Pro football’s referees have thrown a flag on the NFL.
(Yeah, I’ll be here all week. And beyond. Unfortunately.)
The NFL Referees Association has filed an unfair labor practices charge with the National Labor Relations Board. The charge, a copy of which the NFLRA has forwarded to PFT, alleges that the league has engaged in “direct dealing” by sending letters to locked-out game officials that “contained inaccurate, false and incomplete information regarding bargaining issues and proposals.”
The NFLRA contends that the league sent letters to the game officials on two occasions: June 4 and June 15.
“It is clear the league never intended to work toward a fair agreement, even through mediation,” NFLRA executive director Mike Arnold said in a press release. “As previously noted, the NFL sent out notices regarding the recruitment of replacement referees while we were actively negotiating under the auspicious [sic] of a jointly agreed upon Federal Mediator. Now during a lockout, the NFL is attempting to bypass NFLRA negotiators by distributing inaccurate and misleading financial information to all the referees. We have urged the Board to investigate this matter quickly and to seek appropriate remedies against the NFL’s unlawful bargaining practices.”
It’s a strong allegation, but it’s impossible to begin to assess the strength of the merits without seeing the letters, which weren’t attached to the charge or the press release.
Either way, the two sides need to work this thing out before the game is subjected to substandard replacement officials.