Just over a month away from expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement, the NBA Players Association has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. The complaint alleges unfair labor practices and seeks an injunction that would prevent owners from locking the players out on July 1st.
Specific charges in the complaint accuse the owners of “making harsh, inflexible, and grossly regressive ‘takeaway’ demands that the NBA knows are not acceptable to the Union,” and utilizing “classic ‘take it or leave it’ and surface bargaining.”
The NBPA alleges that the league has failed to negotiate in good faith, calling for significant financial concessions, including up to $800 million in salary rollbacks from existing contracts, without willingness to compromise on other issues.
In response, the NBA issued the following statement:
“There is no merit to the charge filed today by the Players Association with the National Labor Relations Board, as we have complied — and will continue to comply — with all of our obligations under the federal labor laws. It will not distract us from our efforts to negotiate in good faith a new collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association.”
The union released a statement pleading for expedited resolution to the matter. “We have urged the Board to investigate this matter quickly and to seek an injunction against the NBA’s unlawful bargaining practices and its unlawful lockout threat,” the statement read.
The claim signifies a change in tactics by the players, after feeling that the owners were unwilling to concede any real compromise. The next formal bargaining session between the sides is scheduled for early next month.