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MLB OWNERS TO MAKE THEIR FINAL, FINAL OFFER?
Published August 7, 1996
MLB chief labor negotiator Randy Levine and MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr met in New York yesterday, but according to all reports, "little progress was made." Levine: "We had a meeting Tuesday and discussed all the issues. We will meet again Friday." Meanwhile, MLB's Executive Council meets in Milwaukee today where Levine will ask for permission for a final offer to the players "as early as next week." If that does not produce an agreement, management is ready to ask U.S. District Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to lift her injunction imposed in March '95 that led to the end of the strike. The intent of Sotomayor's injunction was to force the sides to reach a deal, "but they went eight months without even negotiating." If the injunction is lifted, the owners would be free to implement their own economic system, which they believe would force the union to make a deal. The players, however, retain the threat to call another strike (Tom Haudricourt, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL, 8/7). DUELING QUOTES: Fehr: "If they choose to go back to court and publicly re-air all our disputes, I have a hard time believing that's positive" (NEWSDAY, 8/7). Levine: We haven't had a new labor agreement since 1992. This is insane. ... We're not going to sit the whole season the way it is. I think the players want it over, the owners want it over. I want it over with. At least I think the players want it over. I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt" (Dave Van Dyck, CHICAGO SUN- TIMES, 8/7).