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League files unfair labor practice charge over plan to decertify

Image (1) NFL_goodell.jpg for post 32508

Apparently, the NFL’s lawyers have decided to abandon for now the goal of world peace.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello has confirmed that the league has filed with National Labor Relations Board a charge of unfair labor practices. The league claims that the NFLPA has failed to bargain in good faith as a result of a strategy to decertify and file antitrust litigation against the league.

The league claims that, in filing the charge, it seeks only that the NLRB order the union to bargain in good faith. The NFL believes that the union has engaged in “surface bargaining,” along with tactics designed to avoid reaching an agreement before the CBA expires, so that the union can file antitrust litigation.

The NFL contends that the union’s strategy of decertification (technically, a “disclaimer of interest”) “is a ploy and an unlawful subversion of the collective bargaining process, there being no evidence whatsoever of any (let alone widespread) disaffection with the union by its members.”

Said the NFL in its complaint: “The NFLPA’s threat to use a sham disclaimer of interest after expiration of the CBA is the same tactic that it employed in 1989 when its representatives falsely swore that its disclaimer was ‘permanent.’ The union’s purpose in doing so is to evade its collective bargaining obligations under the National Labor Relations Act, to seek to use antitrust litigation to enjoin a lawful lockout, and once again attempt to achieve its bargaining objectives under the coercive guise of an antitrust settlement. This plan by the union has produced 20 months of surface bargaining as the union has run out the clock in order to disclaim interest after expiration of the CBA.”

In English, the gloves are off. And the chances of getting a deal done by March 4 are becoming even more remote.

And the golden goose could be coming down with a case of Ebola, especially since the league is trying to prevent the union from implementing its primary tactic for avoiding a lockout, which means a lockout is coming.