In a rapid-fire press conference outside the offices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington, Giants co-owner John Mara bluntly but respectfully accused the union of failing to proceed in good faith during the recent stretch of bargaining.
“This obviously is a very disappointing day for all of us,” Mara said. “I’ve been here for the better part of two weeks now. And essentially during that two-week period the union’s position on the core economic issues has not changed, one iota. Their position has basically been ‘take it or leave it,’ and they’ve in effect they’ve been at the same position since last September.
“We made an offer to them today to basically split the difference between the two sides. We made that approximately at 12 o’clock, and at 4 o’clock they came back and said that it was insufficent and they apparently have decided to decertify.
“One thing that became painfully apparent to me during this period was that their objective was to go the litigation route. I think that they believe that that gives them the best leverage. I never really got the feeling during the past two weeks that they were serious about negotiating, and it’s unfortunate because that’s not what collective bargaining is all about. I think eventually we’ll be back at the table, but unfortunately now we’re going to have to go through this process now, where we’re in court.”
The fact that an offer was made at noon and a response came only four hours later suggests one of two realities. First, the union may have intentionally delayed responding in order to back the owners into a corner late in the day. Second, the union may have seriously considered the offer, possibly with plenty of tension and disagreement in the room.
If it’s the latter, look for cracks to quickly emerge among the players, some of whom may be regretting the decision not to accept the offer — or to continue to talk.
That said, talking may continue. But the offer made today may not be back on the table any time soon.