The National Labor Relations Board voted to seek a stay of a pending an
NEW YORK (AP) _ The National Labor Relations Board voted to seek a stay of a pending antitrust suit in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, putting on hold the effort by some NBA stars to overturn the league’s salary cap.
The NLRB said Monday it was concerned it would not have enough time to rule on the issues of union representation before the antitrust proceedings begin Sept. 6.
The group of players, including Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing, is also seeking to decertify the NBA players union. The players claim the salary cap and amateur draft are illegal because the previous labor contract expired and the union no longer represents a majority of players.
``Since the court will likely view the representative status of the NBA Players Association as the key issue in considering the potential applicability of antitrust law to this case, it is vital that the court have the benefit of the board’s expertise on this issue prior to any judicial resolution of the outstanding legal issues,″ chairman William Gould IV said.
Jeffrey Kessler, a lawyer for the dissidents, wasn’t happy with the decision, but doesn’t expect it to be any impediment to the case going forward.
``We have planned enough time to take into account the election that the NLRB is holding,″ he said. ``Therefore, I don’t understand why a schedule cannot be worked out in the interest of the NLRB and stop an illegal action.″
Jeff Mishkin, a senior vice president of the NBA, said the NLRB’s decision ``merely confirms that complex labor issues remain to be resolved and that misrepresentations were made to our players that antitrust litigation would be a `quick fix’ substitute for collective bargaining negotiations.″
``The only way to save the 1995-96 season,″ Mishkin said in a statement, ``is for the owners and players to resolve this dispute at the bargaining table.″