NFL Locks Out Referees After Union Makes Economic Demands
The NFL yesterday locked out the NFL Referees Association members, after the union that represents 121 referees and officials made demands for more money at a session overseen by mediators from the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, according to NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello. The NFL announced yesterday that it would be hiring replacement referees after the NFLRA CBA expired on May 31 and it failed to reach a deal after 11 formal bargaining sessions, the last two with FMCS mediators. Aiello in an e-mail said that the NFL had offered the NFLRA members a seven-year deal with pay increases of 5-11%.
NFLRA General Counsel Michael Arnold previously said that NFLRA members had not taken a strike vote, wanted to work and were getting ready for the season. But Arnold did not return repeated phone calls and text messages yesterday. FMCS spokesman John Arnold said in an e-mail, "No further meetings have been scheduled at this time. Mediators remain in contact with the parties, and we have no additional comments."