Lancer wrote:porp wrote:Unions aren't only about pay. Unions also provide leverage to ensure that the working environment is safe for the workers.
Unfortunately, the NHLPA has failed spectacularly in this regard; re: lobbying for more consistent and stringent refereeing to crack down on cheap shots, head shots, and intents to injure (even if "wearing down" an opponent, wacking and hacking at injuries or creating minor injuries).
I think a player's union is a necessity, no matter how much they get paid. Ask some of the guys who played before the PA came along what life was like.
That said, I prefer collaborative business-labour approaches (like what they have in Germany) vice the Bob Goodenow/Cape Breton Coal Miner school of militant confrontationalism. Here's hoping both sides approach this as partners instead of enemies.
Porp's point is part of the key to the league's success going forward: more inclusion and collaboration on matters of mutual interest and domain. Player safety, rule changes, consistency and rationale in suspensions - these are all things in which the players have just as much stake as the owners and GMs. Two problems: Bettman hates letting the PA have a say in anything and will say no to any further inclusion outright; and the players have to achieve some coherency in what they want on those fronts. Easy to say 'protect the players' until one of their own gets a 35-game suspension. Feher has to herd the cats if they want to achieve anything meaningful in those areas, let alone escrow and salary cap.
Imagine a CBA where rule changes were a true collaborative effort; refs were clearly instructed at the beginning of the season and then left to a 3rd party for performance scrutiny and sanctions; and a mutually agreed-upon arbitrator rule on suspensions and fines. I wonder what the product on the ice would look like. I think I'd like it a lot better than what we're seeing now.
Agreed. And a union done right is a thing of beauty. I mean, if it weren't for the strong unions in Sweden, that organises more than 80% of the workforce, I doubt I'd have 35 paid vacation days and unlimited sick days.