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Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Job security rests on new CBA

ESPN.com news services

The National Hockey League will lay off approximately 50 percent of its employees if a new collective bargaining agreement is not in place on Sept. 16, ESPN The Magazine's EJ Hradek has learned.

The league informed staff members of the plan Tuesday. According to Bernadette Mansur, the league's group vice president of communications, employees who remain until Sept. 20 will receive a severance package, which would be commensurate with length of service, vacation pay and a medical benefits package. Staffers who leave before then will not be compensated.

Mansur said employees were not given guarantees they will be rehired once a new CBA is agreed upon, but added it is a possibility.

The NHL and the NHL Players' Association met in a formal negotiation session Wednesday.

The current CBA expires on Sept. 15.