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NBA, UNION REACH AGREEMENT; BUT WILL SUPERSTARS SIGN ON?
Published June 22, 1995
"The negotiating teams for the NBA and its Players Association announced Wednesday that they have agreed on a new labor contract," according to David Moore in this morning's DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Moore continues, "Meanwhile the legal maneuvers designed to prevent the quick approval of this collective bargaining agreement intensified" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/22). Hawks President Stan Kasten, a member of the NBA's Labor Committee: "I understand we're very close. We still have to meet, discuss and vote" (Ailene Voisin, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/22). The NBA Board of Governors and the 27 player reps meet for votes tomorrow, the owners in New York and the players in Chicago. DON'T RATIFY, DECERTIFY! The announcement of a deal came hours after 17 players petitioned the NLRB to legally decertify the union as their collective bargaining agent with the NBA. Those players now need to provide the NLRB with signatures of 30% of the union's 324 members before the NBPA ratifies the new agreement. If those signatures are filed by Friday -- and, according to Mark Asher of the WASHINGTON POST, "the attorney representing the unhappy players said they will be" -- the NLRB will hold a hearing on whether a vote should be held of the entire union membership. If a vote is held, a majority would be necessary to decertify the union. Decertification would kill the present agreement and end the league's labor exemption from antitrust laws (WASHINGTON POST, 6/22). A decertification vote would be held 30-45 days after the NLRB hearing (Ronald Blum, AP/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/22). LET THE SELLING BEGIN: In L.A., Mark Heisler described the NBPA as "under an eleventh-hour siege," but reports that in conference calls among 20 of the 27 player reps, "sentiment reportedly was running in favor of ratification" (L.A. TIMES, 6/22). CNN's Fred Hickman reported, after talking with NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine, President Buck Williams and VP Charles Smith, that "they feel as though they can sell this agreement to the players. That once they see it they're going to see it's a good deal and there's going to be no problem ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 6/21). In Boston, Jackie MacMullan also notes an "informal poll" of player reps indicated the deal would pass. Also, Bucks Player Rep Ed Pinckney, who had signed a decertification notice, "has changed his position" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/22).