Wage dispute involving US women’s hockey team escalating – Chicago Tribune
The sides are digging in in the battle between the U.S. women’s national hockey team and USA Hockey and another salvo was fired Thursday.
Team USA announced Wednesday that it will boycott the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship unless it receives what it considers fair wages and equitable support from the organization.
USA Hockey responded later in the day with a statement that, in part, read, “USA Hockey remains committed to continuing dialogue and will field a competitive team for the upcoming 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Plymouth, Michigan.”
On Thursday, Team USA issued another statement saying that it has learned USA Hockey is seeking a replacement team to participate in the tournament that is scheduled to begin March 31 in Plymouth, Mich. The U.S. is the defending champion.
“We have heard that USA Hockey is attempting to field an alternative team to play in the World Championship games,” the Team USA statement read.
“We regret that they have not instead chosen to reconsider their treatment of the current World Championship-winning team. We stand by our original position: that it is time USA Hockey supported its programs for women and girls at the level it provides to boys and men. And we are grateful for the support we’ve received from across the world for our stance on this subject.”
A source said that USA Hockey has asked Team USA players to notify it by 4 p.m. Central if they will play in the World Championship.
Members of the team sent out a tweet Thursday reading:
“To our loyal fans,
We are so thankful for the outpouring of support from across the country and around the world. We recognize that many of you have already purchased tickets to the upcoming World Championship, and we remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached so that we can return to the ice as soon as possible. Please know that in our negotiations for equitable support, we are standing up for the next generation, especially the young girls who deserve access to equal opportunities. Again, we are extremely hopeful that we will be in Plymouth, Michigan at the end of the month to defend our titles as world champions.
The US Women’s National Team”
One member of the team told the Tribune in a text message “We are holding strong and not going to fold.”
Team USA said it wants equitable support from USA Hockey, along the lines of what is given to the men’s program.