CFLPA says its players could stage partial strike at the start of training camps

The current agreement is set to expire May 18

CFL balls are photographed at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium in Winnipeg Thursday, May 24, 2018. The CFL Players’ Association has informed players on four CFL teams not to report to camp if a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t reached by May 18. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

The CFL Players’ Association has informed players on four CFL teams not to report to camp if a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t reached by May 18.

Union executive director Brian Ramsay said in conference calls that players with the B.C. Lions, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Montreal Alouettes won’t report to the start of training camp without a new agreement.

READ MORE: Veteran CFL quarterback Ricky Ray calls it a career after 17 seasons

Ramsay added players with the two Alberta teams (Calgay and Edmonton) and three Ontario franchises (Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton) have been advised to report to comply with labour laws in those provinces.

However, Ramsay said those players would be in a legal strike position by May 23 and could join to make it a league-wide work stoppage at that time.

Ramsay reiterated the union’s overwhelming preference is to reach an agreement with the league and prevent any work stoppage.

The CFL and its players ended three days of talks Wednesday, after which Ramsay said the two sides aren’t ”necessarily where we need to be right now,” with the current agreement set to expire May 18.

Training camps are scheduled to open May 19.

The Canadian Press

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