All Articles Tagged "players union"
(AP) — They don’t have a deal yet, and they are just about out of time. After some two years of on-and-off negotiations, that’s about all NBA players and owners agree on. The gaps in their financial proposals have been so great that they sometimes decide it’s best to just talk about something else. Now they have to figure it out quickly. Without at least getting very close to the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement this weekend, hopes of the 2011-12 season starting on time would be all but lost. ”We realize that the calendar, the clock, the watch, whatever you want to say, is running out in terms of starting our regular season on time. So we’re going to try to get some things done this weekend and see what we can do,” said the Lakers’ Derek Fisher, president of the players’ association.
(Wall Street Journal) — NFL owners and players are hammering out an agreement that would end their four-month-old labor dispute in the coming days, in a move that would save the upcoming football season and put the $9.4 billion business back on track. The two camps have been holding regular and detailed meetings in New York City to resolve the lockout, and are expected to continue meeting in the coming days. They’re fighting over how to divide the league’s revenue. Differences remain, but both sides have made concessions on player compensation.
DeMaurice Smith has always been confident. So much so that as the newly elected president of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and overnight confidante to its 1,900 locked out members, he doesn’t bat an eye at the notion of being a relative outsider now entrusted with rescuing the sport from itself.
Then again, his ability has long rated as impressive. How else can you explain how the grandson of a sharecropper could rise to the position of having Barack Obama and Eric Holder on speed dial?
“There isn’t a day when I don’t understand the pressures of this job,” said the 46-year-old Smith, who left the prestigious D.C. law firm Patton Boggs to assume his latest post. “But then you stack them up against my grandfather [and] everything pales. There were days when he was thinking: ‘How am I going to feed my 14 kids? Are we getting a fair deal from the land owner? How are my children going to get out?’ Now, that’s pressure.”
And so, cloaked in the strength of such tough-mindedness, Smith’s soldiers on in a battle many hoped would never come to this point. After nearly three months, NFL players remain locked out of all team facilities and locked into a high-stakes, winner-take-all staredown with owners that shows no real signs of abating. Beyond the NFL season itself, at issue is the allocation and distribution of more than $8 billion in annual league-wide revenue.
“We made the decision to fight for who we are,” said Smith. “I know this is a multi-billion dollar industry but nobody gets strong without fighting. Nobody just negotiates their way to strength… you have to be willing to take action. Athletes are the same as everyone else — if you want to be treated fairly you have to be willing to stand up for yourself. It’s vastly different from something as simple as ‘just shut up and play’. To effect change you have to be willing to be the agent of change.”
Over the long haul Smith has a plan for the game away from the game never before seen in the league’s 91-year history. Greater concern about players long-term health and better retirement benefits are part of Smith’s master plan. At his urging players made the game-changing decision to decertify their union, thus giving them the option of airing their grievances in court and paving the way for individual players to file antitrust suits against the league. To date ,NFL heavyweights Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady have all attached their names to the suit as a show of support for Smith and his leadership.
(AP) — The NBA players’ association filed an unfair labor charge against the league Tuesday with the National Labor Relations Board, a move it hopes could block a lockout it feels owners want. The union says the NBA hasn’t bargained in good faith, has made financial demands without offering concessions to the players, and has bypassed the union to deal directly with players. The charge filed with Region 2 of the NLRB seeks “an injunction against the NBA’s unlawful bargaining practices and its unlawful lockout threat.” The NBA and players are trying to reach a deal for a new collective bargaining agreement before the June 30 expiration of the current one. They plan to meet early next month during theNBA finals, but remain far apart on major financial issues and a work stoppage remains a possibility.