The last time we talked about the NFL's other legal battle, this time between the league and the NFL Referees Association, the NFL was searching for replacement referees after the two sides allowed their collective bargaining agreement to pass.
The NFLRA has now shot back at the NFL via the filing of an unfair labor practices charge with the National Relations Board. If this all sounds familiar, it should. The NFLPA filed similar charges against the NFL last year during the lockout.
The NFLRA claims the NFL sent out "inaccurate and misleading financial information" to the referees in two separate letters in the month of June.
"It is clear the league never intended to work toward a fair agreement, even through mediation," NFLRA executive director Mike Arnold said in a press release. "As previously noted, the NFL sent out notices regarding the recruitment of replacement referees while we were actively negotiating under the auspicious [sic] of a jointly agreed upon Federal Mediator. Now during a lockout, the NFL is attempting to bypass NFLRA negotiators by distributing inaccurate and misleading financial information to all the referees. We have urged the Board to investigate this matter quickly and to seek appropriate remedies against the NFL's unlawful bargaining practices."
The NFL and NFLPA eventually got a deal done, despite the filing of an unfair labor practices charge. The NFL and the NFLRA will also have to come to a new agreement, despite the charge, to avoid the use of replacement referees. Working without the NFLRA would be a disaster.