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UMPIRES FILE CHARGES AGAINST BOTH LEAGUES

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Right when it appeared players and owners entered their lowest point in baseball negotiations, umpires entered the already murky picture by filing unfair labor charges against both major leagues.

The last time the Major League Umpires Association had a problem with its contract, general counsel Richie Phillips threw a chair through a wall at management lawyer Robert Kheel's firm."I'm probably going to have to put a table through a wall this time," Phillips said Thursday.

Phillips filed charges against the American and National leagues with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging they have failed to bargain in good faith.

Umpires, who are paid year-round, won't be paid after Jan. 1, Phillips said.

In 1994, umprires made from $60,000 to $175,000, depending on seniority. Under the four-year agreement that expires Dec. 31, they also receive an additional $10,000 to $20,000 each from the postseason bonus pool, a total of $1.2 million.

AL president Gene Budig said the proposals didn't take "into account the tenor of the times."