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NFL Referees Association files unfair labor practice charge against NFL

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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.

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24 Responses to “NFL Referees Association files unfair labor practice charge against NFL”
  1. igetsitinn says: Jun 21, 2012 1:37 PM

    Lol the NFL been in court more times then the lions rookies this year

  2. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jun 21, 2012 1:44 PM

    If what the NFLRA claims here is true, that’s an egregious violation of labor law.

    Many people feel that when a player is accused of something but the charges are dropped they need to be punished, but it’s somehow OK when the owners break the law.

  3. darthsaint says: Jun 21, 2012 1:44 PM

    These guys are as delusional as the Saints and their fans!! Everybody knows the NFL is ALWAYS completely fair and just with how they handle situations. I have no clue why it seems everyone these days, from former players, current players, the refs, hell who is left…that isn’t complaining about how the NFL handles their business. All a bunch of whiners who don’t deserve the NFL tit they drink from every day!!!

    These crybabies need to shut up and accept their deal. If they don’t like it, Rog should fire them all and we’ll just have football without refs. Rog has done so much to clean up the game already, we probably don’t even need these whiners anymore!!!

    Sarcasm off for the idiots on this board who can’t read through that part.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 21, 2012 1:46 PM

    Refs tried tweeting their complaints. But they could do that until they were red in the face, it won’t have any effect unless they make it official.

  5. benh999 says: Jun 21, 2012 1:57 PM

    “Either way, the two sides need to work this thing out before the game is subjected to substandard replacement officials.”

    Yeah, because NCAA referees are so inferior to NFL referees. This notches about two small steps above a janitorial strike/lockout.

  6. ravenmuscle says: Jun 21, 2012 2:00 PM

    I could care less about the refs mainly because they are being told HOW to officiate games. You’ll notice early in the season flags are falling like yellow snow for holding and illegal contact and the games take forever…yet when the playoffs start you hardly see a penalty.

    The only explanation is that the league tells them to let the players play…these guys are overpaid robots who do what they are told….so who cares what they are paid?

  7. fin72 says: Jun 21, 2012 2:03 PM

    The NFL league office (starting with Roger Goodell) are pigs!

  8. vbe2 says: Jun 21, 2012 2:12 PM

    Why do part-time employees even have a union?

  9. discosucs2005 says: Jun 21, 2012 2:16 PM

    Even if you really think there would zero difference between the current refs and replacements, I’m sure everyone agrees that the best case scenario is fix this before the season so we never find out.

  10. AlanSaysYo says: Jun 21, 2012 2:16 PM

    If the NFL uses scab referees, I want them to pick up that ref from the Big 10 who makes the uppity “the down remains first” announcements.

  11. baxterbix says: Jun 21, 2012 2:19 PM

    Ummm aren’t these part-time jobs which are at or close to 6 figures? Suck it up.

  12. truthfactory says: Jun 21, 2012 2:22 PM

    Keep in mind these guys make at a minunum $75,000 to work at most, 25 out of 365 days of the year. Sure there is travel time and additional meetings, but the bottom line is they get paid great money to do something that many of us would love to do for next to nothing. Anyone who says they need to hire “full time” officials, what the heck are they supposed to do every day of the week during the season? Or what should they do from Feb. – to August???? Get paid year round to sit around and play cards???

    Full time officials arent necessary, lets just get some competent and consistant officials in there instead and all will be good…

  13. juspat2 says: Jun 21, 2012 2:27 PM

    As a football referee (not NFL), i hate to see these refs involved in this mess. i know several of them personally, and they are not attached to the ‘leadership’ – probably in the same way that 90% of players are not attached to the NFLPA. However, issues aside, (as this seems like another money issue…as it always is), posters who knock the refs are uneducated or blinded by their fanaticism concerning their abilities.

    We often talk about one bad call, (only against our team of course) and silent on the 25 others that were right. We (fans) don’t know the rules of the game outside Offsides, false start, and pass interference (against our team of course). If we were thrusted out to a field at the Jr. High level, and told to call a game, we’d wet our selves once a play started – and these guys are out there w/ world class athletes.

    They are human, and imperfect, but no one else can do better – These are the best refs in all of pro-sports, period. To ‘raven muscle’ (which must refer to the muscle in the left side of the kicking leg) penalties go down in EVERY league from pop-warner to the NFL as the season goes on as players get better, and execute better. Every start of every year penalties are high as players a) get back into the feel of the game, b) are not in training camp anymore where penalties are rarely called, and c) see what they can ‘get away’ with. By mid-season there is a huge drop off of minor sloppy penalties (e.g., holding, illegal use of the hands, etc..) – that’s how it goes.

    anyway – let’s hope this is resolved, because we want the best out there calling our games….i’m not for the ref union, or the NFL…i just want this crap to end!

  14. reporterofthetruth says: Jun 21, 2012 2:28 PM

    It’s all but certain Roger Goddell will suspend the whole bunch of them for 2 seasons for being disloyal to him and use scabs as replacements.

