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Commentary
Super Bowl LII will
be union-made

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, January 26, 2018

By Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou, President,
Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation

It’s been a big year for the color purple in my household. My just-turned-three child happens to be captivated by this color. Purple cereal, purple gloves, purple tape, purple crayons and imaginary purple boats. It all culminated in asking Santa for purple wrapping paper.

What a year to be a fan of purple. Like most of Minnesota and the nation, I watched as the Minnesota Vikings attempted to #BringItHome with their motivational last chance 10-second play to secure a spot in the final playoff game. My three-year-old purple fan declared the purple team the winner well before that climactic moment — several times — only adding to the silly joyful experience and roller coaster ride expected of Minnesota sports fans.

Sports are funny like that, they bring people together, whether on the field, on the court or on the ice. As we gear up to host Super Bowl LII here in Minneapolis, we have been given the great privilege and great responsibility of showing off our sportsmanship, work and collective values to the world stage. (And, hopefully, the Minnesota Vikings, still vying for a spot as this issue goes to press January 19).

As the nation turns its attention to Minneapolis for the Super Bowl and as the lights and parties brighten our city, it’s important to focus on the people who make this major event happen. It’s workers who hang the lights, clear the snow, prepare and serve the food, ensure safety, and stay late to tear down and clean up. Even the star football players are members of our affiliate, the NFL Players Association.

As the nation turns its attention to Minneapolis for the Super Bowl and as the lights and parties brighten our city, it's important to focus on the people who make this major event happen. It's workers who hang the lights, clear the snow, prepare and serve the food, ensure safety, and stay late to tear down and clean up.

Whichever teams make it to Minneapolis for the big game, they will be playing in a state-of-the-art facility built by local union labor and staffed by skilled unionized hospitality professionals. It’s taken years of work and leadership to ensure that the Super Bowl was brought to you by a unionized workforce in every sector in which we have membership.

We must ensure that the promised economic development is shared broadly and actually gets to the workers who need it most. While many of our members will he involved with making the Super Bowl happen, thousands more workers will be impacted by these events both directly and indirectly.

While these large-scale events roll out the red carpet for their corporate partners, they take advantage of the workers who are too often victims of low-road subcontractors and temporary work agencies that don’t meet our high Minnesota standards.

This presents an opportunity to shine a light on the immediate need to improve the enforcement of new and existing labor standard laws at all levels. We need to enforce the new Minneapolis minimum wage and sick time laws, during and after the Super Bowl.

When the event is over, the national buzz will die down, but workers will continue to make Minneapolis and Minnesota a stage worthy of national recognition.

Contact MRLF president Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou at 612-321-5670 or chelsie@minneapolisunions.org.

 



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