NFL vs. NFLPA Labor Issues: Lockout vs. Strike
David Fucillo | Niners Nation
Jan 17, 2011
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk recently published a post at PFT titled “Ten things to know right now about the labor situation.” It includes some stuff most people at Niners Nation know, but also some interesting little tidbits that might have under the radar. User nocal81 already did a review of number four on Florio’s list so we’ll ignore that one for now. I wanted to focus in on the way the lockout could play out and the alternatives that might exist.
A lockout likely would begin long before September.
The union has the ability to try to block a lockout.
The owners have an alternative to a lockout.
Most folks know that a lockout could begin as soon as the beginning of March, and the NFLPA has pushed the notion that there are only 50 (now less) days until a lockout begins. When I listened to that conference call, a lockout came across as pretty much inevitable.
The most interesting aspect of all this is the option the two sides have that really isn’t discussed enough. As Florio discusses in #3, the league could choose NOT to lock out its players and instead continue negotiations. For those that don’t know, hotel workers at numerous San Francisco hotels have actually been working without a new contract since August of 2009. There are negotiations and various economic actions between the two sides to try and get a deal done, but nothing has been done. In the meantime, the two sides continue operating under the previous rules.
At some point if negotiations are not going anywhere the league can declare an impasse and institute their last best offer as the new rules. At that point, the NFLPA could either agree to those new rules or elect to go out on strike. As Florio explains, that could potentially give the league the high ground in the PR battle by claiming they provided an opportunity for the players to play.