  15. thatboybaked says: Jun 21, 2012 2:51 PM

    Although I love the game and this league, I support anyone suing the NFL for any reason because they have taken this sport in a direction that is no longer what football use to be or was about. They are changing they game year by year slowly but surely right in front of our faces and no one is doing a god damn thing about it. Cant tackle anymore, and they want to remove the kickoff from the entire game itself. There will be a point in the future where I hope fans everyone stand up and tell the NFL to go F themselves.

  16. griblets says: Jun 21, 2012 2:58 PM

    benh999 says:
    Jun 21, 2012 1:57 PM

    Yeah, because NCAA referees are so inferior to NFL referees. This notches about two small steps above a janitorial strike/lockout.

    ————————————————

    First, the NCAA officials (referee one of seven) are inferior to NFL officials. The speed of the game is different. It’s nearly the same kind of transition that players have from NCAA to NFL. Some can do it, some can’t.

    Second, the best NCAA officials are not going to leave their NCAA jobs for temporary NFL replacement duties for two reasons: 1) they will lose their ability to officiate NCAA games, thus have no position when the NFL officials return, and 2) they will be black balled from ever officiating in the NFL again.

    The replacement officials will be those near the end of their careers who want the NFL experience, those in lower levels of NCAA who feel they’ve maxed their ability to advance in NCAA, and arena league officials. It will be a total mess.

    I’m not saying this is a good move by the officials’ association. They are certainly risking a pretty good gig. But some of you think that anybody can do the job, which is just not true. I dare you to put a whistle in your mouth and go try to officiate even a high school game. Not only would you find some perspective on officiating, but you would be contributing to your community.

  17. rc21pgh says: Jun 21, 2012 2:58 PM

    The NFL has too much power.

  18. marvsleezy says: Jun 21, 2012 3:08 PM

    I remember the last time they used scab officials – Everyone was worried, then the refs did a great job –

    They erred on the side of caution and didnt throw a lot of flags – It was awesome.

  19. ironmaiden666666 says: Jun 21, 2012 3:11 PM

    Oh, no way?!? Goodell, caught being dishonest and underhanded AGAIN? You would think the son of a US Senator would have some class and scruples… oh no… this is exactly what you would expect.

    I realize a lot of people will always take the side of the employer, regardless of the number of times they stick it to their workers. But he sticks it to all of us fans with is arbitrary, irrational and myopic “justice” on the field.

    The guy is a paper suit who gains support for his reign of arbitrary idiocy by playing Adam Schefter and the entire NFL Network like a fiddle.

    Spread the word… Goodell has got to GO!

  20. EJ says: Jun 21, 2012 3:17 PM

    benh999 says:
    Jun 21, 2012 1:57 PM
    “Either way, the two sides need to work this thing out before the game is subjected to substandard replacement officials.”

    Yeah, because NCAA referees are so inferior to NFL referees. This notches about two small steps above a janitorial strike/lockout.

    Actually, the NFL referee’s are much better than NCAA refs. The NFL only takes the best of the best when hiring officials. I’ve read a few stories on the hiring process, their pretty strict employers when it comes to the rules of the game.

  21. FinFan68 says: Jun 21, 2012 3:20 PM

    thatboybaked says:
    Jun 21, 2012 2:51 PM
    Although I love the game and this league, I support anyone suing the NFL for any reason because they have taken this sport in a direction that is no longer what football use to be or was about. They are changing they game year by year…
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Much of the reason for the changes you are referring to is the league trying to avoid or at least mitigate liability/damages in current and potential lawsuits. In essence you are supporting the very thing you are complaining about. Good job :)

  22. mwindle1973 says: Jun 21, 2012 4:32 PM

    I can’t believe people think scab refs will be just as good. DOn’t we all complain every year that the current refs aren’t good enough? So the answer is to bring in inferior refs? We don’t need a ref lockout right now. THis was supposed to be the year, that they started thinking about making the refs permanent employees. An NFL ref shouldn’t have to work a second job. A reality for any NFL ref, the NFL job is the one they love, the other job they hold actually pays the bills. Any of you work 2 jobs? Does your secondary job usually pay more? We are asking them to be best of the best, and their temps! The NFL should be more worried about the integrity of the product it puts on the field. We need full time, better trained refs, not a lockout by the NFL.

  23. mjkelly77 says: Jun 21, 2012 6:10 PM

    “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…”
    ____________________________

    I guess the NFLRA would rather that the NFL have no backup plan. Wait until the 11th hour and watch all of the leverage shift to the NFLRA. Get real, zebras. It’s tactical negotiating. Accept the offer or sit out the season.

  24. mjkelly77 says: Jun 21, 2012 6:15 PM

    Either way, the two sides need to work this thing out before the game is subjected to substandard replacement officials.
    __________________

    The same opinion was expressed concerning a more serious position … air traffic controllers. But President Reagan showed the crybabies how irreplaceable they were.

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