Is an impasse even possible now?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by MarkZackKarl, Dec 10, 2004.

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  1. MarkZackKarl

    MarkZackKarl Registered User

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    I am not all up on impasse impositions and what not, but I find it even harder to believe than before that the owners coudl ever get an impasse declared.

    From what I understand (and I admit its only surface understanding on this situation): The owners could only go before the NLRB arguing for an impasse ONLY if they are able to prove to them that they have bargained long and hard, and that there is NO POSSIBLE WAY BUT THEIRS to "fix" the system.

    With the players clearly showing enough leeway to cover the over-exagerrated "losses" from the owners in their latest proposal, as well as clearly moving a lot in concessions to a middle ground area... How could the owners even stand a chance in hell at getting an impasse?

    There'll be a deal this season, but I wonder what the pro-owner people are thinking when they believe an impasse is likely or some magic and strong trump card the owners can use?

    I just can't see the Labour Board (if it ever got to this) give the NHL one second of thought.

    "oh, you want an idiot proof system without using fiscal responsibility? fiscal responsibility is impossible? Ok! "
     
  2. Kid Canada

    Kid Canada Registered User

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    An impasse is possible yes, very possible. Until they call a press conference announcing a new CBA, an impasse is still very realistic.
     
  3. thinkwild

    thinkwild Veni Vidi Toga

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    I wonder too. Even if procedurally, no bad faith bargaining, in labour board terms occurred, there must be a reasonableness test applied to whether the owners claims of impasse are fair.

    They would be claiming that they needed average salary lowered to $1.3M. The players have proposed just that. How can the owners argue that case? On what basis?
     
  4. Hawker14

    Hawker14 Registered User

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    agreed.

    also, here's a theory i've contemplated.

    the NHL i believe, could be considered by definition, to be acting as an association of individual corporations.

    thus an "oligopoly" could possibly be proven. (oligopoly=a market situation in which each of a few producers affects but does not control the market)

    as such, in front of labour boards, individual teams could be reviewed as single entities, and not as a larger corporate entity that the NHL claims to be. in this situation, teams such as the New York Rangers couldn't claim to need a $31 million salary cap to be financially viable.

    as such, the respective labour boards may rule that these individual parties cannot be subject to any imposed CBA's. Therefore what could arise would be high revenue teams competing in a new "association" or "league". Thus payrolls would be maintained at the $50-70 million levels for these teams, or whatever they want to pay, for that matter.

    lower revenues teams would then be allowed to implement their own CBA into another "association/league".

    thus a scenario may unfold with an "NHL" with the Rangers, Leafs and Flyers for example, and a second tier "NHL2" with the Flames, Panthers, Coyotes, etc.

    two separate leagues ?

    just a thought...
     
  5. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    An impasse is closer now than it was before as the mandatory issues for collective bargaining are being negotiated. If they reach a stalemate, an impasse declaration can't be thrown out on the grounds that the mandatory issues haven't been negotiated. There was no chance of an impasse being upheld until they got all those issues on the table. The new NHLPA did that.
     
  6. MarkZackKarl

    MarkZackKarl Registered User

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    Why would the NLRB ever rule with the NHL on their "my way or the highway stance" ( which would be the one argued for impasse) if it is clear there are several methods (including a very substantial and detailed one proposed by the NHLPA) that reach the same goal.

    I figure they have no chance in hell to win over a NLRB with that BS, there is clearly a workable situation here that does not link slaaries to revenues and does not create a hard cap. I mean, the NLRB alone could see that the owners aren't willing to share revenues, so why the hell would players agree to cap their earning power?

    I find a far more dangerous and interesting trump card being that of de-certification threats... You really dont think the NHL would rather operate on a free market take it or leave it scenario would you? Where players can sign 1 or 2 year contracts then opt out to play in Europe? I know decertification isn't likely, but I have yet to be convinced that an impasse declaration is likiely either.
     
  7. Lionel Hutz

    Lionel Hutz Registered User

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    There are Canadian teams in the NHL. If there is a move to have impasse declared, it is difficult to simply disregard Canadian labour law. I think its a little difficult to imagine it not applying.

    In Canada courts will appoint mediators and impose agreements on the parties. Is this what you're hoping for with impasse? I took a quick look and I can see no declaration of impasse in any jurisdiction in Canada where anything more than mediation was the result.
     
