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Congress to hold hearing on Northwestern union ruling

Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter lobbies to the newly formed College Athletes Association. (David Banks/Getty Images) Ex-Wildcats QB Kain Colter lobbies to the College Athletes Players Association. (David Banks/Getty Images)

The U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee will meet next week to discuss "union efforts to organize student athletes."

The hearing, called "Big Labor on College Campuses: Examining the Consequences of Unionizing Student Athletes," will take place on May 8. The National Labor Relations Board ruled in March to allow Northwestern student athletes to vote on the possibility of unionization.

The board said that any Northwestern scholarship players who had not used all of their eligibility were employees of the school.

Northwestern football players took part in the unionization vote on April 25, but the ballots were impounded pending appeal to the full board.

“The NLRB’s decision represents a radical departure from longstanding federal labor policies,” Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said. “Classifying student athletes as employees threatens to fundamentally alter college sports, as well as reduce education access and opportunity. The committee has a responsibility to thoroughly examine how the NLRB’s decision will affect students and their ability to receive a quality education.”
MANDEL: Breaking down the union movement's competitive impact
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