Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
NHL issues pre-emptive legal strike; lockout going to court
The lockout just got uglier. The NHL and NHLPA are going to court.
The NHL today filed suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan seeking a declaration that the three-month lockout, which has triggered the cancellation of 526 games as well as the Winter Classic and All-Star weekend in January,
is legal. The league also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing the union of "bad-faith bargaining." "Today, in response to information indicating that NHL Players have or will be asked to vote to authorize the National Hockey League Players' Association's Executive Board to proceed to "disclaim interest" in continuing to represent the Players in collective bargaining, the National Hockey League filed a Class Action Complaint in Federal Court in New York seeking a Declaration confirming the ongoing legality of the lockout," the league said in a press release.
"Simultaneously with the filing of its Complaint, the NHL also filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that by threatening to "disclaim interest," the NHLPA has engaged in an unlawful subversion of the collective bargaining process and conduct that constitutes bad faith bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act," the statement continued.
There was no immediate response from the union.
Earlier in the day, there were multiple reports that the union's executive committee notified 700-plus players of a vote to give them (the board) the option of filing a disclaimer of interest---as the NBA players did last November---if they so choose. It did not schedule a vote; if one was taken, a two-thirds majority is needed for approval.
A disclaimer of interest dissolves the union by terminating its right to represent the players, and allows players to file anti-trust suits The NBA players association did so last November during a lockout, and two weeks later, a tentative collective bargaining agreement was reached, and a 66-game season was played. The suit was withdrawn.
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