Russell Okung, one of the most outspoken opponents of the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement, filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday, Ken Belson of the New York Times reports.
The soon-to-be Panthers offensive tackle accuses the National Football League Players Association of negotiating the proposed deal in bad faith. Okung serves on the NFLPA Executive Committee, which negotiated the deal and then voted against approving the deal twice. Okung also is one of four candidates for NFLPA president.
The three-page filing accuses the union’s staff, including executive director DeMaurice Smith, of forcing a vote on the deal over the objection’s of the Executive Committee, in violation of the NFLPA’s constitution.
Okung also asserts that the union’s leadership tried to silence him about the “lack of transparency with the Executive Committee about the negotiations with NFL owners.”
The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency tasked with guarding employee rights. It typically takes several weeks for the NLRB to investigate and decide if sufficient evidence exists to proceed with a formal complaint.
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told Belson the union’s lawyers have not yet seen a copy of the filing.
The NFLPA announced earlier Monday that its board of player representatives voted to extend the deadline for voting on the proposed CBA by two days, from 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 12 to 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 14.
Owners approved the new 11-season deal last month.