Yesterday, in the federal lawsuit brought by the U.S. Soccer Federation against the USWNT Players Association (USWNT), both parties filed for summary judgment asking the court to decide the case in their favor. The lawsuit was filed in February by U.S. Soccer, seeking a declaration that a collective bargaining agreement exists between the parties.
The case has moved in an expedited fashion, with discovery already closed. Motions for Summary Judgment were due on Tuesday, and are scheduled for oral argument on May 26th.
In yesterday’s motion, the USWNT argues that the parties’ collective bargaining agreement expired in 2012, and that only a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) between the parties currently governs their relationship. According to the USWNT, the MOU does not incorporate the terms of the previous CBA, and therefore, no “no strike, no lockout” clause exists. Without such a clause, a court cannot prevent the Union from striking.
Neither party disputes that the terms of the previous collective bargaining agreement were written in the MOU. However, U.S. Soccer argues that the MOU incorporated the terms of the previous collective bargaining agreement, and therefore a “no strike, no lockout” clause exists in the MOU. In support of this argument, U.S. Soccer states that former U.S. Soccer Executive Director and General Counsel John Langel orally and by email confirmed with the USWNT that the terms of the previous CBA continue in the MOU. As such, they argue that there is no dispute that the terms of the previous CBA continue to apply for the duration of the MOU.
In a separate action, the USWNT also filed a complaint with the EEOC, accusing U.S. Soccer of violating wage discrimination laws. For more on both legal actions, read this: U.S. Womens’ Soccer and Wage Discrimination: The Zika Effect.
Here are both parties’ filings: