In collective bargaining, when management or labor takes something “off the (bargaining) table,” it’s no longer to be considered for discussion. “Taken off the bargaining table” has been cited in print since at least 1959. “At this stage all the excess proposals and counterproposals should be off the table” was cited in print in 1962.
Other “table” phrases include “bring to the table” (to contribute something), “on the table” (something negotiable or for discussion) and “under the table” (secretly or covertly, often said of a payment).
Wiktionary: off the table
off the table
1. Beyond consideration.
We will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
off the table: not to be considered or countenanced, esp. in a discussion or negotiation.
1975 Business Week 22 Sept. 28/3 Any chance of buying back our own stock is off the table completely.
1982 Washington Post (Nexis) 30 Apr. a3 Dole..also said a proposed temporary surtax on high income persons is ‘off the table now’.
1991 R. A. Jamieson Day at Office 21 She had said all she was going to say and the subject was completely off the table.
Google News Archive
26 August 1959, Ocala (FL) Star-Banner, “Union President Resumes Talks In Steel Strike” (AP), pg. 1, col. 3:
He didn’t give any idea what the union demand would be, but he said previous proposals have been taken off the bargaining table and the union will now be guided by the union Wage Policy Committee’s goals formulated last spring.
The Personnel Man and His Job
By Robert E Finley, Morton Adelberg, et al.
New York, NY: American Management Association
Eventually, the parties reach their real positions — often during the final days of negotiations, just when the contract is due to expire. At this stage all the excess proposals and counterproposals should be off the table and the real positions exposed.
Google News Archive
4 April 1964, Calgary (Alberta) Herald, “Concessions Loom Over Trade Talks” by Bernard D. Nossiter (Washington Post, pg. 9, col. 1:
Since the United States agreed to the Common Market’s defini tion of a disparity , the belief arose that the issue would be taken off the bargaining table.
16 July 1964, New York (NY) Times, “Long Strike Feared in Detroit” by David R. Jones, pg. 15:
But he said he told the union that if it is “interested in settling the strike it must get realistic and get a number of items off the table.”
GM Colbert: Steelers last offer to Mike Wallace now off the table
By Will Brinson | Senior Blogger
July 27, 2012 8:36 am ET
The Steelers recently decided to shut down contract negotiations with wide receiver Mike Wallace, a restricted free agent who’s currently holding out of camp. The two sides were continuing to make progress toward a new deal, but couldn’t figure out how to bridge their differences apparently.
And Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said on Thursday that the team has now pulled all their offers off the table. Asked if Wallace could simply say he’d take Pittsburgh’s last offer, Colbert told Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider that the team is “in a different mode.”
New York City • Work/Businesses • (0) Comments • Friday, September 07, 2012 • Permalink