It was just a few days ago that the zillionaires who own and run the National Football League were talking tough about the continued lockout of their unionized referees.
They said they were firmly against making any further compromises with the union (HERE). No, siree, they weren’t going to let any socialist organization tell them how to run their business.
Never mind that the league itself is a model of corporate socialism (HERE). No, the thing is, you can’t let the unionized hired help tell you how to run your business.
Well, as I’m fond of saying, that was then — and THIS is now:
The NFL referee lockout is over.
Looking at the details of the new agreement, it’s clear that the NFL compromised big-time in order to get a deal done in time for week four.
The league took a hard-line stance throughout this lockout, but in the end, they caved…
[O]n each of the three major sticking points — retirement benefits, salary, and hiring — the NFL made concessions.
On the large scale, these concessions will cost the league a few million dollars (roughtly $3.3 million) per year. That’s nothing compared to their overall revenue. But this lockout was never about serious financial issues, it was about principles.
The NFL went into the lockout thinking referees were commodities and part-time employees who shouldn’t be paid like highly skilled professionals.
Maybe they still hold that stance, but the Monday Night fiasco took away any leverage they had, and forced them to compromise to save the on-field product.