Labour’s role in The Big Game 58 (including the football)

While NFL fans are aware of Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers’ Super Bowl 58 loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, many may not realize the significant role union labour played in making the event spectacular.

Two unionized million-dollar quarterbacks played in Super Bowl 58 thanks to 31 separate unions and their members in one of the highest-grossing venues in North America working to make the event possible.

The two QBs in question, though competitors, are members of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) which joined America’s national house of labour – the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) – in 2019. (The AFL-CIO is equivalent to Canada’s Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) of which GSU is a member.) In fact, players on the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Francisco 49ers and most NFL teams are typically members of the NFLPA, allowing them to have representation in negotiations regarding their contracts, working conditions, and other matters concerning their careers in the NFL.

Super Bowl 58 took place in the midst of an organizing drive on Allegiant Stadium grounds. Last week, the NFLPA teamed up with a few other unions to assist the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in an organizing drive to get the almost 1500 non-union workers of Allegiant Stadium signed up.

From the referees, security personnel, hospitality workers, logistics and transportation staff to the camera operators responsible for recording Usher and the OT winning play, union workers contributed to ensuring the success of Super Bowl 58. Let’s continue to support fair labour practices and acknowledge the teamwork of the union members who make such events possible.


The leather used for every single NFL football, including those used in Sunday’s Super Bowl, is crafted by skilled members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1546.