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MLS: labor talks were 'productive'

In response to comments made by players after the labor negotiations in Washington this week, MLS President Mark Abbott told the Insider on Thursday that "the meetings were productive and we have scheduled a number of additional meetings. While I can't discuss what takes place across the bargaining table, I can say that the players' comments do not accurately reflect the proposals that we have made to address the players' concerns or the productive nature of the discussions between MLS and the union."

There's more.....

Abbott also said: "We have an understanding with both the union and the mediator that we will not publicly discuss what takes place during these bargaining sessions. As such, we were disappointed to see comments from a number of players characterizing the status of the negotiations and the possibility of a strike."

Abbott declined to comment any further.

While mediation is ongoing, the league cannot lock out the players and the players cannot strike. So in order to strike, the players would have to reject the continuation of mediation. The sides are scheduled to meet again with the mediator next week in Washington.

By Steve Goff  |  March 11, 2010; 5:15 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Comments

"The Mediator," starring Russell Crowe. He chops his way through all of the bluster, only to find he is rejected by those he loves. Dying a lonely death in Lot 8, he reaches for the heavens and yells, "Curse you, Kevin Harman!"

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 11, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I'll be waiting for the reply from the players saying talks are not going well.

I'm tired of this s***.

Posted by: Hoost | March 11, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if it wouldn't be a better idea for the players to stick with the existing agreement until after the end of the 2010 season and gamble that a good USA run in the World Cup would give MLS a boost that the players could exploit.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | March 11, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I've argued that for a while, Juan-John. Of course, I'm also against the players striking at all. But strategically it would seem to be wiser, from their perspective.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | March 11, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if it wouldn't be a better idea for the players to stick with the existing agreement until after the end of the 2010 season and gamble that a good USA run in the World Cup would give MLS a boost that the players could exploit.

Posted by: Juan-John1
_____________________________________________

I agree with you. Actually, it seems to me that the players will be in a stronger position after the 2011 season when MLS will be bringing online two very well-supported expansion teams (Portland & Vancouver) with the probability of bringing on two more expansion teams (Montreal & ???) for the 2012 season.

Posted by: Stevenho | March 11, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder if it wouldn't be a better idea for the players to stick with the existing agreement until after the end of the 2010 season and gamble that a good USA run in the World Cup would give MLS a boost that the players could exploit."

Oddly enough, they seem to disagree with Mr. Anonymous Internet Guy.

Posted by: very_clever_username | March 11, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

How bout they strike for the month of June?

Problem solved.

Posted by: delantero | March 11, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if it wouldn't be a better idea for the players to stick with the existing agreement until after the end of the 2010 season and gamble that a good USA run in the World Cup would give MLS a boost that the players could exploit.
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I mean no offense, but that doesn't make sense to me. If there is a better moment for strike, it would be immediately after the Cup -- not the next year. I think that's sort a nuclear option the players wouldn't want to use. Obviously, they're hoping the strike threat moves the owners to compromise, or a strike gets settled in short order. Players want to be able to cash in on increased interest in the sport, too. Right now, the league wants to be playing in July and August to take advantage of the interest generated by the Cup. If there is a moment when the players have the most leverage, it probably is on Mar. 25.

Posted by: fischy | March 11, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

No part of MLS (League, players, fans, sponsors) can afford a strike. Think about the impact to the League's attendance numbers throughout the season if all of the home openers are cancelled! That would have a painful impact to the entire season and would make it that much more difficult to attract and retain sponsors. And that is just one aspect of this much larger situation. Man, I pray there is no strike! Come on y'all! Work it out please!

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | March 11, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm preemting a player's strike with a fan's strike. I hereby denounce MLS as a professional league fit for viewing in my household. I'll see you when there is a better product on the field, better TV coverage, and a new stadium for DC to play in. I wish all the players luck, their going to need it.

Posted by: peridigm | March 11, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, I forgot, single table, better referees, better schedules, better concessions, better uniforms, better commentators, and the list goes on and on and on and on and on and on...

Posted by: peridigm | March 11, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Actually -- you're on to something. If supporters' groups organized and insisted the league spend more money to get better players and build stadiums, we might get somewhere. Or, not.

Posted by: fischy | March 11, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree with UnitedFaninTx. No part of MLS can afford a strike.

1. Even if it isn't fatal, it will make things worse. Think of all the soccer bashers pointing out how soccer isn't missed. Think of all of the interviews of "man on the street" about "what will you do now that MLS is on strike?" and get responses of "MLS-who?". The vast majority of the public won't miss MLS and that will hurt the league.

2. If the league employs scabs, quality of play will go down, fan experience will decrease and some MLS players will ultimately lose jobs (as some of the scabs would be, ala Clyde Simms, better than the original player).

3. It doesn't help the league's quality of play for players to take a break of a week or two (or longer) from practice and games. It cripples the WC/USMNT chances of any MLS players if they aren't playing competitive matches.

I'm not taking the side of the players or the owners. I'm just staying that a strike is a really dumb move.

Posted by: JoeW1 | March 11, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey on a good note Dempsey was back in action against Juventus and had a very nice shot at the end of a 3-1 loss.

Have to give some credit to Fulham as they did play well and kept the game close.

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 11, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"it seems to me that the players will be in a stronger position after the 2011 season when MLS will be bringing online two very well-supported expansion teams (Portland & Vancouver)"

Really, Stevenho? Seems to me that threatening the windfall of expansion fees is a much smarter strategy. Everyone knows that MLS will be better off after PDX and Vancouver enter the league, but to bring that into doubt is excellent strategy... unless you want the league to get its way, which I suspect you do.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 11, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I'll be waiting for the reply from the players saying talks are not going well...

Posted by: Hoost | March 11, 2010 5:33 PM
____________________________________
They already did, in the person of Nick Garcia yesterday. That's what Mark Abbott was grousing about. I'm waiting for the arbiter to speak: when he talks, I'll know they either have a deal or an impasse.

Posted by: schmuckatelli | March 12, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

so frustrating! we've been waiting for the new season to start and now we might not have one at all! Though their are many things to be improved within MLS, and within United's organization, it hardly seems beneficial to either side to have a strike. Those playing for USA need to continue to play to be ready for the world cup!!

Posted by: DCUAlex | March 12, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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