Labor Pains on the Playing Field: Why Taking a Page from Europe's Playbook Could Help the United States
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Labor Pains on the Playing Field: Why Taking a Page from Europe's Playbook Could Help the United States

  • Author(s): Brice, Trevor E.
  • et al.
Abstract

Work stoppages have become commonplace in American professional

sports. Whether it takes the form of a strike or a lockout, a work

stoppage, or the threat thereof accompanies nearly every labor dispute

between owners and players. This is hardly surprising, though,

because the current system for resolving labor disputes-the National

Labor Relations Act and its implementing body, the National Labor

Relations Board is ill-fitted to the unique challenges posed by sports

labor issues. Additionally, there is no institution tasked with directly

overseeing professional sports in America.

 

The same is not true in Europe. Oversight bodies are common

throughout Europe and help to resolve sports labor disputes before

they turn into full-blown work stoppages. As this Article discusses,

American professional sports need this type of oversight.

 

Therefore, this Article advocates a two-tiered approach to solving

American professional sports' culture of frequent work stoppages.

First, the United States should enact new legislation to govern the resolution

of sports labor disputes, as it has already done to regulate labor

disputes in other American industries. Second, the United States

should create a body charged with overseeing professional sports and

implementing this newly-created legislation. By taking these two steps,

the United States can end the pattern of work stoppages that plagues

professional sports labor disputes and provide stability to this critical

American industry.

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