Negotiations Labor Disputes Are Nothing Term Paper

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Sports Illustrated proposed a thorough, if summary, compromise with regard to many of the issues that players and owners could not agree on: the elimination of arbitration in exchange for unrestricted free agency for 3-year veterans, establishing a middle ground between the owners' demand of free agency only after four years and the player's dislike of arbitration; also in the SI proposal were stipulations such as giving a luxury tax a three-year trial period for all parties to decide if it was in their best interest to keep.

Even solutions such as those proposed by the everyday baseball fan, such as "split profits 50/50" or other simplistic ideas could have been considered as options; instead, owners and players held fast to their positions and did not introduce new ideas to the negotiating arena, effectively ensuring that no progress would be made unless one side was a clear loser and one side's position was clearly victorious. In both Thompson and Fisher and Ury's guides to negotiation, one of the requisite criteria for a successful bargain is not only the willingness to reach a compromise, but the ability to invent and investigate options-even if those options are not eventually utilized or even plausible, the act of bringing ideas to the table is a vital part of negotiating.

Finally, objectivity is vital to a successful negotiation-not emotional responses. This point has been highlighted over and over in not only the negotiating guides but is also an important component of the steps preceding it. Avoiding emotional influences in negotiation is a part of separating parties as well as an important part of avoiding positions-if one allows emotional responses to govern the ideas brought to the table, one is that much more likely to commit to a position and be unwilling to compromise. This lack of objectivity and focus on emotions instead was evident in attitudes from both the players and owners regarding dislike and feelings of animosity toward the other side; regardless of these emotions, reason and logic ought to have ruled the negotiations. Instead, Major League Baseball was left with what the public perceived as petulant children pointing fingers at one another and ignoring the objective factors in a new collective bargaining agreement.

And after this lengthy holdout, almost a year of negotiating and attempted compromise, "baseball is hardly better off than the last time it was around, almost eight months ago. The owners and players still have no collective bargaining agreement, no mutual trust and no chance at preserving the integrity of a 162-game season." These negotiations had been a complete failure in terms of arriving at a compromise and a "mutual agreement," the goal of every negotiation. But in the case of Major League Baseball, most participants and observers felt similar to Montreal Expo general manager Kevin Malone, who said, "I don't think the game's any better off...What good has come out of it? For either side? Nothing."

So many opportunities for applying tactics of fair and successful negotiation were missed during the baseball strike: emotions unduly influenced the actors, making them commit to positions that were untenable to the other party; ideas and options were not introduced; and each side wanted to "punish" the other, as opposed to finding the most viable solution for both sides. Had the parties involved performed better at negotiation and bartering tasks, not only could they have both avoided significant financial damage in the form of lost wages and lost revenue, but Major League Baseball might not have been so poorly perceived by the most important factor of all -- the fans.

Works Cited

Drooz Drooz, Alan, "Baseball economy 101: Both sides look like the skunk at the party," San Diego Union-Tribune, August 28, 2002. Online at http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/drooz/20020828drooz.html

Fisher, Roger and Ury, William, Getting to Yes. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.

Grabiner, David, "Frequently Asked Questions about the 1994 Baseball Strike," 3/314/02, accessed online at http://remarque.org/~grabiner/strikefaq.txt

Kurkjian, Tim, and Verducci, Tom, "Time is Running Out." Sports Illustrated, 3/20/95, Vol. 82 Issue

Staudohar, Paul. "The baseball strike of 1994-1995" Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 120, No. 3.

Thompson, Leigh. The Heart and Mind of the Negotiator. New York: Prentice Hall, 2004.

Verducci, Tom "Brushback," Sports Illustrated, 4/10/95 Volume 82 Issue 14.

In the Strike Zone," Sports Illustrated, August 1, 1994 Vol. 81 Issue 5.

Staudohar, Paul. "The baseball strike of 1994-1995" Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 120, No. 3.

Drooz, Alan. "Baseball economy 101: Both sides look like the skunk at the party," San Diego Union-Tribune, August 28, 2002. Online at http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/drooz/20020828drooz.html

Grabiner, David, "Frequently Asked Questions about the 1994 Baseball Strike," 3/314/02, accessed online at http://remarque.org/~grabiner/strikefaq.txt

Fisher, Roger and Ury, William, Getting to Yes. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.

Standohar.

Verducci, Tom. "In the Strike Zone," Sports Illustrated, August 1, 1994 Vol. 81 Issue 5.

Kurkjian, Tim, and Verducci, Tom, "Time is Running Out." Sports Illustrated, 3/20/95, Vol. 82 Issue

Thompson, Leigh. The Heart and Mind of the Negotiator. New York: Prentice Hall, 2004, p.2.

Fisher and Ury.

Verducci, 8/1/94.

Thompson, pp.43-67.

Fisher and Ury.

Kurjiian and Verducci, 3/20/95.…[continue]

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