Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/21/12 at 11:05 PM ET
from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
If players voted to decertify, the NHLPA would no longer serve as a bargaining unit, and the lockout would either end or have its legality challenged in an antitrust lawsuit.
In the spring of 2011, NFL players did just that when they dissolved their union and pursued an antitrust lawsuit before their lockout had even begun. That fall, after a lockout that lasted more than four months, the National Basketball Players’ Association followed suit.
Both leagues eventually came to an agreement through negotiations, with the decertification and legal action (or potential legal action) believed to have helped force the two sides into a deal.
In the case of the NBA, the players had a new deal 12 days after their decertification vote went through.
The value of professional athletes having a union has become a subject of debate in sports law circles the past few years, as owners have used labour stoppages to shrink players’ share of revenues.
Without a union to negotiate with, a league couldn’t have a collective agreement, which would mean basic elements of the league, such as the salary cap, could be challenged under antitrust laws.
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