Mondi wrote:And I must say, if the players want to be a union...you know with solidarity and what not. Any one of them who goes and takes a job from another professional in the same field is a speaking out of both sides of his mouth right...for them it's all about making money or is it all about fairness and jobs and protecting the players...hmm....
I disagree. Unions do not say that you cannot apply for jobs elsewhere. And in team sports you always look for better players to add to the team. Have you ever played sports on a team? Were you ever upset if a better player offered to play with your team? If so, I don't think you understand the concept of team sports. Heck, I've often heard fans here complain that some players should not be on the team. Making the cut is not an entitlement. It's a right you have to earn. If there are better players available, those players should play.
If there is a strike or a lockout, and someone accepts to work instead of those who are on strike are have been locked out - that's a scab. I think in Sweden it's even illegal.
Workers on strike also often consider members of other unions or non-union workers who stay on during a strike scabs, but from a legal standpoint (at least in Sweden) that's not true. At least as long as they do not do the work of those on strike. Eg if the nurses are on strike, a doctor or a janitor staying on to do his/her work is not a scab, unless they do work that the nurses are supposed to do.
But if there is a workplace that is not under conflict, there's no strike or lockout going on, the employer can always hire new people. Those people are not scabs. There is currently no conflict going on in the KHL or the SEL*.
The rules for firing people vary. In Sweden you cannot be fired without cause. The employer must have a valid reason. If you steal office supplies, if you do not do your job, if you are a hazard to those around you... Those are all valid reasons. But they need to be substantiated.
As for players in Europe losing their job... If they are under contract, the contract is still binding, and they should be paid in full, even if they are riding the pine. Not sure how things work in Russia, I hear it's pretty lawless. Kind of like Chicago in the 1920's, so I guess there may be people there that get screwed over, but that's probably with or withot Ovechkin playing there. Thus taking in NHLers will add to the cost for the team, even if the players do like last time and play for free, because they still need insurance.
Now the marginal players in Sweden's second tier league, that are on a try out contract and don't make the cut because of a NHLer joining the team, should probably give up on hockey and stick to their day job anyway (unless they're in the early twenties and still have some untapped potential).
Furthermore, hockey venues in Sweden are only occassionally sold out. Thus bringing in better players will bring in more money at the gates and is also likely to attract more sponsor money. Since there are no owners in Swedish hockey that pocket this money, any surplusses are likely to increase the funds available for player salaries... Thus adding a couple of NHLers to the team may actually increase future wages for the players riding the pine this season. Typically these players will also not really be riding the pine, they are more likely to be lent to a team in a lower division, while still getting paid from the team that owns them. Thus the players in the third tier leagues will face better opposition, develop their game and may one day earn a spot on an NHL roster thanks to the lockout players coming here and raising the overall level of play. Now, a worker on strike who works elsewhere during the strike is imho a hypocrite.
But a worker who has been locked out by his employer - it's only common sense that they try to find something else to do until they are let back in.
There's a huge difference between being on strike and being locked out.
Kind of like the difference between mugging some one and being mugged.
In the former case you're the perpetrator, in the second you're the victim.
In this case it's a lock out, and I do not see anything wrong at all with a locked out player finding other employment till the conflict is resolved. Had it been a strike, it would be a completely different matter.
- - -
*Actually, "Svenska Hockeyligan" an organisation that all SEL teams are members of, has been sued for collusion, since all teams have agreed not to add any NHLers, which may be a breech of anti-trust laws. A court verdict is expected later today.