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MLS extends labour talks to Feb 25
February 12, 2010, 12:32 PM
Filed under: MLS CBA

Prevented from bargaining face to face because of snow, Major League Soccer and its players have agreed to extend labour talks through Feb. 25 in an effort to avoid a work stoppage.

Three days before the expiration of their five-year agreement, the sides announced Jan. 28 that they were extending talks until Feb. 12.

Negotiators had planned to meet this week in Washington but management was unable to travel there from New York because of a storm.

Before the extensions, players had been fearful of a preseason lockout. Teams have gathered and started preparations for the season, which begins March 25 when the expansion Philadelphia Union play at Seattle.

In addition, New York has a high-profile exhibition when it meets Brazil’s Santos on March 20 in the official opener of Red Bull Arena, a $200-million, 25,000-seat stadium in Harrison, N.J.

Players want to modify MLS’s single-entity structure, in which all players sign with the league rather than individual teams. The union also dislikes that most players lack guaranteed contracts.

Income for MLS players averaged $147,945 at the start of last season, according to the MLS union, but the median — the point at which there is an equal number of players above and below — was $88,000.

Source: Click Here

Lockout Looming?
December 18, 2009, 11:30 AM
Filed under: Kasey Keller, MLS CBA, MLS Players Union

While Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Union continue trying to hammer out a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement behind closed doors, several of the league’s stars have taken to the media as a way to get their viewpoints across to the public. The latest MLS player to speak out about the ongoing negotiations and the possibility of a strike is Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper and former US international Kasey Keller, who expressed his feelings at length yesterday on his own blog – Kasey’s Last Line.

Below are his remarks on the CBA in their entirety.

“You will probably start to read more and more about the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that is up at the end of the month. Negotiations have been under way between the players union and MLS for some time now. I wish I could report that we were close to signing an agreement, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. As players, we have been told of a probable lockout date of February 1st.

“What’s most disappointing to me is, this isn’t a negotiation for a bunch of players wanting $8 million a year instead of $7 million a year. The main points revolve around us being given the same rights under FIFA as the rest of the players around the world. As an MLS player you have to sign away your FIFA rights before you are allowed to sign your contract. We would like a moderate rise in the salary cap, but the major points for the players are guaranteed contracts, free agency, and the right to negotiate with other MLS teams. These are some of the basic rights the players in all the other leagues around the world have that we have to sign away.

“With the huge strides MLS has made since the last CBA, this seems very reasonable. I would hate to see anything get in the way of the great success the Sounders had this year, and the respect we earned in our first year as a franchise. I would think that MLS and US Soccer would be proud to announce that the sport has developed so greatly in the last few years that we are ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world.”

Source: Click Here