A group representing two professional players associations joined the ranks of AFL-CIO labor union affiliates yesterday.
The action came on a unanimous vote by the AFL-CIO executive council to accept the application for affiliation filed by the Federation of Professional Athletes (FPA).
Both the 1,400-member NFL Players Association and the 325-member NASL Players Association are represented by FPA.
Ed Garvey, FPA executive director, said the new AFL-CIO status should give his group more collective bargaining strength in dealing with team owners and league officials.
"We've been in a long struggle with the NFL and the North American Soccer League," Garvey said. "It's tough to take them on alone.We hope this will give us a little more political support on the Hill and a little bit more help in other important ways," Garvey said.
Presently, the soccer players have no contract with their league. The NFLPA contract with the league expires in 1981, Garvey said.
The new members should be something of a financial boon to the AFL-CIO, which receives a per capita tax and a percentage of the union dues from their affiliates.
Football players average $65,000 annual salary. Some rookies earn as little as $20,000 and the highest is $733,000 (O. J. Simpson), Garvey said.
Soccer players may be paid as low as $50 a game, but the average yearly salary is $12,000, Garvey said.