MLS, Players Union Go to Federal Mediation over CBA


In the latest update to a pending work stoppage over a new MLS CBA, it appears the league and the players union are headed to mediation.

MLS and MLS Players Union (MLSPU) seem to already be at an impasse in negotiations with the 2015 CBA as they have reached out to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to help the two sides reach an agreement. It seems that with the players stance on free agency not changing and MLS unwilling to move, they have gone to the outside help once again. Unlike in 2010 and other past negotiations, they have called in the mediator much earlier.

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Although a mediator is only supposed to act as an impartial observer, in 2010, FMCS meditator George Cohen was brought in and received credit in helping the two sides come to an agreement. This looks like the two sides are far apart, and both realize that they need the help to get the season started on time.

It has been reported by various outlets that the main point with the players is an increase in wages and free agency. With the signing of many high-profile players and USMNT players now calling MLS home; the players feel that the minimum salary has to be raised. Also Players feel that after twenty years of helping to build the league that they should have the right to free agency.

Michael Bradley, one of the highest paid players in the league has already come out in support of the players in a story posted on ESPN FC.

"“Should we get to a point before the season where things and negotiations aren’t where they should be, we are ready to strike, and we are united as a group to make real progress in terms of the way players get treated in this league,”"

Just remember a mediator is not an arbitrator. They can suggest ideas, but unlike an arbitrator they are not binding. One side can still walk away from the table. This clearly looks like both sides are trying to find an agreement to start the season on time. With the new TV contract about to kick in this year and the addition on new teams and high-profile players, it would benefit both sides to keep the momentum going and get this deal done. Stay tuned and lets hope for the best.

Next: Ashlyn Harris Shines in USWNT's Loss to France

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