Thursday, November 17, 2011

NBA lockout

Anyone who believes that the NBA Players Association decision to decertify it as a labor organization will be a successful negotiating strategy is sadly mistaken.
First of all, the federal courts in this country look very unfavorably against that strategy. Saying that employers who negotiate on an "industry-wide basis" are conspiring to violate the nation's anti-trust laws is not a viable legal theory. The Norris-LaGuardia Act, passed in the 1930's to protect a union's right to strike, also forbids federal courts from getting in the middle of "labor disputes". The policy of our courts is "let them fight it out...." "We won't get in the middle."

Recent federal court decisions have uniformly rejected the approach that employers joining together in labor negotiations violate anti-trust laws, and the courts will do so again with respect to pro-basketball.

Second, it is a huge mistake for NBA players to walk away from their union. Yes, the NBA gets to impose a salary cap, some restrictions on free agency, and other restrictions on player's "freedom". But, in exchange the players get more than 50% of the owners' revenue. Wouldn't we all like to have a union agreement that does that???

When the dust settles, the NBA players association will reappear, make a deal with the owners, and we'll go back to playing basketball. The decertification process will only delay that result, and the players will lose in the process.....

And, one of these days, visual effects artists will do the same.....They'll form an association to negotiate for medical insurance, pensions, and portability so they can move from place to place to place.
It's the only way we'll begin to solve our industry's structural problems.

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