Former two-division Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) competitor Brandon Vera recently took to Facebook to criticize a form letter received via e-mail from his former employer discouraging fighters from joining the movement to unionize.
Accusing UFC of "politicking" and dancing around the subject, Vera said fighters would be "dumb" not to follow suit with other professional sports organizations that have unions such as NFL, NHL, and NBA.
The e-mail in question reads:
If you sign a union card:
- Teamsters Union and Culinary Workers Union 226 could use your signed union card to actually limit your bargaining power. They could assume complete control as your exclusive bargaining representative and spokesperson, completely restricting your important voice during contract negotiations. They could be in control, not you.
- Being a part of their union could force you to be completely submissive to union bosses and individuals who have not spent a day in the mixed martial arts business. Ultimately, a union could determine who you can and cannot fight, and how often you fight. They could be in control, not you.
Just in case you didn't get the underlined bold text the first time, they repeat it (see the pic here).
Vera said fighters are going to get organized and get "ready for your ass":
"If you (UFC) don't know the difference between an association and a(n) union, please regroup with your legal team. This propaganda you're spreading keeps confirming what kind of folks you are."
The current ONE Championship heavyweight also said he would testify in court how fighters are encouraged "with options" to fight injured -- not hurt, but injured. This latest accusation backs up what Cung Le recently said about being forced to fight while injured.
There is, however, a caveat to all of this. Much like Le, Vera joined a class-action lawsuit against UFC last year and isn't exactly on good terms with his former employer.
And from that perspective, it may be hard to figure out who's telling the "Truth" in all of this.