Thursday, February 25, 2010

By not striking, MLSPU may just win

Hmmm, are the players really this crafty? Consider these points:

Here's the statement from Bob Foose today:

“Effective at midnight tonight, our collective bargaining agreement with MLS will expire,” said Union executive director Bob Foose in a statement.
Foose added that, “while we expect that negotiations with MLS will resume at some point, there simply hasn’t been enough progress made in the negotiations to date to warrant an extension of the old agreement. We have advised our players to keep working for the time being, but as of Friday they will be doing so without a CBA. In the meantime, all options are being considered as the process continues. We are completely committed to forging real changes to the way MLS players are treated.”

And here's the statement from the MLS:

"During the last year, Major League Soccer has been negotiating with the MLS Players Union on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The current CBA expires today and the Players Union would not agree to a further extension.

"We have told the Players Union that the League does not plan to lock out the players and we are prepared to begin the season under the current CBA while we continue to bargain to reach agreement on a new CBA.

"We have listened to the issues raised by the MLS Players Union and the League has made detailed proposals that have addressed these issues, including in the areas of economics, guaranteed contracts, options and the ability of a player to move to another MLS Club if he is released by his current Club. These proposals, which represent substantial changes from the current CBA, will significantly increase our spending and provide substantially more rights to the players."

Pardon me, but I do not trust the owners' statement in any way. They're not a bunch of lying liars, but neither are they on the whole up and up here.

The players have far more powerful weapons than a strike at their command, legal ones. But the fact is that if they don’t follow these paths during the season at some point, then they lose them. I wonder if they’ll strike the All-Star Game. Too bad, since it’s here in Houston this year.

My personal feeling is that without a CBA, the players are essentially playing according to whatever contracts they have. That would mean that after the contracts are over, then they are free agents. As free agents, if they all demand in their contracts that they will not sign deals that contain MLS’ allocation, non-guaranteed and reserve rights language, then by 1,000 cuts, they could accomplish these same ends, free agency and guaranteed contracts, especially if they can get the nascent NASL to agree to the same contract terms. And all of this can be done with concerted action, but no strike.

What do you think? Read more!