This Blog is impressed -- No, really, it is. -- by the speed with which Commissioner David Stern has resorted to the my-way-or-the-highway tactics in the ongoing NBA labor dispute. Colleague Gary Washburn had an admirable survey of the state of play in Sunday's Globe. This Blog is not a lawyer. It just plays one on the Intertoobz. But it also sees Stern's attempt to have the decertification of the union declared an unfair labor practice the same kind of through-the-looking-glass redefinition of terms that came upon the country's labor-management dialogue 30 years ago, when Ronald Reagan broke PATCO and changed the rules so that government lined itself up on the latter side of the argument.
(And This Blog does not intend to take the league's poor-mouthing about its financial condition -- Twenty-two teams losing money? -- seriously. Not until Stern tells the Chinese the same things he's telling ESPN.)
The guy quoted directly in Gary's piece to the effect that the players should just simply accept managment's inherent right simply to declare a new economic universe and cave now, before the plutocrats really get tough, is one Jay Krupin, whose career in "labor law" has pretty much been from the management side of things. (In the link, you will see him arguing in favor of giving management more time to pressure employees prior to union elections. The euphemism, if you're scoring at home, is "making informed decisions.") His firm -- Epstein Becker Green -- has a fairly lengthy track record in busting unions -- or, as the firm itself boasts, "maintaining a union-free workplace." If Stern has his union-busting buddies floating quotes on his behalf, he means truly business.