
It sounds, at least on paper, like something noble and just, right? Well, one thing you have to remember is how much CRAP the Culinary Union has hurled against the UFC – and especially MMA fighters in general – in their efforts to keep the sport from being sanctioned in New York. From statements from contrived organizations decrying the sport and its athletes as anti-women, to backroom meetings with politicians to fill their ears with nonsense about all the deaths MMA has caused, the Culinary Union has proven to be no friend to those in the sport.
And yet here they are, teaming up with the Teamsters for the “good” of the fighters…
Said the UFC to MMAWeekly on the matter:
“The modern era of the UFC has seen incredible gains in athlete safety and compensation along with the mainstream success of a once marginalized sport. We are proud of this amazing record and consider it extremely duplicitous that the same labor union that has spent years demeaning UFC athletes, denouncing the sport of mixed martial arts, and doing everything possible to keep MMA out of New York, is now claiming to care about the interests of athletes in the UFC,” read the statement to MMAWeekly.com.
“Indeed, 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. This is nothing more than the newest brazen tactic in a failing effort to organize culinary workers at a Las Vegas casino. It is shameful that local union leaders would try to use UFC athletes as pawns to advance this hidden agenda.
“We are proud of our relationship with all athletes who have entered into contracts with the UFC, and we are proud to produce a product that is enjoyed by millions of fans around the world.”
Whether you like the UFC for what it’s done (good and bad) or you don’t, you can’t possibly fall for the lame politics played by its enemies.
Seriously. Don’t fall for it. Please.