Raiders Vote to Decertify Union, NFL Battle Looms

November 19, 2010, 9:24 pm
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ALAMEDA -- The Raiders have joined some 20 other teams and voted Thursday night to give the NFL Players Association the right to decertify as a union if there is an owners lockout next year in the absence of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Raiders players met with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith at the team's compound and tight end Zach Miller, Oaklands new union rep, confirmed the vote.

"Keep negotiations going," Miller said of the plans and hopes. "I know everybody wants to avoid a lockout and the players definitely want to get something done, and as early as possible. We'd like to have some certainty for next year."

Allowing the union to decertify would give the players not only the right to sue the NFL if there is a lockout, but essentially gives them a right to work without a CBA since antitrust laws do not allow for unions negotiating for a new CBA to sue its employers.

"Decertification, we don't want it to end up there," Miller added. "We would rather have our CBA done before then. It's our answer if the owners prove to lock us out. That's our answer for them if they want to take that step. But we want to keep working on the CBA and get something done before it comes to that."

Raiders special teams standout Rock Cartwright took to Twitter Thursday night, writing, "Why are ESPN, NBC, CBS, funding the lockout of NFL for nxt year..? Why are they taking Our health care in march!!? All players.. No healthcare.. We lay it on the line every Sunday.. They are trying to cut salaries 18 and add 2 more games to the schedule.. Really?"

Cartwright later added: "Dear NFL fans.. As of right now there will be a lockout next year" There not only locking out players.. It's the people that work at the stadiums who this hurts more.. Those people do so much for the game, I just want people to know.. If we play no football nxt yr.. The owners still get the from the TV contracts.. Billions!!"

Before jumping on the team charter to Pittsburgh, Cartwright stood behind his posts.

"Talking with DeMaurice Smith, it's basically like, they're not even close on the collective bargaining agreement," Cartwright said. "They're still a lot of money away. Like he said, it's basically just been a stall.

"A lot of people don't really know what's going on, the whole situation so I told people to go to to find a little bit more about what's going on. It's tough, man. It's just tough. Maybe I was a little bit, I'm an emotional person so I kind of let my emotions get the best of me (but) I want to get it out there to let people know what's going on."

Smith visited the 49ers Wednesday night and they also voted to decertify.