Barring an unexpected extension of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, the league’s players union plans to decertify before the current deal expires at midnight on Friday.
A source familiar with the NFLPA’s plans confirmed yesterday that the union would decertify – or essentially cease to be a union. The story was first reported by ESPN.
The source said, however, that the plan to decertify may change, based on potential progress in negotiations. The two sides are set to resume talks on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. before federal mediator George Cohen.
“A lot of things can happen over the next two or three days,” said the source, who did not wish to be identified. “Absent a deal, it’s safe to say [decertification] would happen. But there’s still time for a possible deal or a possible change.”
The NFL claimed in a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board that the union’s threat to decertify represented “a sham,” since the NFLPA already decertified in 1989, only to reconstitute in 1993.
The NFLPA is concerned that owners will institute a lockout if negotiations fail to achieve a new CBA before the current deal expires. Decertification would prevent the NFL from locking the players out, since there would technically be no organized union to lock out.