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Judge orders NFL, players to try mediation again

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP)

    The federal judge handling the lawsuit against the NFL ordered the sides to participate in court-supervised mediation, while saying Monday she still is considering whether to grant the players’ request for a preliminary injunction to lift the lockout.

    U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson said formal mediation will begin Thursday before Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan at his office in a Minneapolis courthouse. He will meet with representatives of the players Tuesday, then representatives of the NFL on Wednesday.

    The sides tried mediation before, negotiating for 16 days in Washington with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service director George Cohen. But those talks broke off March 11, allowing the old collective bargaining agreement to expire.

    The NFL Players Association dissolved that day, saying it no longer would represent players in bargaining under labor law. That allowed players— including MVP quarterbacks Tom Brady(notes) and Peyton Manning(notes)—to file a class-action antitrust suit against the league in federal court. The owners then locked out the players, creating the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987.

    Nelson ordered Monday that both sides keep the mediation confidential.

    At a hearing last week about the injunction request, Nelson urged the sides to get “back to the table” and said negotiations should take place at “not the players’ table, not the league’s table, but a neutral table, if you will.”

    The next day, the players and owners both expressed a willingness to talk— but they disagreed on where and how they wanted to do it. The players said they were willing to engage in mediation overseen by Nelson. The NFL, though, said it wanted to resume talks with Cohen.

    She said at the hearing she would take “a couple of weeks” to rule on the injunction. On Monday, she noted that her order to resume mediation “will not have the effect of a stay on this litigation,” and that she would rule “in due course.”

    She also said that “the fact of participation in this Court-ordered mediation, and any communications conveyed between the parties in this process, shall not be admitted or used against any party in any other proceeding or forum, for any purpose.”

    That addresses the players’ concern that any new negotiations would not be considered the NFLPA returning to union status.
     
  2. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    This kinda bugs me. The judge ordered the players and the NFL back to the table. There is no NFLPA. So who can negotiate for all the players? If it is still the union representatives (e.g. Saturday and others), then in fact doesnt taht mean the NFLPA is still a functioning body in spirit?
     
  3. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    We all know the decertification thing is a giant lie anyway, so maybe this will get things rolling.
     
  4. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Dude, this is all legal crap that I seriously doubt anyone on this board really understand the in's and out's of. The NFLPA may no longer be a 'Union', but it still exists as a trade organization
     
  5. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    The existence of a player's union does not preclude a collective bargaining agreement. In fact, I believe following the players strike in the 80's there was almost a full-term CBA (or at minimum 4-ish years) of NFL play without the players being unionized.

    The players can't re-establish the union until 365 days after they filed for dissolution anyway - and that is labor law, put into effect to keep unions from just decertifying then recertifying to get out of contractual obligations.

    This judge, I believe, is attempting to look out for the interests of all - including those that the players and owners seem to have ignored, and no I'm not referring to the fans but rather the large number of people who have jobs directly tied to their being a football season in 2011.

    What will be interesting to see is that I believe ownership's been on record as saying that since this has gone to litigation this time around, they have every intent of ensuring that anything and everything that should need to be ruled upon by an outside presence (court) is, so that "going to litigation" isn't as viable an option for future CBA talks - if for no other reason than there would be no foreseeable reason with most things having already been arbitrated. This strikes me as them having confidence that even if a judge's decision was to enjoin the league's teams and disallowing their ability to lock-out the players, that they realize that no federal judge is going to issue a mandate that privately owned companies have to open their books to all employees in a union when they only actually employ a small fraction (individually) of that union's membership. The best I think the union could hope for the court to find in their favor in this matter is for an independent third party to have the ability to audit team financials in order to answer previously stated questions (i.e. he can't see the audited financials and then be quizzed, but rather is allowed to review team financials upon timely request to either confirm or deny questions/discrepancies related to the financials). Otherwise - particularly for private industry - it is too dangerous a precedent to risk setting in a country where (like it or not) capitalism and big business are two of the most powerful entities.
     

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