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NFL Contract Negotiation Extension

Publication Date: 
March 03, 2011
Source: 
PBS.org -Nightly Business Report
Author: 
Susie Gharib

Professor William B. Gould IV spoke with Susie Gharib on the contract dispute in the NFL. The interview which aired on PBS's Nightly Business is available here:

SUSIE GHARIB: The contract dispute between NFL owners and the union representing the players has a little more time to be resolved. Late today, both sides agreed to extend contract talks through tomorrow. The original deadline was midnight tonight. Now the NFL`s lead attorney and NFL players are negotiating behind closed doors in Washington, DC. The labor showdown could determine whether or not the American public will be able to watch one of their favorite sports. Joining us now to talk about what`s at stake, William Gould. He`s professor of law at Stanford University and he`s the former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board. Professor Gould, welcome to NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.

WILLIAM GOULD, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, STANFORD LAW SCHOOL: Thank you, good to be with you.

GHARIB: Now you have been through these kinds of labor negotiations before. When there is a last minute extension like what we heard today, does this mean that there is going to be a contract settlement within the next 24 hours? What usually happens?

GOULD: Well, it`s not necessarily so. It means that either the differences between the parties are narrowing or that there is the prospect of narrowing differences and they probably have a good deal of confidence in the mediator, George Cohen who is using his best efforts and resources to get those differences narrowed further.

...

GHARIB: Now you were very in the middle of that long contract dispute with major league baseball back in 1995. Do you think that a standoff here could end up to be a long drawn out battle like what happened with baseball or is it a different story here?

GOULD: I think it could wind up to be a long drawn out battle. I think it will be perhaps a little different than baseball when my agency, the National Labor Relations Board was at the center. Once again, charges have been filed with the agency by the owners this time, but the players will undoubtedly take this case back to Judge Dodi (ph), a United States district court judge in Minneapolis who`s had jurisdiction over these cases ever since the 1970s.