NHL Players Approve Authorization to Dissolve Union
New York, NY
In an overwhelming vote, the NHL Players' Association has authorized its executive board to file a disclaimer of interest that will effectively dissolve the union, unfolding another chapter in the three-month labor impasse.
The decision of the more than 700-member union was reached after a five-day vote. The results were announced Friday.
Now, the 30-member executive board, composed of one player from each of the league's teams, has until Jan. 2 to decide whether it will file the disclaimer.
If the board pursues the filing of disclaimer, the union would be dissolved and it becomes a trade association, opening the way for individual players to file antitrust lawsuits against the league.
However, the NHL beat the players to the punch last week, filing a preemptive class-action complaint in federal court in New York seeking to confirm the legality of the lockout, which the players would challenge if they filed antitrust suits.
The league also filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that the union's disclaimer authorization vote "constitutes bad-faith bargaining."
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly refused to comment regarding the vote, adding that the two sides haven't reached out about starting new bargaining in the coming days.
No negotiations have taken place between the two sides since talks with mediators broke down Dec. 13.
The league recently canceled games through Jan. 14, wiping out more than half the schedule. It is also expected that the league will cancel the season altogether after January 15.
Year In Review on the NHL lockout
NHL knocks off 99 more games from 2012-2013 schedule
The National Hockey League announced Thursday the cancellation of games through January 14, scrapping 99 more games off their 2012-2013 schedule.
The NHL has already lost a total of 625 games or 50.8 percent from its supposed 2012-2013 schedule.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman previously insisted that he will not accept a season with less than 48 games per team, prompting followers to think the 2012-2013 season is already dead.
The NHL and the players association remain in a stalemate on their labor talk while the NHL Players' Association in a brink of disbandment.
This is the third time over the last three decades that the NHL experienced a lockout of this magnitude.
The 1994-1995 NHL season was shortened to 48 games while the 2004-2005 was totally abandoned all because of labor disputes.
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