The owners and players are going to meet with a mediator. I suppose this should be seen as a positive turn of events but it is important to note that mediation is not arbitration. The sides are not bound by anything the mediator says, but at least he can get the two talking in the right direction (lawyers, please feel free to clarify).
Our friend J.A. Sherman at Welcome to Loud City has some details on the mediator.
The independent federal mediator will be a man named George Cohen, who is the director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Cohen has already been in contact with each side, so he is familiar with the situation and it looks like the negotiation mediation is on an expedited schedule. Mr. Cohen comes with some high bona fides , as you can read on his bio page. Furthermore, Cohen is quite familiar with the collective bargaining front in pro sports. He was involved in helping the NFL settle its most recent lockout dispute this past summer, he assisted in the 2009 Major League Soccer dispute, and in 1994 he was a labor lawyer who argued on behalf of the MLB union and helped end the strike that wiped out the 1994 world series.
I wish him well. It seems both sides are dug in pretty well and it will take some quick thinking to get them on the same sheet of paper before more games are cancelled.
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