Chicago Sun-Times

Former NLRB chair says St. Louis appeals courts could favor NFL

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The former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board said NFL owners couldn't ask for a better court to hear its appeal.

"The U.S. Court of Appeals [for The Eighth Circuit] in St. Louis is probably the most conservative court in the country," said William Gould, currently a professor at Stanford University. "When I was chairman of the NLRB [from 1994 to 1998], a number of our orders against employers were reversed there.

"This is the best court for the owners to be in."

Asked why, Gould said, "Philosophically, they're hostile to the rights of unions and workers to engage in union activity, and, in this case, not to engage in union activity."

The NFL is trying to regroup, after Federal Judge Susan Nelson lifted the league's lockout in a decidedly pro-players, ruling Monday.

"The irreparable harm to the players outweighs any harm an injunction would cause the NFL," she wrote.

The league didn't find much to be satisfied with in her 89-page ruling.

"She exhibited considerable skepticism of the owners' arguments, so she accepted virtually every argument that the players made," Gould said. "It's obviously a sweeping victory, at this stage, for the players, and gives them enormous leverage if the order is affirmed."

But that's the key question: while the lockout is technically lifted will it become officially lifted after the court of appeals has its say?

Gould said the owners will argue that lifting the lockout then resuming it will create chaos.
If the owners lose before the appeals court, the players will have significant leverage moving forward. But if they win, the NFL's lockout could threaten regular season games.

"If the owners are successful, I would think this is going to go on for a considerable period of time [in courts], and games could be cancelled," Gould said. "But if the players are successful, well, then they'll we'll have football."

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6 Comments

Sean how did they get the 8th? They nfl only has 2 teams in the 8th district. The nfl is based out of NY. Shouldn't this be taking place in the 2nd district? Appelate courts have districts for a reason. The Rams or Vikings could appeal to the 8th but nobody else is in that district.

I have not really been following the lockout much but how has all this ended up in the 8th district. Judge Nelson is in Minnesota too. I am lost as to how they got out of NY. The nfl isn't even a Corp, its association. While they have a national product its all independent owners.

Wasn't the players union dissolved? Yes it was, not to mention NFL owners want a players union, no union = no agreements and the nfl becomes the wild west and independent teams start doing whatever they want. No rules, no aggreement on what age players can be drafted, hell no draft.

The nfl does this and they will break everything Halas worked for. There are only a couple owners in the league that can afford to miss games. The owners are the ones that expanded the league, the yare the ones that put all these crap franchises in small markets or saturated markets. 3 teams in Florida, is that joke? They watered down the talent and the league when they expanded. Small market teams are killing the league and doing nothing but looking for handouts. Then the owners who are really rich like Jones, they want more teams like one in LA, more money, more games, and they want to pay the players less, plus they don't want anything to do with the medical issues.

I know some people are mad at the players but the NFL Owners dissolved the union, the Owners opted out of the baganing agreement, and the Owners issued the lockout, plus they are the ones asking for everything. I can't even see the 8th agreeing with the owners on this. The owners are not making much of an argument and none of the big market teams have opend their books. The yare crying we are poor and broke, well if thats the case why did Jones build a billion dollar stadium?

I am assuming that since the lower court ruling was located in the 8th circuit "footprint", the appeals will be there too. It is the players who should have filed their case in a much more liberal circuit therefore if there was an appeal, they could stand a better chance of winning an appeal.

The owners didn't dissolve the union. The union decertified so they could file these sham lawsuits by individual players. That was a joke. And I am not a huge fan of the owners and much of this mess is of their own doing, but there are precedents here. On one hand, ticket prices go up an average of 5% per year, but player's salaries don't match. And yes, the majority of revenue comes from TV and media contracts, but those contracts are locked in for a set number of years. BUT, if the owners do anything to "regulate" salaries, they will be sued {and they will lose} for collusion. And yes, like I said, the owners are their own worst enemy. But there has to be some sort of bargaining agreement or it will be chaos.

And answer me this. In what industry do the owners of the companies really care about their employees? Mining industry? Auto industry? Power line workers? Clothing manufacturing? Meat packing industry? None of them did. That is why unions were formed. Owners are in it to make as much money as they can. Why would the NFL be any different? This is not my stance, but just the way it is. But looking at it from the players standpoint, if you think for one second that the stance of the players has anything to do with retired players, you're nuts. It's a great PR move to say that and I am sure there will be some additional benefits for the retired players, but the "union" is demanding that the books be opened for their review for their own finacial gain.

In my opinion, the guy who looks the most like a buffoon, is the commissioner. He's not a great public speaker, and he's looking more and more like the owner's lackey.

It wasn't personal suits, it was just a bagaining chip move to prevent the lockout. If they hadn't locked out the players the players would have reformed the union. They did it so they bring anti trust litigation against the owners.

