WINNIPEG — CFL players will vote Thursday on the tentative agreement their executive members have struck with the league for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
A minimum of six of the league’s nine teams need to approve the deal for it to pass, Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFLPA players representative Glenn January told reporters today.
Will it be ratified, January was asked?
"My gut tells me we aren’t going to know until the polls close tomorrow," January said. "There’s a lot of people that are being very vocal about their not liking the deal. We’ll see how it goes. Everybody has one voice no matter how in favour or against you are. You can send out as many tweets (as you want) pro or con but it’s still just one vote. So we’ll see how the votes come back tomorrow and we’ll go from there."
January, as usual, was preaching a measured, reasonable message after today’s Bombers practice at Investors Group Field.
"We need to make sure we’re united and we need to make sure that what’s done is done and we move onto the next step," he said about the labour negotiations. "I think we’ve done a good job assuring everybody that that’s the mentality."
In Winnipeg, the process will include rookie players, he said.
"To make sure they understand how this is going to ultimately affect them," he said. "That’s something I think we did that will aid in the process."
The three-time East Division all-star then went out on a limb — for him, at least — decrying what he called a "circus" of a process that has led the players and the league to this point, with pre-season games already underway and a labour agreement not complete.
"The timing of this whole thing has been kind of screwed up," January said. "If I was in the league office, I would definitely move back the date of the expiration of the CBA but hey, I’m not commissioner Cohon, I’m Glenn January of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
"This has just been such a circus from top to bottom all across the board. For that to interfere and take away from what my teammates are accomplishing on the field and what major strides we’re making as a team, I think it does a disservice to the league."