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Union: Arena League threatens lockout

Jerry DiPaola
| Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 12:30 a.m.

The Arena Football League is threatening to lock out players, jeopardizing the season, if the union calls for another work stoppage this weekend, union executive director Ivan Soto said.

The threat was included in a seven-year proposal sent to the union Tuesday that offers a 106 percent salary increase and other concessions. It comes four days after striking Cleveland players forfeited to the Power.

“If they shut down the league this weekend and for the rest of the season, they are shutting down this league forever,” Soto said. “If they are trying to play poker, this is a pretty poor way of negotiating.”

Soto said he won't present the offer to the players until he crafts a counter proposal, but he admitted the sides are closer than ever to their first collective bargaining agreement since the AFL emerged from bankruptcy in 2010.

“I wish they would have given me this three months ago,” he said.

The proposal includes:

• Starting in 2013, a per-game raise for all players from $400 to $825 and a $500 per-game bonus for starting quarterbacks, which would decrease their pay from $1,675.

• An end to league-paid housing; teams will continue to provide meals for players.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can reached at jdipaola@tribweb.com.

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