Here is the thing, the players have the upper hand in the 8th. The 8th is anti union and the owners want the players to reform the union. The players have already told them they are fine with a free market. Players are trying to go to work today and the owners are turning them away. The nfl owners are basically committing collusion and they are going ot hear about it.

Right now the owners are trying to get Nelson to order a stay and they have until the 16th I think. If FA does not start and the players are not allowed to report to work, that will probably be considered collusion. Either way the players are the ones doing what the courts want. The owners are not doing what the courts want. Personally I think the owners are in panic mode, they don't have much to stand on.

Goodell is clown and a mout piece for the owners.

The NFL owners are an example of the type of corporate greed that is destroying this country. They try to portray the players as the villains with their spin tactics, demand increased production and rake in additional profits with no concessions. Like the rest of corporate America, they pretend to care about workers while profiting from conditions that are deplorable and life debilitating towards its employees. What is the difference between the NFL owners and big oil executive thieves who legally pillage the American taxpayer at the gas pumps through system of unregulated speculative trading and other greedy immorally profitable tactics? Not much. Why do American people allow these blood sucking corporate thieves continue to get tax breaks & special tax exemptions while their employees/clientele pay the costs? And how can the working stiff continue to support reckless republican & tea parties that fight for more corporate deregulations so these thieves to continue legally violate their employees rights without any type of oversight? Look at what deregulation has done for the banking and oil industries. I hope the 8th appeals court rule in a manner which goes contrary to this way of thinking the same way Judge Nelson did in her ruling. We need to defeat this avariciously insidious way of doing business before it completely destroys America.

How dare you speak of the McCaskey family in such a way. You call yourself a Bear fan? What about supporting the team, well they gave you your team. You are no fan of the Bears or the NFL if you speak against the owners, for they have blessed you with the nfl.

Are you truly as ignorant as you portray yourself? Do you even have a clue as to how the oil companies profit? What they're profit margins are?, and how speculation works? I am willing to wager that based on your "CNN talking points" above, the answer is no. Do you have any idea how much tax a major oil producing company pays? Once again the answer is no. And do you even know how much money the oil field workers make on a yearly basis? Don't worry, I will answer for your sorry self. No.

First off, the major oil companies operate at less than a 10% profit margin. {"CNN Money"} And it is the oil companies that pay for exlporation, R&D, and EPA conformity. By contrast Federal, State, and local fuel taxes account for more than 25% of the cost of a gallon of gas or diesel. {And this doesn't include corporate and state B&O taxes.} What "risk" does your "all saving" government have in the oil companies to reward such a "windfall profit" that they reap from the oil companies? The answer is nothing. And as for your comment about MORE government regulation. Yeah, let's have MORE companies move to other countries. Here's what Forbes had to say about the subject. And I quote, "When you add in state taxes, the U.S. has the highest tax burden among industrialized countries," says Hodge. In contrast, China's rate is just 25%; Ireland's is 12.5%." And another quote from Forbes, " America's three biggest oil companies, ExxonMobil ( XOM - news - people ), Chevron ( CVX - news - people ) and ConocoPhillips ( COP - news - people ), all endure income tax burdens of more than 40%--higher than the statutory U.S. rate of 35%"...Yep, give me more government regulation.

Speculators are investors on Wall Street. And the stock market, mutual funds, pension funds, corporate bonds, and federal T-bills, and bonds are ALL forms of speculation. I am sure that back in the "day" if you had money in a 401-K or some form of investment, you were all for the speculation of that investment. That's how they increase in value. And let me clue you in on something...YOU can take part in the oil companies profits. You, yes, you {I sound like Pink Floyd}, can buy stock in these companies.

And when you have absolutely no basis for an argument, what do you do? You pull out your "let's blame the Tea Party" line. Once again, do you even know the Tea Party platform? They want a true balanced budget, cut wasteful spending, save "entitlements" for future generations, and lower taxes. {I guess I am even more radical than even Tea Party people, because i would like to see the absolution of most "entitlements". Just the name itself makes me want to puke.}

And then you want to tell us..." Like the rest of corporate America, they pretend to care about workers while profiting from conditions that are deplorable and life debilitating towards its employees."....are you serious? Conditions that are deplorable"? LOL...Yeah, just like the Cleveland Cavs owner treated Labron like a slave. Multi million dollar weight rooms, training facilities, shoe contracts, and state of the art locker rooms....yeah, that sounds deplorable to me. And what are these deplorable working conditions in other industries? You mean like the auto industry where workers get up to 90% of their pay for being laid off? Are there hard/dangerous jobs out there? Absolutely. But the industries are usually over regulated, and unionized.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on April 25, 2011 7:34 PM.

Judge Susan Nelson rules in favor of players; owners will seek a stay was the previous entry in this blog.

Angelo remains on lookout for quarterbacks is the next entry in this blog.

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