The NFL lockout, which has spanned nearly three months, has not only affected the Tampa Bay players’ ability to work out at One Buccaneer Place, but it has also impacted the entire staff at the team’s headquarters. On Thursday, the Bucs announced that the team’s employees would be sent home next week without pay after the Memorial Day holiday on Monday. The following statement was made on Buccaneers.com:
Due to the current NFL labor situation, the Buccaneers’ offices will be closed Memorial Day week. If the work stoppage continues into the fall, additional office closures during the week of Labor Day and in the winter have been conditionally added to the calendar. However, if the labor situation is resolved without the loss of any regular-season games, any lost wages will be fully reimbursed to Buccaneer employees.
“The Buccaneers remain hopeful that the 2011 season will be played without interruption; presuming this occurs, the plan will essentially provide the team’s entire staff with an extra week of paid vacation,” said team spokesman Jonathan Grella. “And more importantly, this plan preserves jobs and does not ask employees to work for less or no pay.”
The contingency plan was introduced in March in order to cause as little disruption as possible, and to allow the advance planning of vacations at a spot on the calendar when Buccaneers employees often take time off.
The key for Buccaneers employees to be reimbursed of course is an end to the lockout and a new collective bargaining agreement prior to the start of the 2011 regular season – and does not include the possibility of missed preseason games due to a work stoppage. Should that happen, this week off without pay could turn into two or three more weeks off around the Labor Day holiday and the winter, presumably around Christmas and/or New Year's Day.