For a pair of entities that recently located lengthy-term labor peace, the NFL and the NFLPA stay at war on a couple of fronts. Most substantially, the NFLPA has declined to proceed with HGH testing, regardless of agreeing to HGH testing in the new CBA.
Also lingering is a dispute in between the two parties concerning the meaning of an August four letter agreement concerning the application of the private conduct policy throughout the lockout. The agreement exempts 1st-time offenders from discipline for off-field incidents occurring during the lockout. The agreement seems to permit, by its plain terms, the impositions of fines and/or suspensions on eight repeat offenders who located trouble, or vice-versa, in the course of the function stoppage.
To date, only 1 active player has been suspended pursuant to that agreement: Bengals running back Cedric Benson. (Cornerback Brandon Underwood also has been suspended, but he is not below contract with any team. League rules allowed him to serve the suspension even though unemployed.) Benson has fought the suspension in three methods. Very first, he appealed the initial three-game suspension, and it was decreased to a one-game suspension with an additional fine in the quantity of 1 game check. Second, Benson filed an unfair labor practices charge with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing that the NFLPA tied Benson’s hands at a time when the NFLPA wasn’t even a union. Third, Benson filed a formal grievance below the CBA, arguing that the league has no authority to impose discipline for anything that occurred in the course of the lockout.
As initial reported here earlier today, the grievance was denied.
A hearing on Benson’s grievance was held on Friday. Per a source with information of the situation, the NFLPA supplied outside counsel David Feher as a witness. Feher testified that the NFLPA believed the letter agreement, sent at the 11th hour as numerous other documents were becoming drafted and finalized in advance of the signing of the CBA, primarily was intended to defend the initial-time offenders from discipline for incidents occurring during the lockout, and that the status of the eight repeat offenders would be the subject of subsequent discussions and/or proceedings.
Feher also testified that the NFL argued in conjunction with the union’s effort to lift the lockout that the circumstances constituted a “temporary cessation of the employment relationship.” If so, then the NFL has no power to take any action against any player for conduct occurring throughout the lockout.
This certain testimony from Feher raises questions concerning the union’s refusal to supply a witness to testify at the appeal of Benson’s suspension. If the NFLPA had interjected that point into the appeal, the league may have been forced to scuttle the entire suspension.
As we understand it, the NFLPA offered no evidence at the appeal hearing because Benson had filed an unfair labor practices charge against the union with the NLRB. If that’s the case, it’s doable that Benson will now be filing yet another 1.
(About:) This post was distributed by X2 news wire and aggregation service, For much more news see: NFLPA attempts to clarify August 4 letter agreement.