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NFL Labor Dispute: Owners Charge NFLPA With 'Surface Bargaining'

I am no legal expert, but the fact that the NFL filed a formal complaint Monday with the National Labor Relations Board charging the NFL Players Association with "surface bargaining" cannot be a good thing.

From the report:

"The NFL is asking for nothing more than the NLRB to order the union to bargain in good faith," the league said in its filing with the National Labor Relations Board.

"The NFL stated to the (board) that the union has engaged in ‘surface bargaining’ and tactics designed to avoid reaching an agreement before the CBA expires so that it can file antitrust litigation. … The union’s strategy amounts to an unlawful anticipatory refusal to bargain."

In reaction, the NFLPA said the following in a statement, "The players didn’t walkout and the players can’t lockout. Players want a fair, new and long-term deal. We have offered proposals and solutions on every issue the owners have raised. This claim has absolutely no merit."

Could the league be right? Maybe. The NFLPA could be planning to de-certify after March 3. There is precedent, with the union having done that back in 1987.

No matter at this point, though. It just seems like more pointless finger-pointing and posturing. With less than three weeks to go before the current collective bargaining agreement expires it seems neither side has actually gotten serious about reaching an agreement.