The NFL Players Association provides us with a great example of a party taking concrete steps to limit the attractiveness of one of its counterpart’s alternatives, or Plan Bs. When done right, doing so will strengthen your leverage and improve your results.
Here, the NFLPA’s existing collective-bargaining agreement expires next May. In preparation, the union has sent voting cards to their members to consider decertifying the union. The union is taking this step because the NFL owners have floated the idea of locking out the players if a new agreement isn’t reached. If the union decertifies, it could sue the league under antitrust laws if the league locks the players out. This makes the owner’s lock-out alternative, or Plan B to doing a deal with the NFLPA, less attractive. Of course, it also has consequences for the union.