Thursday, September 27, 2012
The NFL and the union representing the referees have reached a tentative agreement. Although the ratification vote by the union won't occur until Friday and Saturday, the NFL is lifting the lockout--meaning that the regular refs will start for tonight's game. The main sticking point involved the NFL's desire to convert pensions from defined benefit to defined contribution; the compromise was to keep things as is for five years, freeze that plan, then switch all new contributions to a defined contribution plan.
No telling how much all the public pressure influenced the negotiations, but it certainly didn't seem to hurt. Along those lines, check out yesterday's op-ed by E.J. Dionne, which elaborates (far more eloquently) on my recent comment about the political issues involved with this labor dispute.