Yesterday David Stern stated he did not believe the Players Association was bargaining in good faith, and today he went a step further, as the NBA filed an unfair labor practice claim to the National Labor Relations Board, as well as a lawsuit in federal court.
This is in response to the threats from the Players Association about decertification, and to establish that the lockout does not violate antitrust laws.
"These claims were filed in an effort to eliminate the use of impermissible pressure tactics by the union which are impeding the parties' ability to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement," said Adam Silver, Deputy Commissioner of the NBA. "For the parties to reach agreement on a new CBA, the union must commit to the collective bargaining process fully and in good faith."
Should the NLRB side with the owners, existing player contracts could be null and void if the Players Association does pursue decertification. As of yesterday, Derek Fisher, the president of the National Basketball Players Association, stated that they are not currently going to press forward with decertification.
Later in the day, the Players Association released the following statement, per Sports Illustrated:
"The litigation tactics of the NBA today are just another example of their bad faith bargaining and we will seek the complete dismissal of the actions as they are totally without merit. The NBA Players Association has not made any decision to disclaim its role as the collective bargaining representative of the players and has been engaged in good faith bargaining with the NBA for over two years. We urge the NBA to engage with us at the bargaining table and to use more productively the short time we have left before the 2011-12 season is seriously jeopardized."