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SBD/March 10, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NFL Labor Watch: Movement Necessary In Talks To Avoid Union Decertification Friday
Published March 10, 2011
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COUNTER ATTACK: USA TODAY's Jarrett Bell writes the threat of the NFLPA "disbanding as a union and pursuing antitrust action against the NFL is an undeniable counterstrategy matched against the possibility that NFL owners will institute a lockout if the sides are unable to negotiate" a new CBA. The timing for the union to "disclaim its interest is crucial." Unlike the "lengthy decertification process through the National Labor Relations Board," the NFLPA "would renounce bargaining rights with letters to the NFL, its 32 teams and U.S. District Court Judge David Doty several hours before the CBA expires." Legal experts said that a lockout after decertification "would likely be added to the list of alleged antitrust allegations, as players then would seek an injunction to prevent a lockout" (USA TODAY, 3/10).
MANIC MONDAY: In N.Y., Gary Myers cites an NFL player agent as saying that if the union decertifies and the league locks players out, he "will send all his clients to work Monday at the team facilities and predicts others will do the same." The agent said that "once the union decertifies and if the league can't stop it by proving it's a sham, as it maintains, then he said the players can't be denied the right to work." The agent: "Every guy shows up for work and says, 'I honor my contract. If you don't want to honor my contract, then I'm free.' If they turn them away, I'm going to state court to let you know my contract is null and void and I'm a free agent and you owe me damages, treble damages because you are locking me out and it's a restraint of trade because there is no union" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/10).