Soon-to-be Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung filed an unfair labor charge with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday alleging the NFL Players Association negotiated the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement in bad faith.
Okung accused the staff of the NFLPA of violating the union’s constitution by forcing a vote on the proposed CBA over the objections of the executive committee. Okung is a member of that committee, which voted against approving the deal twice. Okung also alleges that the union lacked transparency with the executive committee about negotiations.
The NFLPA responded to Okung’s filing on Tuesday.
“Our union learned from press reports yesterday of a charge made by an NFL player referencing a violation of constitutional process for a new collective bargaining agreement,” the NFLPA said in a statement. “We fully complied with our constitution, which spells out the process for the Board of Player Representatives to approve sending a proposed new collective bargaining agreement to the full membership for a vote. With respect to the other allegations reportedly in the charge, those issues were addressed by the full Executive Committee and shared with the Board of Player Representatives.”
Okung was expected to be a candidate for NFLPA president in Tuesday’s election, but he has pulled out and endorsed Giants safety Michael Thomas. Thomas is also on the executive committee and joined Okung in voting against the proposed deal. Buccaneers linebacker Sam Acho and Browns center JC Tretter are also candidates for the position.