Labor chronology

November 27, 1996|By Peter Schmuck


Dec. 7: Player Relations Committee chairman Richard Ravitch announces that the owners will reopen collective bargaining, pursue revenue sharing and a salary cap.


Aug. 17: Owners pledge that they will not lock out players during 1994 season and will not institute new working conditions during the winter.


Jan. 18: Owners agree to a limited revenue-sharing proposal that will go into effect only if the players agree to a salary cap.

July 18: Players formally reject a salary cap and deliver a counterproposal.

July 27: Ravitch rejects the union proposal.

July 28: Union director Donald Fehr announces that the players have set Aug. 12 as a strike deadline.

Aug. 12: The players go on strike. Both sides agree to allow federal mediators to assist in the negotiations.

Aug. 24-25: Players and owners meet in bargaining sessions, but nearly 11 hours of discussions do little to break the deadlock.

Sept. 8: Players propose a 1.6 percent tax on the top 16 payrolls and revenues of top 16 income-producing clubs. Owners call it unresponsive.

Sept. 14: Acting commissioner Bud Selig announces that the postseason has been canceled.

Oct. 14: The Clinton administration asks mediation expert William J. Usery to enter negotiations.

Nov. 17: Owners present two new proposals to players -- one a modification of their original salary cap and the other a taxation plan that calls for severe penalties on big-spending clubs.

Dec. 23: Negotiations break off. Owners declare impasse and move to implement their salary cap.


Jan. 26: President Clinton calls on both sides to make substantial progress by Feb. 6 or risk a government-imposed settlement.

Feb. 1: Negotiations resume in Washington. Owners present a new taxation proposal.

Feb. 3: Owners agree to lift their implementation under threat of an NLRB complaint, but replace it with a central bargaining system that prompts a new unfair labor charge.

Feb. 7: Clinton summons both sides to the White House for a last-ditch negotiating session, then announces that he'll seek special legislation to force both sides into binding arbitration.

March 14: The NLRB seeks an injunction to restore the former system of salary arbitration and free agency.

March 27: Owners propose a 50 percent tax on all payroll over $44 million and give players the option to preserve the salary arbitration and free agency system.

March 30: Players propose a 25 percent tax on excess payroll over $50 million.

March 31: Federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor issues an injunction forcing owners to restore the previous labor agreement. Players announce that they are ready to return to work.

April 1: Owners disband replacement rosters.

April 2: Owners accept the union's offer to return to work, and set Opening Day for April 26.

Sept. 18: Owners name New York City labor relations commissioner Randy Levine their chief negotiator. Negotiations resume.


Aug. 8: Owners authorize Levine to make a final offer to players.

Aug. 11: Owners and players tentatively agree on five-year deal, which includes a 35 percent tax on payrolls over $51 million the first year and changes in salary arbitration, but the deal is held up by management infighting.

Nov. 6: Owners vote down the negotiated agreement, 18-12.

Nov. 19: The Chicago White Sox sign free agent Albert Belle to a record five-year, $55 million contract.

Nov. 26: Owners approve the labor agreement, 26-4.

Pub Date: 11/27/96

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