Despite talks that lasted well into early Wednesday morning hours, representatives for the NFL and the NFL Referees Assocation failed to settle their differences in regards to their labor struggle, according to an ESPN.com report.
The league’s owners aren’t willing to budge any more than they believe they have, leaving several issues unresolved, including pensions for the officials and the referee evaluation process, the report said, citing a source.
Pension benefits are important for the officials, who work 36 hours a week. Each team would likely have to pay about $100,000 to solve that issue. Another meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.
In an interview Wednesday with “CBS This Morning,” NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith restated that the lockout puts the players’ safety in danger.
“When you take a group of officials who have a collective experience of 1,500 years off the field and you replace them with a group of replacements who don’t have that experience, our players know that the workplace today is less safe than it was with the real officials,” he said.
Despite the differences, Smith said the NFLPA won’t boycott games.
“I’m not sure it’s ever a good idea to punish our fans because we’re mad at the owners,” he told “CBS This Morning.” “What we’re going to do is to make sure that the NFL honors its obligation to keep the workplace safe. We’ll take every legal action that we can and that we need.”