Entries in lockout (4)


Crisis Averted: Government Ends Norwegian Oil Strike

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Norwegian government intervened to prevent a lockout in the country's oil and gas industry, according to a statement issued by Statoil ASA.

Statoil and other companies were planning to shut down oil production unless the government could enforce a compulsory arbitration between the companies and the unions that represent more than 6,000 offshore workers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

During the dispute, which lasted a record 16 days, the unions demanded a retirement age of 62 instead of 65, while the companies insisted they were acting in compliance with the government's pension reforms, Businessweek reports.

Without the positive outcome, the lockout was sure to have, "vital repercussions for the Norwegian economy and also for securing deliveries to Europe," said Labor Minister Hanne Bjurstroem, according to Businessweek. A shutdown in Norwegian oil production could have caused a backlash for the U.S. and other economies as well. Norway is the world's eighth largest oil exporter, responsible for about 2.2 percent global supply, which is already stretched because of sanctions on Iranian oil.
Production is expected to return up to full speed within the next week, according to Statoil.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NBA Lockout: Cities, Small Businesses Take Hit

NBA commissioner David Stern. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)(NEW YORK) -- NBA franchise cities across the country are struggling as the league’s owners and players continue to battle over billions of dollars in New York.

On Monday, the NBA Players Association rejected a new labor proposal, prolonging the five-month-long formal lockout, and announced that it would disband in order to file an antitrust suit against the league.

The news, which threatens the 2011-12 basketball season, was not only sobering to fans -- local officials say they are having a tough time drumming up the revenues usually brought in by the games.

“It’s a residual effect,” said Peter Auger, city manager of Auburn Hills, Mich. “It’s all in the mom-and-pops [stores] and the little places that are hurting.”

The Palace in Auburn Hills is usually packed with about 22,000 people ready to watch the Detroit Pistons. Auger told ABC News Radio that events like concerts and the circus did not bring in the same volume of people night after night. He said bars and restaurants in the area also were suffering.

“Those places are down 40 [percent] to 60 percent,” he said. “We’re still hopeful that they can have a season, number one. People around here love their basketball but those businesses too could use a shot in the arm around now.”

Tom Penn, an ESPN basketball analyst and former vice president of basketball operations for the Portland Trail Blazers, said the league, players and other entities stood to lose a combined $4 billion if the season was canceled. He said the postponed NBA season was being felt by everyone, from the league’s bigwigs to the part-time arena workers.

According to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, each Oklahoma City Thunder game brings $1.3 million to the local economy. The Atlantic reported that the San Antonio Spurs generated $95 million and the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce says the Grizzlies and its arena generated $223 million in 2010. Cleveland Cavalier ticketholders reportedly spend more than $3.7 million per home game.

“Security, ticket takers, ancillary businesses,” Penn said. “A lot of really good people are not able to work right because of this unfortunate dispute. This is real for them.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NFL Lockout Threatens Chicken Wing Business

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With NFL owners and players in a standoff, the CEO of one of the nation's largest chicken farms warns that a long-lasting football lockout would be bad news for a gameday staple, the chicken wing.

"It will be a major blow," said Joe Sanderson Jr., CEO of Sanderson Farms, the fourth largest poultry company in the U.S. "If we don't have Sunday football, the demand will go down tremendously, and of course, if that happens, the price will go down."

Chicken wings are big business. According to Sanderson, wings account for 12 percent of his company's output, and the National Chicken Council estimates that in 2011, more than 13.5 billion wings will be marketed. Of course, football and wings are inextricably linked.

"We sell about three million pounds of wings a week," Sanderson said. "And a lot of those wings to go sports bars."

And while all game days are big business for wings, the "absolute peak," Sanderson said, comes on Super Bowl Sunday. According to the National Chicken Council, more than 1.25 billion wings were consumed during last Super Bowl weekend.

Pro football owners and the players union are in a disagreement over how much pay players should earn and how long the season should last. If there is no season next year, the effects will be profound, Sanderson said.

While Sanderson says that while the NFL lockout won't force layoffs at his company, he believes that plenty of other businesses, like restaurants that cater to sports fans, will be in trouble if the season is scrapped.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Clock Is Ticking for NFL Labor Talks

Photo Courtesy - Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The clock is ticking for the NFL and the NFL Players Association to reach a deal on a new labor contract -- and they may need a Hail Mary pass to save the upcoming season.
At midnight Friday, the current NFL labor contract expires. It appears likely that the team owners will move to lock out the players, keeping them out of work.
That means no spring practice, no free agency deals and, potentially, no 2011 season.
Both sides have been meeting in Washington, D.C., for more than a week, trying to reach a compromise and avert the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987. A federal mediator stepped in late in February to lead the negotiations.
 The players still have a final option before the midnight deadline. They can decide to decertify, or dissolve the union. That would prevent the owners from locking them out, but the players would give up their right to collectively bargain. It also doesn't ensure that a deal will be reached so that football can be played again in the fall.
The standoff between the league, team owners and players centers on two key issues.
First, there's revenue sharing. NFL players currently receive 60 percent of the league's $9 billion in annual revenue, but team owners say that's unsustainable given the economic downturn. They want to take an additional $1 billion for themselves, reducing the players' share by 9 to 18 percent.
Second, there's the schedule. The league wants to add two more regular season games, for a total of 18. Players say that would increase their risk of injury, and they deserve compensation.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that there are "no deal breakers," but that the status quo is "not acceptable."
Goodell emphasized over the last several weeks that the league and owners understand that a work stoppage would hurt the clubs, the players, the game, the fans and the league's corporate sponsors.
"If we are unsuccessful [in negotiations], uncertainty will continue," he said during a press conference before the Super Bowl last month. "That uncertainty will lead to a reduction in revenue, and when that revenue decreases there is less for us to share," he said, adding that would make it harder to reach an agreement.
Goodell has pledged to reduce his salary to $1 if there is a work stoppage.
The NFL players are highlighting what a work stoppage would mean for the economy in NFL cities.
"This Congress is concerned about jobs, jobs, and jobs," said Pete Kendall, a former offensive lineman and now a permanent representative on the union's negotiating committee. "A lockout will affect the local economy, not just those who attend the games but those who provide services at the games.
"We're not talking about penalizing players only," Kendall said. "This is going to hurt your parking lot attendants, your restaurants, your hotels. Everybody in your city hurts when this happens."

The NFL insists the changes it is pushing are necessary for the league's long-term financial health.
"This is about the future of our game," Goodell said in January. "There are things that need to be addressed, and we need to address those responsible so that everybody can win."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio