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Thread: Decertification: what would it even mean?

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    Default Decertification: what would it even mean?

    I'm seeing lots of talk from big-name agents about "decertifying" the (players) union. What exactly does that even mean? Would Billy Hunter/Derek Fisher essentially just be overthrown and someone new would step in? Would it bring and end to the lockout immediately?

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    Default Re: Decertification: what would it even mean?

    They aren't decertifying it is way to late too do that. Plus they are saying they are stronger than the owners decertifying would kill there case in court and the mediator would likely side with the owners. I give a 5% chance it happens and that is kind of high. JMO from reading around and watching gametime.
    Last edited by pacer4ever; 09-17-2011 at 10:29 PM.

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    TRADE MONTA Sandman21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decertification: what would it even mean?

    Decertification would for all intensive purposes screw up all progress thats been made and probably mean the season is lost. As long as Hunter and Fisher continue to keep the agents out of it, decertification won't be happening. They had DeMaurice Smith from the NFLPA in Vegas the other day, I believe he basically said the decertification of the NFLPA didn't really work for them.
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    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decertification: what would it even mean?

    Ok. But if it did happen, what exactly happens next? Why didn't it work for the NFLPA? How come they didn't lose a season and the NBA would?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Decertification: what would it even mean?

    What decertification does is allow the players to bring or threaten to bring legal action against the NBA on grounds of antitrust violations.

    Both sports leagues and unions are, for various reasons, riddled with what would normally be considered antitrust violations. Because we want to encourage unionization for various reasons (mainly to give more bargaining power to employers), the law (both judicially and legislatively) has created a labor exemption to antitrust laws both to protect union activity and union CBA bargaining.

    Sports leagues inherently are riddled with antitrust concerns (think free agency, the NBA draft, the 1 and done rule, scheduling, etc).

    Even though the labor exemption was created to encourage unionization, in sports it has hypothetically a countereffect in that as long as the NBAPA stays intact, players cannot bring an antitrust claim. If they decertify, labor exemption goes away and they can.

    Note that based on past cases, the players would most likely lose most antitrust claims (though there have been previous player victories on these grounds). But the idea behind decertifying is for players to try to exert some leverage by threatening to bring or bringing such law suits.

    Also just note that the above information is incredibly simplified and generalized, and based on what I remember from a class I took a year ago (and I tend to have terrible memory).

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    Default Re: Decertification: what would it even mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    Ok. But if it did happen, what exactly happens next? Why didn't it work for the NFLPA? How come they didn't lose a season and the NBA would?
    What would happen next is that players would bring a joint lawsuit against the NBA on antitrust grounds, seeking an injunction to force the season to go on and/or contesting various labor rules the NBA has in place (most of the terms that nare under contention in the CBA bargaining reek of antitrust concerns). Its pretty much a hyperaggressive move that puts an end to the bargaining being done now and replaces it with the threat of lawsuits in an effort to increase leverage and hypothetically speed up the bargaining process. (or if they won the case for an injunction, the league would be forced to lift the lockout and continue the season while they continued to negotiate - but the NFL players lost on appeal in an attempt to do just that).

    Their loss in the attempted injunction is why it didnt work for the NFLPA, if that's what you mean. Obviously if an injunction prevents the owners from locking out, they pretty much lose all their leverage in negotiations.

    The main reason why the NFLPA didn't lose an entire season doesn't have to do with them decertifying. The main reason is that the NFL is very profitable and they were fighting over how to split up their large pot of dough. They were, from the beginning, much closer on key terms than the NBA is.

    The NBA lockout is more contentious because the NBA owners claim not to be profitable. Therefore, they're really asking the players to give without any take, and the question is how much the players have to give up from the last CBA. Most of the time, collective bargaining starts from teh terms of the last CBA and theres give and take. HEre, the owners are asking the players to make concessions on practically every single key term of the CBA.

    It's easy to say that players make a ton of money and they're being greedy by not giving in. But the whole point of unions is to strengthen the bargaining power of employees and to negotiate as a collective group. Having a union loses all meaning if they just give in.

    Unions can't just bargain for themselves, they have to bargain for all future CBAs as well since the current CBA inevitably becomes the starting point for future bargaining. What happens if the players give the owners everything they want now, and the economy turns around and owners start making money hand over fist? Future players get screwed by the crap deal that the last group of players bargained for.

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    Default Re: Decertification: what would it even mean?
    Even with NBA labor negotiations at a standstill and news coming Friday that the league canceled the start of preseason camps, including 43 preseason games, New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony is sticking by NBPA executive director Billy Hunter. In fact, he is speaking for all his fellow and frustrated colleagues.

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    "Our main thing as players is that we have to stick together," said Anthony, who went for 31 points and 17 rebounds in Sunday night's "Battle for I-95" charity basketball game in Philadelphia at the Palestra, which also featured LeBron James and Chris Paul. "We communicate almost every day. We talk about the lockout, different situations, different schemes. We talk about the owners, we talk about ourselves, we talk about reality. Hopefully we can get something done soon."

    Anthony said that if the union needs to be decertified to move the negotiation needle in a positive direction, he would be in favor of that. According to an report, NBA agents believe that the owners currently have most, if not all, of the leverage in these talks and that something needs to be done to turn the tide. They believe decertification will do the trick, creating uncertainty and wresting control away from the owners.

    "If that's where we've got to take it," Anthony said, "that's where we've got to take it. Whatever it takes to get a season."

    I didn't really think this would merit it's own thread.
    The title of the piece is "players stick by union chief" but everything Melo says goes the other direction. It's the first quote I've read from a player indicating a willingness to decertify. I don't think it would happen though.

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Decertification: what would it even mean?

    I fully expect Melo to back peddle on this statement by this time tomorrow.

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    Default Re: Decertification: what would it even mean?

    Thank you so much for letting us know about this! I must say that you are a very dedicated person to have written a wonderful post like this!

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