In the negotiations that culminated in a new labor agreement that was announced yesterday, the union had the best interests of George Steinbrenner's checkbook in mind. Whereas the other clubs are out to get the Yankees' money and inhibit them from spending what is left, the union tried to help the Yankees.
The union proposed that the rate schedule for the tax on payrolls above designated thresholds start over in the new five-year agreement that was announced yesterday at Busch Stadium before Game 3 of the Word Series.
As a club that has exceeded the threshold and paid the tax each of the four years of the existing agreement, the Yankees pay at a rate of 40 percent. Last year they paid $34 million; this year they will pay nearly $26 million.
The union wanted the Yankees to be able to go back next year to a rate of 22.5 percent, which they have not paid since 2003, the first year of the expiring agreement.
Why was the union looking out for the Yankees' welfare?
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