Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

With talks looming, CFLPA calls for strike vote

  • Print

The Canadian Football League moved one step closer to its first work stoppage in 40 years with word this week the CFLPA has requested a strike mandate from the league's players.

Multiple sources confirmed Tuesday with still no meaningful progress on a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players, the CFLPA last week called for a strike vote and preparations are now being made to conduct a secret ballot via mail in the coming days.

The current contract between the CFL and CFLPA doesn't expire until May 31, but sources indicated conducting a strike vote will be cumbersome and time consuming because it will have to take into account varying labour laws in six provinces as well as players living in two different countries, many of whom are already in transit with training camps set to open June 1.

The call for a strike vote comes just days before the league and players association are set to meet for two days of talks in Toronto Thursday and Friday -- a session one player source described on Tuesday as "make or break."

Neither the CFL nor the CFLPA was commenting officially Tuesday on the state of talks or the meaning of a strike vote. But an email sent by CFLPA president Scott Flory to players last week first revealed by Sportsnet's Arash Madani on Tuesday described a wide gulf between the league and players on a number of contentious issues.

"It is the position of your negotiating committee that the position of the CFL in relation to almost all matters and their refusal to have the cap in some way connected to revenue are unreasonable," Madani quoted the email as saying. "As a result, we are recommending that the players proceed with a strike vote."

While there hasn't been a work stoppage in the CFL since 1974, the CFLPA believes a new broadcast rights deal with TSN that nearly triples TV revenues beginning in 2014 -- coupled with new or newly renovated stadiums across the league and a new franchise in Ottawa -- provides the players their best chance in decades to regain some of the ground they lost in previous contracts.

Topping the list of player demands is a return to some form of revenue-sharing arrangement, which the players used to enjoy but gave up in a previous contract.

The league has refused to even entertain the possibility of a return to revenue sharing and has responded with a proposal that would see the current salary cap of $4.4 million rise to $5 million over the life of an eight-year contract the league is proposing.

The league's owners and management believe CFL players, who are the second-best-paid pro football players in the world after the NFL, will ultimately capitulate to the league's demands when faced with the prospect of giving up paycheques in a work stoppage.

The players, on the other hand, believe their demands are modest and they will have support of the fans once the issues become more widely known. If this week's talks fail to generate any meaningful progress, the CFLPA -- which has to this point respected the league's stand that no negotiating take place through the media -- may take their case to the public as early as next week.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 14, 2014 C4

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

Waywayseecappo Community School at We Day 2014

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Geese fight as a male defends his nesting site at the duck pond at St Vital Park Thursday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 08- May 10, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Where do you think the Bombers need the biggest improvement during the off-season?

View Results

Ads by Google