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Harry Katz and JC Tretter appearing in an eCornell keynote.

Tretter ’13, Katz Discuss Union Leadership

What’s it like to run a union that represents roughly 2,500 workers spread across the country and whose circumstances run the gamut in terms of pay and years of service?

In “Leading off the Field,” an eCornell Keynote, JC Tretter ’13, president of the National Football League Players Association, answers that question, as well as others regarding health and safety mandates, the NFL’s players’ conduct policy and the collective power of athletes’ voices from the collegiate to professional ranks.

Tretter and Harry Katz, ILR’s Jack Sheinkman Professor of Collective Bargaining and director of the school’s Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, discussed union leadership during a volatile labor-management period across the nation.

Focused on helping players fight for better wages, benefits and working conditions, Tretter is applying many of the labor relations and negotiations skills he learned at ILR to a high-profile organization representing about 2,500 players.

“I see my job as leading the players,” Tretter said. “Now, I have a unique background as being an ILR grad. So I have a little more background on unions and how to run them and how to organize, how to create leverage and negotiate. My theme … for the next year is ‘lifting up players’ voices.’ Giving players a public platform to speak out about what they want.”

The hour-long discussion can be viewed here.

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