The National Labor Relations Board has postponed until Dec. 6 a hearing on a complaint issued in the name of its general counsel charging that the National Football League failed to bargain in good faith with the NFL Players Association, a spokesman for the NLRB said yesterday.
The hearing was to have been held Monday in New York before an administrative law judge, but the NFL Management Council, the league's labor negotiating arm, asked for the postponement. The complaint charges that the NFL's failure to bargain in good faith caused and prolonged the 57-day strike.
It remained unclear what significance the NLRB proceedings would have if the players vote to ratify the Nov. 16 agreement that ended the strike. That vote is to be held Dec. 3.
NFLPA officials said copies of the 83-page tentative contract agreement were being prepared for sending to player representatives of the 28 teams. They are to vote Tuesday on whether to recommend ratification or rejection of the contract.
The union says 90 to 95 percent of the terms in the agreement are acceptable, but that some issues remain unresolved. Management says that as far as it's concerned all issues have been resolved and there is nothing left to negotiate.
If the players vote to reject the offer, management says, terms of the contract that expired July 15 will apply. That would mean the makeup games scheduled for Jan. 2 and 3 would be dropped, as well as the expanded format for postseason playoffs. Each team would eight games; 10 teams would participate in the playoffs.