Tag:Labor Dispute
Posted on: November 26, 2010 3:26 pm

NFL says union 'creating economic fairy tales'

Posted by Will Brinson

Everyone spent Thursday being full of thanks for the NFL. (The NFL also spent the day being thankful for its loyal constituents -- CBS boasted our highest ratings since 1998 thanks to a fantastic New England - Detroit matchup, FOX scored its best ratings in 15 years, and the NFL Network posted it's highest ratings ever.)

Seems Friday, though, was back to the grind of political attempts at rallying certain fans to either the owners or the players side. DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA executive director, kicked things off in a Bloomberg News interview, calling the lockout a "14" on the likelihood-of-happening scale, which only goes to 10.

"The magnitude of the loss would be at the very least about $160 million to $170 million per team-city," Smith said. "That is a conservative estimate of the economic impact."

Naturally, the NFL disagrees -- NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello even called the numbers "economic fairy tales."

"It is a series of numbers pulled from thin air in a misguided attempt to inject politics into the collective bargaining process," Aiello said. "There is a fair deal to be done and soon if the union will bargain with the same fervor it displays in creating economic fairy tales."

The "soon" portion is what fans care about, but that won't stop either side from preaching the "poorer me" version of their story; George Atallah, NFLPA representative, joined Mike Florio as the guest host of the Dan Patrick Show on Friday and pleaded the players case.

"The question I have for owners is why do you keep telling the fans the players get 60 cents of each dollar when it's just not true," Atallah said.

But from the "please handle this right now, thanks!" category comes the news that Atallah said the union is committed to devoting two weeks in December to intense negotiations, and the league is open to discussions as well.

"We have told the union leaders that we will be available to meet almost any time and are working with them on scheduling our next sessions," Aiello said.

So, to sum up: football is really, really popular and makes everyone involved really, really, REALLY big piles of money. And yet, the two principle parties are so concerned with how to split the proverbial pie that they're not focusing on what's important -- getting in the kitchen and baking that sucker so that fans will pay to eat it come 2011.

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Posted on: November 16, 2010 7:07 pm

Report: NFLPA provides counter to 18-game season

Posted by Will Brinson

NFL players clearly aren't thrilled about the prospect of an 18-game season, but it seems like something that's just going to happen, because of the financial gain at stake. If it does, though, the owners will likely need to make some concessions to the players.

The NFLPA's biggest argument against an expansion of the season is player safety and they have, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, offered a "good faith" counterproposal to the league's extension of the regular season. Highlights of this proposal, according to Mortensen's sources, include:
  • Voluntary offseason workouts would be reduced from the current 14 weeks to five weeks or 20 days (four days a week, four-hour maximum per day).
  • Significantly reduced contact between players during training camp with four practices a week consisting of helmetless and padless periods.
  • Two in-season bye weeks.
  • Expanded rosters from the current 53 to 56 or 57, in addition to practice squads.
  • Increased pro-rated salaries for players under contract.
  • Reduction of the amount of games players need to become vested to qualify for post-career health care and pension benefits.
"We have responded to every one of the league's proposals and concerns in an effort to keep negotiations progressing in good faith," said George Atallah, union spokesman. "There are obvious concerns about an 18-game season in the absence of real information that we await."

The NFL's original proposal reportedly calls for 12 voluntary workout weeks (as opposed to the five the union wants) and a bye week following the two preseason games and then a bye during the season (as opposed to the two in-season byes the union proposed). The NFL also reportedly wants to add just one roster spot, increasing from 53 to 54.

The differences in the two sides "wants" are pretty stark, but these are also initial proposals, meaning there's likely some sort of wiggle room, although the clock is certainly ticking as we head into the second half of the NFL season.

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