Thank God this strike is over! Football is professional again, and football poolers and Vegas book makers can all breathe easy. Replacement refs just don't have the experience needed to preserve the integrity of the game. This fact was clearly observed last Monday night, resulting in everyone clamoring for an end to this strike and the return of the professional referees.
Generally speaking, there is very little tolerance or empathy for striking workers. In Chicago, the striking teachers were vilified on day one of their labor dispute. American Airlines pilots are on strike, and barely get noticed. The NFL referees strike got attention because all of America got a bird's eye view of the incompetence of unskilled labor, and was disgusted by it. It is not that Americans particularly empathize with the referees' labor demands, most have no idea what the labor issues were in this case. It only mattered that we were not being properly entertained, and our entertainment is paramount. It doesn't take much imagination to see that replacement teachers and replacement pilots are not adequately skilled or prepared to do a proper job, but we won't take a stand for these workers. The integrity of a game apparently trumps the integrity of education or air flight safety.
From the labor perspective, new contracts are the only means of adjusting wages/benefits to meet inflation rates. From the management perspective, new contracts are an opportunity to force concessions. The referees went on strike because they couldn't come to an agreement with the very profitable NFL. Make no mistake, money is the issue . The NFL, like all corporations, are driven by profit. The truth be told, if slavery were legal, corporations would exhaust that resource before paying any wages. Collective bargaining is the most effective way for workers to negotiate a fair and equitable wage. Let's not resent people because they want to be fairly and equitably compensated.