Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

CFL, union see dollars and sense

  • Print

It appears, as it always ends up in these negotiations, the two sides in the CFL's labour dispute have come to the realization they need one another and must find a way to a compromise that works for both.

CFL commissioner Mark Cohon and his bargaining committee spent most of Wednesday talking with CFLPA leader Scott Flory and his top men and they've agreed to talk again today.

"It's been a long day of meetings and we'll meet again (today)," said Cohon, in a brief chat with media where he answered no questions and signed off saying, "that's a good thing."

No proposals were passed between the two sides on Wednesday but a number of concepts were discussed and viewed from the perspective of both sides. No longer was the tone about, "our way" and "your way." It would be a stretch to say there was collaboration, but acrimony has been replaced with a spirit of good-faith bargaining. This wasn't the endgame, but it was a positive step.

This is the first real bargaining the two sides have done and with the CBA set to expire today at 10:59 p.m., there is finally the pressure of time on these talks.

The time to bluff and bluster is over. The time to deal has arrived. Or face the consequences of not reaching an agreement. Those consequences have become real to all involved and not just those doing the negotiations. Players are considering life without paycheques. Member clubs are coming to understand they won't be able to pay staff or meet debt obligations.

The impending ugliness is no longer a hazy mirage. It's become a raised scythe with the potential to drop and chop. Some have realized they may not be able to withstand the bleeding and that's created a willingness to bargain.

Certainly, talks could still falter but it's becoming clear both sides are motivated to reach a deal and make sure players are on the field soon and no regular-season games are missed. Neither side, despite all the rhetoric spewed last week, can afford to miss the cash that begins to flow once the season begins.

The easy presumption was the players of the CFL would be broke after a winter of no paycheques and easy fodder for ownership. The leverage would all be on the side of the owners. Turns out, in a league where few teams turn a meaningful profit, the need to get the turnstiles humming after a cold and cashless winter is just as great.

Both sides pushed their case to see if the other would buckle. Neither did. And now the prospect of missing games and the subsequent loss in cash for all involved has made compromise far more appealing.

A deal wasn't done Wednesday but the foundation to reach one was laid. The two sides are now trying to understand one another's position and find a common language.

The players are underpaid and want to rectify that. The owners understand this and want to begin progress but want to be judicious and keep salaries in check while continuing a push to make the league a healthy entity. Ownership needs to give. But not until it hurts.

The players should get a larger take but have to understand a medium portion today will help grow the pie and lead to bigger slices for everyone.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @garylawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 29, 2014 D1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Theresa Oswald announces bid for NDP leadership

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gosling stares near water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.

View More Gallery Photos

About Gary Lawless

Gary Lawless is the Free Press sports columnist and co-host of the Hustler and Lawless show on TSN 1290 Winnipeg and www.winnipegfreepress.com
Lawless began covering sports as a rookie reporter at The Chronicle-Journal in Thunder Bay after graduating from journalism school at Durham College in Ontario.
After a Grey Cup winning stint with the Toronto Argonauts in the communications department, Lawless returned to Thunder Bay as sports editor.
In 1999 he joined the Free Press and after working on the night sports desk moved back into the field where he covered pro hockey, baseball and football beats prior to being named columnist.

 

Poll

Who should get more playing time in Jets net?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google