NBA Players file NLRB Complaint Against the NBA

The National Basketball Association’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires on June 30, 2011.  So, not to be outdone by the NFL, the NBA Players’ Association filed an unfair labor practices complaint against the NBA alleging the league has attempted to bypass the union and has dealt directly with players, and that the NBA has refused to provide financial information to the NBPA as requested.

“We have urged the Board to investigate this matter quickly and to seek an injunction against the NBA’s unlawful bargaining practices and its unlawful lockout threat,” the NBPA said in a statement.

The NBPA further alleges that the NBA violated the National Labor Relations Act by “making harsh, inflexible, and grossly regressive ‘takeaway’ demands that the NBA knows are not acceptable to the Union and not supported by objective or reasonable factors or balanced by appropriate trade-offs.” And they have “repeatedly threatening to lock out Union-represented employees upon contract expiration regardless of negotiation status, without fear of a strike, based on a pretextual claim of financial weakness, and despite the foregoing bad-faith bargaining.”

The NBPA claims that the NBA’s practices “are inherently destructive to the collective bargaining process and to employee rights, and that reflect the NBA’s hostility to that process and those rights and are intended to signal to Union-represented employees that back-and forth bargaining is futile.”

Requested Continuance by the NFL Denied.

The National Football League had requested from the court more time to file its response to the pending antitrust lawsuit claims filed by the former NFL Players’ Association. The reason for such request is that the lawsuit filed by current players was amended to include additional counts from retirees led by former Minnesota Viking and Hall of Famer, Carl Eller.

That request was denied by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeanne Graham who ruled that the NFL must answer by June 6.  “The court acknowledges that the injunction of the lockout is on appeal, but there are other significant factors weighing strongly in favor of moving forward with the rest of the case,” Graham wrote. “Regardless of the ruling on appeal, this case is likely to proceed” on other grounds.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments by both the NFL and the former NFL Players’ Association on June 3, 2011, as to legality of the current lockout.