Working the Refs

People like watching disasters. That’s why they watch NASCAR.

Or the Mets.

NFL Ends Lockout of Referees

By: David Dayen, Firedog Lake

Thursday September 27, 2012 6:14 am

The NFL will have its regular officials back on the field tonight, as the owners ended their lockout of the referees, reaching a tentative agreement. The referees union must vote to approve the contract, but the NFL was holding up the return to play for the officials by locking them out, so their lifting that allowed the officials to go back to work.

So they saved their defined benefit pension for five years, and get a fairly hefty defined contribution thereafter. In one of the other major sticking points, the league will be able to hire an indeterminate number of officials full-time, and have more officials available than the current staff of 121. This is certainly a better contract than the owners wanted to give; they wanted to end the defined benefit pension immediately.

Referees are well-paid, just like everyone associated with the lucrative business of professional football. But we saw over the last few weeks that they are paid at a level commensurate with their skills. And in a rare set of circumstances, the entire nation got a chance to see in real time the documented value of skilled labor over scab labor. It has relevance for a host of labor fights, and hopefully can be used as an object lesson. More on this from the New York Times.

At noon today, sorting the recycling was my biggest challenge.  Tonight I’m a scab.

It’s the Axe Body Spray.

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