The U.S. Men’s National Team Players Union is joining the U.S. Women’s National Team’s fight for equal pay, hitting out at U.S. Soccer in the process.
Wednesday saw the Players Union release a statement which accused U.S. Soccer of “misconduct” and demanded that the USWNT be paid “significantly more”. 28 players from the USWNT are engaged in a class-action lawsuit against the federation alleging “institutionalized gender discrimination” toward the team.
“The Federation has been working very hard to sell a false narrative to the public and even to members of Congress,” part of the statement read. “They have been using this false narrative as a weapon against current and former members of the United States Women’s National Team.”
“With our unions working together since 1999, the goal was always to secure for the women comparable gains in pay and working conditions. For more than 20 years, the Federation has resisted any concept of equal pay or basic economic fairness for the USWNT players. Historically, the Federation also refused to include in the women’s CBA the same provisions as the men’s with respect to air travel, hotels, etc. This is systematic gender discrimination that should have never happened.”
The trial in regards to the USWNT’s Equal Pay lawsuit is slated to begin on May 5th in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The USWNT agreed to a collective bargaining agreement in April 2017 that extends through 2021. However, the USMNT’s labor contract expired at the end of 2018.
Both teams have begun their 2020 schedules with the USWNT already qualified for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Vlatko Andonovski will be seeking his first major trophy as USWNT head coach after posting a 5-0 record so far this calendar year.
The Men’s Player Union also urged fans to write to Congress and to ”tell the federation’s sponsors you will not support them until the federation starts doing the right thing and gives the women a new CBA that pays a fair share of the gate receipts and that television and sponsorship revenue to the players.”
The USMNT will take part in the Concacaf Qualifying Tournament in Mexico later this Spring, looking to qualify for its first Olympics since 2008.