A federal appeals court ruled that unions can’t file antitrust suits against employers and reversed a $30.3 million judgment against the NFL.
The 2-1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia also impacts the baseball strike talks and the tense labor relations in the NBA, which has operated without a collective bargaining agreement since last summer. It affirms similar rulings by federal appeals courts in St. Louis and New York.
“When federal labor policy collides with antitrust policy in a labor market organized around a collective bargaining relationship, antitrust policy must give way,” Chief Judge Harry Edwards wrote for the majority. “Injecting antitrust liability into the system for resolving disputes between unions and employers would both subvert national labor policy and exaggerate federal antitrust concerns.”
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