US women's national soccer team win equal work conditions with men's team

Settlement means USWNT can now proceed with appeal over equal pay

 USA women’s national team were seeking the same conditions as the US men’s team in areas such as travel, hotel accommodation, the right to play on grass rather than artificial turf, and staffing. Photograph:  Mikoaj Barbanell/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

USA women’s national team were seeking the same conditions as the US men’s team in areas such as travel, hotel accommodation, the right to play on grass rather than artificial turf, and staffing. Photograph: Mikoaj Barbanell/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

 

The US women’s national soccer team have reached an agreement with the US Soccer Federation over equal work conditions with their male counterparts.

The players were seeking the same conditions as the US men’s team in areas such as travel, hotel accommodation, the right to play on grass rather than artificial turf, and staffing. Tuesday’s settlement also means the USWNT can now proceed with their appeal over equal pay after a judge surprisingly threw out their case in May.

“We are pleased that the USWNT players have fought for – and achieved – long overdue equal working conditions,” said Molly Levinson, a spokesperson for the players, on Tuesday. “We now intend to file our appeal to the court’s decision which does not account for the central fact in this case that women players have been paid at lesser rates than men who do the same job.

“We remain as committed as ever to our work to achieve the equal pay that we legally deserve. Our focus is on the future and ensuring we leave the game a better place for the next generation of women who will play for this team and this country.”

Commitment

US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone, who won 158 caps for the USWNT, said the settlement was crucial in moving the sport forward.

“This is an important and welcomed moment for US Soccer and the women’s national team players,” she said in a statement. “Earlier this year, I stepped into the role as president, and shortly after we hired Will Wilson as our new CEO. We, and the rest of the leadership team at US Soccer, are focused on taking a new approach at the federation in handling all matters.

“I believe our approach helped us reach this agreement and demonstrates the commitment of US Soccer’s new leadership to find a new way forward with the USWNT. This settlement is good news for everyone and I believe will serve as a springboard for continued progress.”

She added that the settlement could help players from outside the US. “Just as important, we want to work with the USWNT on growing women’s soccer here in the United States and across the globe,” she said.

“Part of this is encouraging Fifa to invest equally in the men’s and women’s game, including increasing the World Cup prize money. I will lend my voice and efforts to making this happen not only for the USWNT, but for all women’s national team players and everyone who believes in the women’s game throughout the world.”

In the appeal over equal pay, USWNT players are seeking millions of dollars they say are owed to them after alleging years of “institutionalised gender discrimination” by US Soccer. – Guardian

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