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U.S.: NHL looks to dissolve union, pursue antitrust cases

 |  December 17, 2012

According to some sources, members of the National Hockey League union have begun to vote on whether they should disband the union through the filing of a formal “disclaimer of interest.” Sources say the intention of the vote is to potentially allow players to file antitrust suites against the NHL, a result from the disclaimer of interest that would void the players’ current collective bargaining powers with the League. Reports say that if the vote goes through and an antitrust suit were to evolve, the suite would likely surround issues of salary caps and could likely challenge the labor lockout; a case could potentially be built with the argument that the lockout “illegally restrains trade,” according to reports. Current competition law does not typically allow for unionized athletes to challenge a sports league’s restraints on labor, such as a lockout, through an antitrust suit thanks to the “non-statutory labor exemption.” The law, at present, requires that unionized players to pursue those cases through “labor law remedies.”

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