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WSI News - News Watch

Labor talks getting urgent

Dialogue between baseball owners and players appeared to pick up Monday, but questions remained about the union's insistence on phasing in increases in revenue sharing.

Management did accept one offer from the players—to abandon, at least temporarily, daily briefings with reporters. Union leader Donald Fehr had argued the sides should bargain at the table, not through the press.

Rhetoric from both sides has tainted the talks in the wake of a polarizing offer from the players union Saturday. The mood appeared to have improved during a series of meetings through the day and evening Monday, but it was unclear if that had led to any substantive progress.

Owners were awaiting a crucial proposal from the Major League Baseball Players Association. It was not delivered during the first two meetings of the day, but a third round of talks was planned late Monday night.

"We're talking and talking is good," MLB chief operating officer Bob DuPuy told the Sports Business Journal.

With Friday's strike deadline approaching, there is plenty to talk about. The immediate question is whether the union will modify its schedule to phase in the increases in sharing of local revenues, which derailed the talks Saturday.

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