Thursday, March 3, 2011

D Day? To Decertify or not to Decertify

The CBA expires tonight at midnight. If there is no hope of an agreement, the NFLPA may decertify today (for primer on decertification click here). In a nutshell, this means that the union shuts down, resulting in the NFL teams dealing with non-unionize employees. The players would then file antitrust lawsuits, claiming that any attempt by 32 separate businesses to impose rules collectively violates the law. Basically, competitors (which the 32 NFL teams are) can't get together an impose restrictions on the marketplace in the way of a salary cap, free agent rules, roster limits, etc.

However, there is also the possibility of an extension to allow the parties to continue to negotiate. While the players decertified with great success last time around, this time the NFL may challenge it as a sham or a transparent attempt to force the NFL's hand. The NFL would argue that in order to truly decertify (or technically disclaim interest), the decertification must be characterized by sincere of abandonment with relative permanency. In this case, the NFL would argue that the Union has no intention of walking away but rather decertifies to try and secure favourable terms as far as a CBA goes. Even though they have decertified, they're still there.

The Primer explains decertification in English.

Stay tuned.

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