The NFL issued the following statement today in response to the NFL Players Association’s writing to elected officials in several states asking for their help in negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement:
“Now that the union leaders have concluded their decertification ‘going-out-of-business sale,’ arranged for form letters to be sent to NFL owners by other unions, and issued press releases about their letter-writing campaign to mayors and governors, we are hopeful that they might find more time to talk to us. The union’s request for state and local political leaders to intercede in the negotiations ignores and denigrates the serious and far more substantial problems that those leaders, and that state and local workers across the country face. We can resolve our own issues as we have done many times in the past but the NFLPA has to want to participate in resolving them.
“Every governor, mayor and state legislator understands the need to balance revenue and labor costs. That is why all over the country state, county and municipal employees are facing layoffs, salary cuts, benefit reductions, and other changes in working conditions far more severe than anything proposed by the NFL in these negotiations. In fact, NFL player compensation has doubled over the past decade and will continue to grow under our proposal. And we have offered to increase jobs and improve benefits.
“Nobody—least of all NFL owners – wants to shut down our business. The best way to ensure uninterrupted NFL football in 2011 is for the union to stop asking everyone else to solve its problems and to sit down and engage in serious, constructive bargaining. If the union does so, we can and will reach an agreement.”
A recent story by The Associated Press stated: “The NFL Players Association has turned to Congress for help in preventing team owners from locking out union members next season. Steps the union has taken include drafting letters for lawmakers to send to the league and holding a briefing for members of Congress and their aides on the economic impact of a labor dispute, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
“One union-drafted letter asks Commissioner Roger Goodell to commit to no lockout next year — and, failing that, seeks a batch of information from the league, including each team’s financial statements and salary figures of top officials as well as information on government subsidies for stadium construction and renovation.
“The union found no takers for that letter.”