Are the NBA's collective bargaining negotiations about to take an ugly turn or could legal action prevent a lockout?
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the National Basketball Players Association has "just filed unfair labor practice charge with National Labor Relations Board, accusing NBA of failing to bargain in good faith."
Shortly thereafter, Yahoo! Sports reported that the "NBPA's complaint to NLRB for unfair labor practices charges the NBA with 'harsh, inflexible and grossly regressive 'takeaway' demands. Players Association also charges NBA is 'engaging in classic 'take it or leave it' and surface bargaining intended to delay action.'" The site also noted that it's possible this is simply legal maneuvering. "These charges will probably go nowhere, but the union seems determined to make clear that there's been no progress with Stern and owners."
The Associated Press reports that the move could impact whether there is a lockout this summer.
The NBA players' association filed an unfair labor charge against the league Tuesday with the National Labor Relations Board, a move it hopes could block a lockout it feels owners want.In recent weeks, the Players Association has expressed frustration with a lack of progress in ongoing negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The union says the NBA hasn't bargained in good faith, has made financial demands without offering concessions to the players, and has bypassed the union to deal directly with players.
The charge filed with Region 2 of the NLRB seeks "an injunction against the NBA's unlawful bargaining practices and its unlawful lockout threat."
Via the Salt Lake Tribune, the NBA issued the following response on Tuesday afternoon.
"There is no merit to the charge filed today by the Players Association with the National Labor Relations Board, as we have complied -- and will continue to comply -- with all of our obligations under the federal labor laws. It will not distract us from our efforts to negotiate in good faith a new collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association."Back in April, Yahoo! Sports reported that the NBA referee's union filed a similar complaint.
This post will be updated with more on this story as it develops.