In an event that has been predicted by many as being inevitable, the NFLPA has filed papers for decertification as a union. The left negotiations after the NFL was reportedly unwilling to open up 10 years of audited financial statements. This move by the players means that there will technically be no union and thus the NFL could not legally lock them out of work. If the NFL does, then players my file suit in federal court that the league is violating anti-trust laws.
The NFLPA released this statement:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NFL Players Association announced today it has informed the NFL, NFL clubs and other necessary parties that it has renounced its status as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the players of the National Football League.
The NFLPA will move forward as a professional trade association with the mission of supporting the interests and rights of current and former professional football players.
The NFL, leery of having to go to court to have the future decided, still wishes to continue with negtiations.
The league recently responded to the NFLPA's move with this statement:
At a time when thousands of employees are fighting for their collective bargaining rights, this union has chosen to abandon collective bargaining in favor of a sham ‘decertification’ and antitrust litigation. This litigation maneuver is built on the indisputably false premise that the NFLPA has stopped being a union and will merely delay the process of reaching an agreement.
The NFL clubs remain committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached. The NFL calls on the union to return to negotiations immediately. NFL players, clubs, and fans want an agreement. The only place it can be reached is at the bargaining table.