So much for labor peace! With battles brewing seemingly on every front between the NFL and NFLPA, another labor battle as reached a boiling point. The NFL and it's referees are the latest to break off talks on a new contract, with the NFL going so far as to release a statement saying they will begin the process of hiring replacement officials for the upcoming season:
Negotiations with the NFL Referees Association on a new collective bargaining agreement remain unresolved and the previous CBA has expired. Therefore, in order to ensure that there is no disruption to NFL games this season we will proceed immediately with the hiring and training of replacement officials.
Our goal is to maintain the highest quality of officiating for our teams, players, and fans, including proper enforcement of the playing rules and efficient management of our games.
Another negotiating session took place Sunday under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. We appreciate the efforts of the FMCS and will continue to be available to the NFLRA and the FMCS to negotiate a fair resolution. We have great respect for our officials and in keeping with that view have made a proposal that includes substantial increases in compensation for all game officials.
Perhaps I'll throw my application into the ring! Can't we all just get along?