Not every mention of the term union is bad. There is power in a union after all and rugby league players can, like workers in any sphere, benefit from collective bargaining and standing together in support of each other and their rights. This is something previously organised by the GMB, but some Super League players don't seem to want to stand alongside their brothers in other leagues and strike out (pun partially intended) with their own union. Jamie Peacock and Jon Wilkin are among the agitators attempting to set up a Super League players association and claim 75% of players in the top league are interested in joining. The GMB doubts their abilities to represent players interests properly and a war of words is beginning.
It's unclear what the agitators beef with the GMB is, but that will play out over the next few days, weeks and months. What the GMB and none of the news outlets reporting on this have seen fit to comment on the new organisation's name. 1eague3. One-eague-three. What the hell does that mean? Fine players Peacock and Wilkin may be, but brand consultants they are clearly not. It's something that might work on a Hungarian car registration plate, but not something that might trip off the tongue too easily. It's up there with maths and crime TV show Numb-three-rs, Brad Pitt/Kevin Spacey flick Se-seven-en and not-much-lamented boy band Five-ive in it's moronicity.
Unions are traditionally named after the sphere of employ of their employees until the point at which they all started merging to form things like Unison, Amicus and Unite. If you're trying to set up an association for Super League players, something along the lines of the Super League Players Association might seem appropriate. 1eague3 is stupid from it's nonsensical deployment of numbers, through the middle bit that isn't even a word to the whole that describes nothing. To judge their aims, we'll have to wait and see their constitution and dissect it, but it's not off to a great start.