Article: Patrick Rishe (2015), Major League Soccer Averts Work Stoppage with New Collective Bargaining Agreement. Forbes
Nature of the bargaining
The bargaining is cooperative in nature since the major league soccer management, and the players sought to reach an agreement that would benefit both parties. The parties entered into an agreement that helped prevent the work stoppage in the major league soccer. Each party concerns were addressed in the conflict with the players demanding better terms such as free agency for players above 28 years who have had at least eight seasons in the league.
Underlying causes of the dispute
The main cause of the dispute is the ownership of all contracts by the league and lack of free agency for players. The players demanded to have free agency especially for those that their contracts had expired and had more than eight seasons in the league. The previous contract arrived at in the year 2010 saw other players earn as high as $7million many of the players in the league earned approximately $100,000. Due to this disparity many stakeholders and players in the league sought to change the trend by adopting a new agreement with better terms. Players felt that they were not properly taken care of by the league officials because all the contracts are under the control of the league.
Economic pressures used by both parties to prevail in the dispute
Players were complaining about low wages as compared to the stars in the league. The players based their claims that what they were getting was not enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle for professional players. The players also complained about the lack of free agency for players to play in other leagues and seek for better terms elsewhere. Players that have retired from the league need to get another source of livelihood by allowing them free agency. On the other hand, the league officials were concerned with the high cost of wages demanded by the players. As the league officials argue, increasing the wages of the players will require additional sponsorship and funds allocation. This could only be done in the budgetary for free agency would reduce the money that comes to the leagues through paid agency. As a result, the league officials were working to ensure that the money coming in through agencies is not reduced through free agency from retired players.
Evidence of illegal or unethical conduct by either party
There is no court order mentioned in the strike notice that had been issued by the players. A strike needs to be legal after the participants had obtained a court order to carry on with the strike. It was only one week when the talks on the five-year contract began, and a decision arrived at two days before the opening day for the season. It is ethical for officials to handle such matters on time so that players can afford enough time to arrange for the game. The 2010 contract decision was agreed upon a day to the start of the season. This approach of delaying contracts by league officials is unethical. The previous contract had expired in January, and the players were expected to start the season without renewal of the contract which is illegal. The officials of the league should have prepared to renew the contract or enter into talks with the players because they knew of the league opening in March.
Yes, the dispute was resolved between the league officials and the players. The salary of players was increased. According to Patrick (2015), the salaries budget for each team in the leagues was increased from the previous $3.1 million to a high of $3.5 to meet the increase in the player’s wages. The minimum salary for the players in the major league soccer was placed at $60,000 representing an additional amount of $11,500 from the minimum salary that players received according to the previous contract. Players who have participated in the league for eight seasons and are aged 28 years and above were allowed free agency if their contracts had expired. The free agency provided them with an alternative source of revenue after contract expiration.
Involvement of a third party
A third party was involved in resolving the dispute between the two parties. The federal mediation was involved in reaching the March 2015 agreement. Conciliation services also helped the two parties arrive at a conclusive decision regarding the new contract. The mediation made it possible for the two to settle on the salaries as agreed and the free agency for players whose contracts have expired.
Alternatives solution for the conflict
The conflict would have been solved easily if the league management and officials made efforts to have a new contract in place on time before the players could announce a demonstration. Some players felt that others took home salaries that are almost equal to half of their clubs budget while others earned $60,000. Despite the players agreeing to the contract, they were discontented with how the management and the mediation team addressed this aspect. The issue of discrepancy between players in the same league should have been addressed in broad to wipe away the discontent among players earning low amounts of money as salary as Lederach (2015) recommends.
Lederach, J. (2015). Little Book of Conflict Transformation: Clear Articulation Of The Guiding Principles By A Pioneer In The Field. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Patrick Rishe (2015), Major League Soccer Averts Work Stoppage with New Collective Bargaining Agreement. Forbes