Why not a players union as a viable alternative check & balance instead of some industry generated option to move paintball forward?
It's a good question so let's take a closer look.
To date the only union efforts of any consequence have failed. One recent venture over in Euroland died primarily of overwhelming apathy (and a sense of powerlessness engendered by the general unwillingness of the players to use or contemplate using the few levers of power available to them.) When playing the game is a distraction from real life, a competitive hobby, it's hard to build a coalition sufficiently committed to make it work.
Over here paulders of then Strange in Am B used a short-lived coalition of the league's bread & butter teams to in essence make a power play. He used the support of teams and players to give himself a platform and the whole thing worked because he was a strong, vocal leader. There was also a limited agenda. No leader, no union. Announce victory, no reason to keep at it.
These two offer a couple of valuable insights: one) the very folks the leagues are most likely to be responsive to are the least likely to organize and mean it and, two) the prospect of organizing to achieve a limited goal is doable but tells us little about how a new political player (a union) would be received or how effectively it would be able to do business.
Let me say here that I have many times in the past advocated on behalf of a players union but I'm more or less convinced that at this point it's pointless. The activist owners * (who aren't PBIndustry) have already been co-opted (and I don't mean that in a pejorative way) and only the Pro teams are in a position to lead any union effort and we've already seen--behind the scenes--that the same schisms that exist in Paintball exist in microcosm among the Pro teams as mostly representatives of larger players in Paintball. Add to that the fact the Haves aren't yet convinced their future is tied (to a greater or lesser degree) to the fate of the Have Nots and there simply isn't the impetus to generate a union.
* I'm talking about guys like Bart, Jeff, Ron and even Sergey. Give them voices inside the establishment and they become far less likely to try to work outside that establishment. In Sergey's case he's hooked by the money invested as an NXL franchisee.