  8. fan mao rong

    fan mao rong Registered User

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    Impasse is when both parties to a dispute are fixed in their positions and no compromise is likely. It is not when one side has proven their way is the only way to reach some financial goal. Canada would have jurisdiction in the applicable Province , if need be, but that would probably result in the applicable team remaining suspended in their operations while the replacement occurs. I don't really know that the league has that in mind. I believe that management's actions are what determines if impasse is applicable and not the other party.
     
  9. Motown Beatdown

    Motown Beatdown Need a slump buster

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    Bush has changed the NLRB so it's more pro-corporation than it was pro-union under Clinton. I'm sure the owners know this and it could work to their advantage. But it's also a big risk, if some reason they do rule for the players the owners would be screwed.
     
  10. HckyFght*

    HckyFght* Guest

    Actually, current avarage salary is $1.8 mil, and to get it down to $1.3 would mean a 38% reduction, not 24%. That being said, 24% is a whopping figure and put the NHLPA solidly at the table. I think an impasse now is impossible unless they get stuck on the details. The problem now is, how do they prevent salaries from climbing back to where they are now in 2-5 years without a cap? Arbitration changes, bonus adjustments, a hard cap on rookies, and a stiff luxury tax might do the trick. I think what's needed is all of the above and a buy-out clause for garunteed contracts...

    Now, about those on-ice problems...
    -HckyFght!
     
  11. Lionel Hutz

    Lionel Hutz Registered User

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    This is my point, as far as I can tell this has never happened in any Canadian jurisdiction. Instead, they appoint mediators and impose a conciliatory agreement on both parties. To my knowledge there is no legal precedent or basis (in Canada) for using an impasse to "suspend" it seems to me that Quebec has a ban on replacement workers. And any talk of de-certification, to me, sounds like an even wilder possibility.

    If someone has an authority on this please share.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2004
  12. OlTimeHockey

    OlTimeHockey Registered User

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    This is the second time you've posted this.

    Check your math. You're wrong.

    38% of $1,800,000 = $684,000

    1,800,000 - $684,000 = $1,116,000

    The NHLPA's 24% roll back is closer to the desired $1,300,000

    24% of $1,800,000 = $432,000

    $1,800,000 - $432,000 = $1,368,000
     
  13. fan mao rong

    fan mao rong Registered User

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    I don't claim authority , but it would seem that if impasse occurs , (don't know that this is necessary or the Leagues' intent) then it would occur in New York City, USA, the League headquarters, and it would go before the National Labor Relations Board (USA). If such action stuck, and some Canadian Jurisdiction took issue, then it would seem to me their adverse ruling would apply to the team or teams in their jurisdiction and the American and perhaps other Canadian jurisdictions could proceed in their approved course. The tail shouldn't wag the dog. That's what the situation would seem to be by my logic.
     
  14. i am dave

    i am dave Registered User

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    Here's what you're doing:
    (1.8 - 1.3) / 1.3 = 0.38 (rounded)

    Here's what you should be doing:
    (1.8 - 1.3) / 1.8 = 0.28 (rounded)
     
  15. fan mao rong

    fan mao rong Registered User

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    Yes, this is an issue I seldom see explored on here. The political appointee nature of the NLRB. Rather than the 3 Democrat 2 Republican mix of 1994 (Previous CBA negotiations and rulings on the Baseball situation) The current board is 3 Republican and 2 Democrat. Also the General Counsel, separate from the NLRB, is currently a Republican. But if I recall from their website, no matter, because his term expires in January '05 and President W. Bush can appoint a new one. This may be of importance as the General Counsel will determine if a charge of Unfair Labor Practices has merit and decides whether to bring it before the Board, much as a District Attorney decides on prosecuting a Criminal Case.
     
  16. Lionel Hutz

    Lionel Hutz Registered User

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    Sure, but that ruling would not be binding on Canadian provinces, and would be counter to their legislation, therfore they would never do it. Therefore no replacement players in Canada, and no hockey, unless the league decides to move on without the Canadian franchises.
     
  17. me2

    me2 Calling out the crap

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    Which would be the sensible option. They'll catch up soon enough.
     
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