The Raiders joined an expanding group of NFL teams which has voted to decertify the union in order to prevent a lockout in the event a collective bargaining agreement is not reached with management.
NFL Player’s Association executive director DeMaurice Smith met with the Raiders Thursday, a day after conducting a vote with the 49ers, who also voted to decertify. The number of teams which have voted for decertification is reportedly more than 20, with no team voting against it.
Zach Miller was voted the team’s new player representative, replacing Tony Stewart, who was waived in training camp. Miller had been serving as an alternate along with Ricky Brown since Stewart left the team. Brown and Bruce Gradkowski are the current alternates.
Decertification is a tactic which will enable the union to sue the league in the event of a lockout. Antitrust laws don’t allow unions to sue employers during CBA negotiations.
“We don’t want to end up there,” Miller said of decertification. “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.”
Running back Rock Cartwright vented some of his thoughts regarding negotiations on his Twitter account Thursday night after the meeting with Smith and remains frustrated by the lack of progress.
“They’re not even close to a collective bargaining agreement,” Cartwright said. “They’re basically a lot of money away. He said it’s been a stall. He was just kind of just talking to us and kind of letting us know exactly what’s going to go on so it’s kind of tough for me and for all of the other guys. If there’s a lockout, it takes a lot away from a lot of people.”
A concern among players is the possibilty of being without a medical plan in the event of a lockout.