By: Jimmie Santee


June 1, 2013

   In The Loop Extended Articles

In an article published on the website “,” Rosie DiManno quoted Patrick Chan as saying its time figure skaters got unionized, “I would be at the forefront of supporting a union for skaters. This is ridiculous. I just think we are being manipulated for the benefit of the ISU because they are making all the money.”  The conflict it appears is from the ISU team competition that took place in Japan. Patrick was required to compete while several other athletes were allowed to decline.

Currently, the ISU requires skaters to choose ISU events over more lucrative opportunities like the Canadian Stars on Ice Tour. If Patrick wanted to skate on the Stars tour, he had to participate.

Rewind to 1990, the eligibility rules were rewritten by the ISU, allowing skaters to earn considerable amounts of income from appearance fee’s in shows like Tom Collins Champions on Ice, IMG’s Stars on Ice, Witt and Boitano’s “Skating”. Great for those top skaters but it didn’t take long for the ISU to learn that this emerging market was going to affect the importance of the ISU events, which influence the broadcast rights fees paid to the ISU.
So in 1995, the ISU introduced the ISU Champions Series, which would later change its name to the Grand Prix of Figure Skating. Prize money was offered; it was a game saving decision for the ISU,

So just like major league professional sports, it now has become about personal wealth.

One of the disadvantages of having a unionized workplace is that it will reduce a business's flexibility. It is the job of a workers union to push for higher wages and better benefits