Cheerleaders of the World: Unite!
The Buffalo Bills’ cheerleaders are now card-carrying union members.
After winning a National Labor Relations Board ruling allowing them to unionize, the Buffalo Jills voted 29-2 to join the National Football League Cheerleaders Assn., the first union to represent a professional cheerleading squad.
Union president and seven-year Jills veteran Nancy Bates said the cheerleaders are seeking better pay and working conditions, plus more control over where and when they do promotional appearances. The Jills’ attorney, W. James Schwan, said the union hopes to negotiate a contract with the cheerleaders’ manager, Andrew Gerovac.
The Jills said Gerovac has underpaid them and given them no say on the types of promotional appearances they make. They also said they had to pay their own air fare and some other expenses to perform at the Bills’ four Super Bowls from 1991-94.
“I see no need for this . . . . It’s not like they work in the coal mines. They’ve never been instructed to stand under 3,000-degree iron ore in a steel mill,” Gerovac said.