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BASEBALL LABOR TALKS: BALL RELUCTANTLY IN OWNERS' COURT
Published August 27, 1996
While Randy Levine, MLB's chief labor negotiator, and MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr "remained optimistic" that a new CBA could be approved in the coming days, "there were indications that owners are in no hurry to reach a deal," according to this morning's MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. It is possible that owners will not be ready to vote on a deal until their quarterly meetings September 10-12 in Seattle. Tom Haudricourt reports, "Unless there is an oral agreement beforehand that merely has to be ratified by owners, the union would frown on such a delay." Haudricourt notes, in addition to granting service time and the prospect of a second tax-free year at the end of the deal, "owners are also disturbed by the perception that it is totally up to them to make a deal." But until there is management consensus and Levine is told on what the union will have to give up in exchange for concession on those issues, "there will be no deal" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/27). VOTE-COUNTING: The pace of talks has slowed because of acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's aim "to take a vote at the meetings in Seattle but not before then," according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. Selig is said to have "secured" at least 22 -- and more likely 24 or 25 -- votes in favor of a deal that closely resembles the one negotiated earlier. Management sources said Selig "is ready to move forward" with the White Sox, Cubs and Marlins the "only certain votes against" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/27).