I support unionization.
— ?????? ???? (@Zelina_VegaWWE) November 13, 2020
Last night Zelina Vega was released from her WWE contract, ten minutes after a social media post calling for the unionization of wrestlers. Trying to ascribe that to coincidence is at the very least far-fetched.
WWE has come to terms on the release of Zelina Vega. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.https://t.co/RUebMGwBTA
— WWE (@WWE) November 13, 2020
For decades wrestlers have been deemed, independent contractors. Basically meaning they work for themselves. And have been denied the right to bargain collectively to seek such benefits as pension plans, time off, health insurance, etc. Nobody can deny the turmoil the pandemic has caused to the economy. What we are going through is like the dustbowl except that today, Thomas Joad would have an iPhone.
WWE has lost hundreds of millions and its talent has suffered as well. Just think of the dozens of individuals who have been “future endeavored” over the last few months. Talent has taken to social media to try to supplement their incomes, while Stamford claims to own the rights to the characters that are portrayed and seeks to prevent such efforts. WWE is even going as far as to claim that talent can’t even use their real names on social media.
But hold on a second! If you listen to WWE their wrestlers are independent contractors. Taking our dictionaries out in unison, let us look up the term contradiction! Labor Law 101 follows – The cornerstone of industrial relations is the freedom of association and the corollary right to seek to do so without retribution.
Zelina Vega Released By WWE
Enter Andrew Yang. Mr. Yang is an attorney and rising star on the American political scene. He espouses what he calls “human-centered capitalism”. He has actively come out in favor of wrestlers being unionized once and for all. And ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but bowed out of the race early without burning bridges. Instead, garnering positive feedback. Yang will very likely be part of Joe Biden’s Cabinet or “inner circle”. The Biden administration will likely take Yang’s mission very seriously. Perhaps even more so knowing how complicitous the McMahons were with Donald Trump.
I haven’t forgotten about Vince McMahon. https://t.co/m2BGJMhqXv
— Andrew Yang??? (@AndrewYang) November 14, 2020
I see the Vega dismissal and the dawning of a new regime in Washington as a watershed moment. The days of the independent contractor might very well come to a very abrupt end. Vega could not only litigate successfully but also become to sports entertainment what Curt Flood was to MLB. This is a story to be watched very closely. It can very well change the working conditions of professional wrestlers in all federations and forevermore.
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