With the NFL referee lockout now over, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement:
A football season which started in disaster can now get back on track. Not only towards fairness and integrity, but ensuring the highest level of safety possible for the athletes who play the game. There is a lot we can learn from the past few weeks, but one thing is sure – no one does their job better than workers who have union training and a voice on the job. But let us also not forget the workers everywhere – like those at Crystal Sugar who have been locked out for more than a year – who might not have the same national stage, but endure the same corporate greed and unfair treatment. So for NFL fans and workers everywhere fighting for a voice on the job…game on!
The lockout turned out to be a surprise public relations win for organized labor as the NFL’s replacement referees became a national laughingstock for a series of blown calls, most notably in Monday’s Seattle Seahawks/Green Bay Packers game when a bad touchdown call erroneously gave the win to Seattle.
The deal will last eight years and includes details about officials’ pensions and retirement benefits and adds a pay bump from $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013. The pay will rise to $205,000 by 2019.