The deadline for Northwestern football players to cast their votes on whether or not to form a union has now officially expired. The deadline for votes to be submitted was at noon, central time. Of course, the results of the vote may not be known for some time depending on the status of a formal appeal filed by Northwestern University to the National Labor Relations Board.
The NLRB previously awarded Northwestern football players the right to hold a vote to form a union. A simple majority from the votes that were submitted by eligible scholarship football players is needed in order for the union to begin forming. It is not known exactly how many players chose to vote, but the outcome will be determined by whatever votes were submitted during the two separate voting periods on Friday. Players were given two windows to cast votes Friday morning, allowing more availability for conflicting schedules.
The results of the voting will not be revealed until after the NLRB listens to the appeal from the university and makes a ruling. If the NLRB decides to uphold the initial ruling, the outcome of the vote will determine the next step in the process. A simple majority in favor of a union will lead to the next step in the process, which involves coming up with a list of demands to bring to a bargaining table with the university, the employer. A majority vote against the union, which appears to have become a realistic possibility, would bring the Northwestern union movement to a close, while still leaving the door open for potential unions at other private colleges and universities.
When the NLRB ruling on the appeal will be made is uncertain, so for now the voting process hangs in limbo.