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NBA PLAYERS HIT THE POLLS TODAY TO DECIDE THEIR FATE
Published August 30, 1995
Members of the NBPA begin voting today on whether or not to decertify the union. Ballots can be cast at NLRB regional offices around the country today and next Wednesday, September 7 (THE DAILY). AT QUESTION: The exact question players will face is: "Do you wish to be represented by the National Basketball Players' Association for the purpose of collective bargaining?'" (TORONTO SUN, 8/30). A "yes" vote keeps the union intact; a "no" vote decertifies the union. WORDS FROM THE TOP: NBA Commissioner David Stern: "We think the facts have finally gotten to the players. We expect a good turnout and a resoundingly positive vote for the union, the deal and the season" (David Moore, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/30). NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine: "Now all we can do is wait for the votes to be cast and tallied. We've toured 17 cities in 12 days and talked with 99 players. As such, we've done our best to get our message across" (John Jackson, CHICAGO SUN TIMES, 8/30). Michael Jordan: "Because of the danger of not having a season, should we accept any deal that's proposed? I don't think that's fair for the players. We're using decertification to get the best fair deal. We're not striking here. We want to play" (Roscoe Nance, USA TODAY, 8/30). ANOTHER TWIST: Kings' guard Mitch Richmond has filed an unfair labor charge against Stern, alleging his statements threatening a cancellation of the season if the NBPA decertifies violate labor law. Richmond attorney David Odom, on Stern: "He's scaring the guys into voting against decertification, and that's illegal." NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik: "There have been no unfair labor practices committed by the NBA. It is simply a fact that the only way to assure the 1995-96 season will begin on time is a 'yes' vote in (today's) election" (Mark Asher, WASHINGTON POST, 8/30). GETTING CARDED: The POST's Asher also reports that NLRB New York Regional Director Daniel Silverman said players might be able to use their trading cards as identification for balloting. Silverman: "It has a signature on it and it has a picture on it. A reasonable argument could be made that it is sufficient identification and we likely would accept it" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/30). HOW'S IT PLAYING? Here is a round-up of many of the headlines players are reading in their hometowns this morning as they head to vote: Baltimore SUN: "NBA players begin decertification vote: effect is to approve or veto contract"; CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: "NBA Players to decide future of union"; CHICAGO SUN TIMES: "Both sides campaigning hard before NBA labor vote"; CHICAGO TRIBUNE: "NBA, union aim to get out vote on NBA labor situation"; DALLAS MORNING NEWS: "NBA players set to vote on decertification issue"; FT. WORTH STAR TELEGRAM: "NBA could be on its way to a certified mess"; HOUSTON CHRONICLE: "SIgns grow that union will survive: informal poll gives hope NBA to begin on time"; L.A. TIMES: "NBA Lockout: They'll approve collective bargaining agreement or decertify players' association"; Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE: "NBA players to vote to side with Stern or Jordan"; N.Y. TIMES: "It seems anyone's call as polls open today"; PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: "A day of decision in NBA"; SACRAMENTO BEE: "NBA's players head for the polls"; SALT LAKE TRIBUNE: "It's Stern vs. Jordan as NBA voting opens"; TORONTO SUN: "Polls open today for NBA players"; WASHINGTON POST: "Players vote on NBA union today"; WASH. TIMES: "Players to decide union's fate with trips to the ballot BOX."