Employees of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been told to take next week off without pay, and the team plans additional office closures in the fall if the NFL labor impasse continues.
The Bucs announced the decision on their website, joining several other clubs that are taking cost-cutting measures during a lockout that was imposed by league owners six weeks ago.
"Due to the current NFL labor situation, the Buccaneers' offices will be closed Memorial Day week,'' the club said. "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.''
During the lockout, NFL players are prohibited from using team facilities and are barred from contact with coaches and members of the football staff. Both sides in this lingering dispute are awaiting a June 3 hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeal on the legality of the lockout imposed March 12.
"The Buccaneers remain hopeful that the 2011 season will be played without interruption,'' club spokesman Jonathan Grella said. "Presuming this occurs, the plan will essentially provide the team's entire staff with an extra week of paid vacation. And more importantly, this plan preserves jobs and does not ask employees to work for less or no pay."