Even if you’re not a Packers fan …

… you should sign this petition.

If you care about workers having a say in the workplace, if you care about retirement security, you should sign. Because those are the sticking points in the National Football League referee lockout. When NFL owners couldn’t come to terms with the referees’ union, they stopped them from doing their job. Sadly, the owners, (who make billions) want to put the workers’ retirement funds in a 401(k) style plan while the workers want to keep their pensions.

For those football fans out there, you’ve already seen problems with the non-union officials calling, or not calling, the games. Here’s one link that goes into excruciating detail about Monday night’s game.

Any sports fan can sympathize with me, agonizing Monday night when the lack of an offensive line meant quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked time and time again. Granted, the Pack did not have their best night. But they were ahead at the end and clearly would have won the game, except for the scab officiating.

The next blown call could be against your team. Don’t fumble this opportunity; sign the petition.

In solidarity, all union members should sign the petition. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has noted: “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 his/her job better than workers who have union training and a voice on the job.”

Jeff MacGregor of ESPN summarized the situation in August this way. Here’s an excerpt:

Just remember: This isn’t a strike. It’s a lockout. The owners are trying to teach the officials a lesson. For a league with revenues far north of $8 billion a year, the petty cash in dispute is laughable. Especially when you consider there are only 119 NFL officials. And that they’re employed part time. If Roger Goodell and the NFL and the NFL owners were serious about player safety and player conduct, for $50 million a year — less than 1 percent of total revenue — they could hire 200 well-trained full-time officials at $250,000 each.

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