Mediation for the NFL and the NFLPA: Problem Resolution without a Resolution

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and their owners have decided upon outside mediation for their resolution of the collective bargaining agreement with the players union.  They have resorted to rely upon the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, an independent U.S. government agency, which will oversee the labor negotiations in Washington, D.C. Knowing that the lockout will occur in about two weeks from now, by the end of Thursday, March 3rd, this mediation may not resolve the collective bargaining agreement.

I agree with some that arbitration would have been a better way of settling this dispute.  But the money being thrown around in this dispute, as well as the extended regular season schedule, the tension between the NFL team owners and players won’t be reconciled easily, even with a government agency.  President Barack Obama may attempt to intervene on behalf of public and the government agency, but I’m afraid it would be nothing more than a public relations display. Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday, an executive member on the board of the NFLPA, said that this mediation could only assist in resolving the disagreements.  Jeff Saturday may be a bit optimistic, but having seven straight days of talks starting today certainly will help.

Again, personally, I would prefer arbitration, but that would mean both sides would have to rely on an external person or agency making the final decision for the collective bargaining agreement.  The downside of relying upon this mediation by the government agency is that if the talks fail, the NFL players, teams and fans will have less than a week before a lockout will occur.  Arbitration would cut the drama short, and a final decision would before the March 3rd deadline.

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