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Labor Board Approves a Complaint That NFL Union Allowed Violence

December 11, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The nation's top labor law enforcer has approved a federal complaint charging that the National Football League Players Assn. illegally used violence and threats of violence during its 24-day strike.

After a two-month investigation, Rosemary M. Collyer, general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, authorized the complaint Thursday, alleging that the players' association was responsible for "picket line misconduct" in six cities.

"The evidence was sufficient to establish that misconduct, including threats and other hostile acts, occurred," Collyer said.

Among them, she said, were instances in which striking players or members of other unions supporting them waved shotguns, threw eggs, spit on fans and tried to block both fans and strikebreakers from entering stadiums.

The cities where the alleged labor law violations occurred were listed in the complaint as Kansas City, Houston, Cincinnati, Denver, Washington and Philadelphia.

Dave Parker, an NLRB spokesman, said the agency will likely issue the complaint next week, unless the players' association settles it before then with the NFL Management Council, which is the club owners' labor relations arm, and the National Right to Work Defense Fund.

The council and the right-to-work group sought the complaint when the union launched its ill-fated strike in September. No monetary penalties or damages are sought.

"All we're asking is that the NFLPA make an official statement withdrawing threats made against replacement players and fans attending games," said Marty Kaufmann, a spokesman for the right-to-work group.

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