March 08, 2019

US women's national team take legal action over discrimination: After their 2016 complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission went exactly nowhere, all 28 members of the USWNT put their names down to ask for equal pay for equal work. Or better work, given their results relative to the USMNT.

posted by billsaysthis to culture at 07:05 PM - 7 comments

A much needed development. Not just the pay, the conditions, with some appalling playing surfaces included.

Is there a chance of any sort of labor action in the run up to this summer's WC? I haven't seen mention of a call for a work stoppage.

If all else fails, I would ask retired French standout Louisa Necib to give members of the USSF "the look". She has a battle stare that could turn them into statuary on the spot.

posted by beaverboard at 03:28 PM on March 09

Absolutely. USSoccer is long overdue on rectifying this.

posted by bender at 08:50 PM on March 10

Since there's a lawsuit I don't think they will take labor action. I think they want this to play out in court.

Full text of the suit is here. The way they lay out that the women and men are employed to perform the same job is a perspective that hasn't really be talked about to this point. It always seems to be framed by revenue and such, which should be irrelevant in my opinion.

(It's been so long since I've been here that I forgot how this commenting thing works. I legit tried to quote tweet beaverboard.)

posted by goddam at 12:40 PM on March 11

(It's been so long since I've been here that I forgot how this commenting thing works. I legit tried to quote tweet beaverboard.)

Good to have you around as always.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:50 PM on March 11

I agree that a woman and man who do the same job should make the same amount. But I think revenue generation is part of certain jobs and certainly part of a professional athletes job. If one team generates twice the revenue OR half the revenue of another team, shouldn't their pay reflect as such.

Individually, athletes on a club team are treated this way. Lebron James generates more revenue than Jason Ball and is paid accordingly.

posted by Ricardo at 11:28 PM on March 11

For club teams in professional leagues, sure, salaries should reflect revenue. I don't expect NWSL players to make as much as MLS players at this point (though they should be making more than they currently are but that's another rant for another day.)

But even still, there's a case to be made that the WNT does bring in enough revenue to warrant equal pay.

From the document I linked: "42. The WNT's success on the field has translated into substantial revenue generation and profits for the USSF. In fact, during the period relevant to this case, the WNT earned more in profit and/or revenue than the MNT. 43. For example, for FY2016 (April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016), the USSF budgeted a combined net loss for the national teams of $429,929. But thanks largely to the success of the female players on the WNT, the USSF revised its projections COMPLAINT Case 2:19-cv-01717 Document 1 Filed 03/08/19 Page 9 of 25 Page ID #:9 upward to include a $17.7 million profit. The net profit for the WNT outstripped net profit for the MNT because the female players on the WNT were more successful in competition than the male players on the MNT " while being paid substantially less."

Also, take into consideration that the USSF usually charges less for tickets to WNT games than it does for MNT games. While as a supporter I'd rather not be paying the money grab prices for some of these games, that does put the WNT at a disadvantage when factoring in additional revenue they could be bringing in.

posted by goddam at 02:59 AM on March 12

For me, it isn't a sex issue at all. Simply revenue. I could see where the womens team, with their continued success over the years, could be bringing in more revenue. If that's the case, they should be paid more, not the same.

As for ticket prices, that should be (and probably is) dictated by attendance. Less people go to WNT games. The last 10 MNT matches have averaged 33,000 people whereas the last 10 WNT matches have averaged 10,000. I do feel the USSF should market them equally and treat them equally, which they probably don't. This is the kind of thing that should be focused on so that the revenue stream comes more in line with the MNT. It's much more compicated than simply saying they should pay them more though.

I've watched both for years and as far as I'm concerned, they deserve it, but until the revenue is there, I don't think it's possible.

posted by Ricardo at 10:23 AM on March 12

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