The NHL Players Association took the first step toward dissolving the union when the executive board of the NHLPA voted on Thursday to let members vote on whether to give the board authorization to file a disclaimer of interest, TSN.ca reported.
This initial move may or may not lead to the decertification of the players union, but if the union is dissolved, it probably means there will be no games played this season.
The NBA players union filed a disclaimer of interest in November 2011, and less than two weeks later, the two sides reached a tentative agreement to end the basketball lockout.
Whether this move by the NHL players union will have a similar effect remains to be seen.
In response to the union's action, the NHL filed a class action suit to confirm the legality of the lockout and filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board..
The NHL issued a statement, which, according to ProHockeyTalk.com, read, "Today, in response to information indicating that NHL Players have or will be asked to vote to authorize the National Hockey League Players' Association's Executive Board to proceed to 'disclaim interest' in continuing to represent the Players in collective bargaining, the National Hockey League filed a Class Action Complaint in Federal Court in New York seeking a Declaration confirming the ongoing legality of the lockout.
"Simultaneously with the filing of its Complaint, the NHL also filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that by threatening to 'disclaim interest,' the NHLPA has engaged in an unlawful subversion of the collective bargaining process and conduct that constitutes bad faith bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act."
The NHLPA has issued a statement in response to the NHL's actions. According to ProHockeyTalk.com, it read, "The NHLPA has just received a copy of the National Labor Relations Board charge and has not yet been served with the lawsuit. However, based on what we've learned so far, the NHL appears to be arguing that Players should be stopped from even considering their right to decide whether or not to be represented by a union. We believe that their position is completely without merit."