Pigskin to Parking, Super Bowl Carries Union Label

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By Jaclyn Diaz and Jacquie Lee

From creating the football that Tom Brady throws with his multimillion-dollar hands to mopping up spilled Bud Light after the game, thousands of union members will work behind the scenes at Sunday’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis.

Minnesota can get up to 70 inches of snow a year. But fear not: Members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 563 will be on snow-patrol come game day. About 120 LIUNA members will be present to take care of snow removal and set up scaffolding, signs, and temporary fencing, the union says.

The Teamsters will also be making an appearance in the stadium as ticket takers, suite attendants, and ushers.

More than 120 Teamsters will work at Super Bowl events across the city, the union said. Those jobs range from setting up displays and doing janitorial work at the Minneapolis Convention Center to organizing parking, food services, and event setup at the University of Minnesota. Both locations have NFL-sponsored events.

On the Field

The players who will don New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles uniforms are represented by the National Football League Players Association.

The balls they’ll try to break the plane with are put together by the 123 members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1546 at the Horween Leather Co. in Chicago.

Horween has been the sole tanner and provider of leather for every NFL game ball for more than 70 years.

Don’t Forget the Dip

People watching the game from the comfort of their homes are likely to be consuming food prepared by union workers, too.

The UFCW estimates that 139 million pounds of avocados will be consumed Sunday night. Many of those will be bought at grocery stores where 700,000 UFCW members work.

Fans at home will be tearing into an estimated 1.3 billion chicken wings this weekend. UFCW members make the Hidden Valley ranch and blue cheese dressing used for those favorite dipping sauces.

Serving chili with some dinner rolls? Some 5,000 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers bake the Bimbo Bakers U.S.A. breads and rolls, which include brands like Nature’s Harvest and Entenmann’s.

And what’s better than a cold one to wash it all down? Thousands of Teamsters and International Association of Machinists members work in the beverage industry producing, hauling, delivering, and selling soda, beer, and other drinks.

The Teamsters represent workers at Anheuser-Busch, which produces the Budweiser, Michelob, Rolling Rock, and Busch brands. The Machinists represent workers at MillerCoors, whose brands include Coors Lite, Miller Lite, and Blue Moon.

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