Titans/Chiefs Football and Unions

Working families in Nashville and Kansas City have a question to settle this weekend.  We will see who plays the best football. Pat Dujakovich, President of the Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO, and I are throwing down with a little friendly wager that will go to the winner's favorite charity.  The battle on the gridiron question will ultimately be decided on Sunday afternoon. 

There are lots of discussions going on this week about whether the ground game of the Tennessee Titans can lead to an upset victory of the favored Kansas City Chiefs.  We know that the Chiefs lead the series 29-24-0. Do the Titans have another Music City Miracle to pull out of their bag of tricks in their 3rd week on the road? In this high stakes game that has both cities preparing for an exciting weekend of trash talking, football championships and block parties among other things, there is a subject that has not come up. What are the workers winning and what can be done to make things better for them after the AFC championship game is concluded?

Preparations are underway for Titans viewing party, Nashville style.  Nowhere do they have block parties like they do in Music City. They close downtown streets with all the best honky tonks, put up huge screens, bring in food trucks and beer stands...it is sensory overload for football fans and even if you aren’t, it is one hell of a party.

Meanwhile, this week a new report by Metro Nashville Social Services says that Nashville is breaking national records.  The city ranks ninth in the country for students living in poverty in comparison to other districts. Further, the report states that half the city’s workforce makes less than $35,000 a year.  The report shows that working class families are starting to leave.

In Kansas City, the Chiefs fever is running high as a local news source says.  “Local businesses are benefiting from the chiefs playoff success”.  

Workers in Kansas City got a shot in the arm when the clock struck midnight to ring in the New Year.  Minimum wage workers in the state got an 85 cent raise as the lowest hourly rate went from $8.60 to $9.45.  In 2018, MO workers were able to rally and defeat Right to Work measure on the ballot by a two to one margin.  Workers are winning in the more important contest in MO.

As the leaders of the respective Labor Councils in this weeks AFC matchup, we have raised the stakes and will be tuned in this Sunday cheering for our respective teams on the gridiron... but we both believe that Unions can improve the lives of the working families that support the game and the communities in which they live.