Question on legality of Replacements versus crossing the union

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by ladybugblue, Feb 16, 2005.

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  1. ladybugblue

    ladybugblue Registered User

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    I had a question...given that the NHLPA has accepted a salary cap of some sort it would be expected that a number of players want to play the game right now. Now if things do not work out today and they cancel the season and IF the NHL gets an impasse (I know a lot of IFs) do the immigration visa rules apply only to "replacement players" or also to players that cross the picket line (given the NHLPA would strike)?

    My thinking is that maybe the NHL is thinking they can still get an impasse and a lot of players would cross the picket line and the immigration issue wouldn't be a problem. Just a thought.
     
  2. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    If the NHL wants to come all this way, finally get the players to concede to a salary cap and then go for an impasse, they'd probably get laughed out of the city by the NLRB if they even attempted to go for impasse.



    It's time for Gary Bettman to make some concessions. He's got the players to what he wants, they will take a salary cap, now he's going to blow up the season after being as close as they ever were. This is a carreer-ending decision Bettman is making, and they're going to lose a lot more than the $180M he is claiming when they finally do come back.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2005
  3. Jobu

    Jobu Registered User

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    Agreed. The impasse option is pretty much not an option anymore.
     
  4. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    The former head of the NLRB was on the Bob McCowan show yesterday and clearly stated that impasse was NOT impossible due to any of the recent developments.
     
  5. Jobu

    Jobu Registered User

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    Who said it was impossible?

    Fact is, if the MLB was laughed out of New York, the NHL will be laughed out before they even get there. The players have conceded, and after one day you call it a season and declare an impasse? Sure. :shakehead
     
  6. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    Who said they would declare impasse immediately?

    The whole point made by the FORMER HEAD OF THE NLRB was that they could reach impasse over any number of issues. This would, of course, include the failure to reach a cap # acceptable to both sides.
     
  7. Jobu

    Jobu Registered User

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    You're insane if you think the NHL would risk the financial and practical backlash of improperly declaring an imapsse when the only material issue in disupute is a $42.5m cap vs. a $49m cap, a difference that will only impact a handful of teams.

    In fact, I hope they do.
     
  8. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    I guess we'll see what will happen and I don't find it likely that the NHL will go for impasse; however, the point was that an expert in the area pointed out just yesterday that the possibility still existed.

    PS The difference impacts EVERY team, as the top teams signing will be used as comparables in arbitration.
     
  9. tantalum

    tantalum Registered User

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    Why would it be a financial risk? after all the last players offer is apparently easily affordable according to the PA and the PA supporters ;) Essentially any court is going to choose between the two sides final offer. By offering the cap the players assured themselves of a cap in the new CBA whenever it comes into existence. If the NHL still goes to impasse it is because they truly believe that the last offer from the PA was not good enough. They'll have all the i's dotted and t's crossed if they go that route.
     
  10. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    i am pretty sure if the ruling is against the NHL, the NLRB will revert to the previous CBA, not hte last offer from PA AND the NHL could be liable for back pay for the contracts that were not paid during the lockout.


    dr
     
  11. eye

    eye Registered User

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    I no longer think there will be an Impasse as I believe players will not vote to strike. The players will finally have their say when they vote to strike or not strike and the results will be very suprising.

    On top of that the former head of the NLRB was interviewed on Sportsnet yesterday and he said that the difference was still significant and that many cases have been heard and won on much less of a difference.
     
  12. ladybugblue

    ladybugblue Registered User

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    Does anyone have an answer to this question? I know there may not be an impasse but it would be interesting to see what are the options.
     
  13. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    The immigration issue affects any foreign national trying to play during a labour dispute whether or not they were former NHLPA members crossing the picket line. The replacement worker option does not end the dispute - it continues and the sides are expected to continue to bargain.

    In the US the P-1 visas are issued for a one year period and have to be renewed each year so by the time it got to a replacement league few if any P-1 visas will be in force. Also during the ECHL dispute any existing visas were cancelled as provided under US immigration laws.

    So US citizens and legal US immigrants only can play for US based teams since they do not require work visas.

    The immigration law is similar in Canada but given the number of Canadian born players the Canadian-based teams would not have the same problem stocking their teams because of the larger player pool and fewer teams IF they can get to use replacement players in Canada at all.
     
  14. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    The financial risk according to former NLRB member and management labour lawyer, John Raudabaugh who was on the Fan 590 and Sportsnet a short time back, is that if the NLRB does not agree there was an impasse in fact or the NHL commited unfair labour practise(s)he CBA is gone and the owners have been operating illegally. That means that they are open to what he described as "severe financial penalties".

    Players under contract sue for the value of their contracts, players not under contract sue for lost opportunity costs (probably a damage calculation by the court similar to an salary arbitration hearing) and there is a possibility that antitrust law could come into play since it may be determined to be outside the restrictions of Brown v NFL. In the case of antitrust law in the US it is treble damage awards if you win an antitrust suit. At the very least the replacement players who are not union memebers would have clear shot at using antiottrust law and it could be available to other players who are union members in this limited situation.

    The financial downside is huge if the NHL is wrong.

    In the case of the NFL antitrust suits it cost the NFL $193 million to settle the suits and that was in 1993 when salaries were significantly lower.

    When MLB lost their replacement league try, they were ordered by the NLRB to play under the previous CBA for two more years.

    I just do not see the NHL rolling the dice on an impasse and that is without considering the international and differing labour law juridictions between Canada and the USA and the immigration law constraints. YMMV.
     
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