More training camp practices canceled as CFL strike continues

TORONTO — The cooling process continues for the CFL and the CFL Players’ Association.

TORONTO — The cooling process continues for the CFL and the CFL Players’ Association.

On Monday, the two sides had not postponed contact talks after talks broke down on Saturday, hours before the collective agreement expired. That put players from seven of the league’s nine teams in a legal strike position at 12:01 a.m. ET Sunday.

The Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Elks opened training camp as scheduled on Sunday. Their players won’t be in a legal strike position until later this week, per Alberta labor laws.

On Sunday evening, the Montreal Alouettes announced that all training camp practices were suspended “until further notice”. The Saskatchewan Roughriders followed suit on Monday.

The AFLCP announced Monday night that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats players will stand together outside of Tim Hortons Field. Fans are invited to attend “and come together in a show of solidarity to demand that the Canadian Football League return to the table,” the union said in the announcement.

A major sticking point in the negotiations appears to be the Canadian ratio.

The CFL is proposing that an American player who has been in the league for at least four years or played with the same team for at least three years would become a nationalized American who would count as a Canadian on the roster.

Each CFL roster would always have at least seven national starters, of which at least six would be Canadian, with the seventh possibly being either the nationalized American or an additional Canadian.

The previous collective agreement, which expired at midnight ET on Saturday, called for 21 Canadians on a slate, including at least seven starters.

“Every effort continues to be made by the CFTPA bargaining committee to reach a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the CFL on a new fair collective bargaining agreement (CBS),” the union said. “Since the CFL withdrew from the bargaining table, the CFLPA has told the CFL that it is ready to continue negotiations anywhere and anytime in order to get players back to work and fans back to work. to return to the standings and celebrate a new season.”

If there’s a silver lining to the cloud hanging over the CBA talks, it’s that a mediator was involved in the previous negotiation process. So, after an adequate period of reflection, someone familiar with both parties can reach out and attempt to get them to talk again rather than being officially named and needing time to catch up with the parties involved.

This is the second time the CFL has gone on strike. The first came in 1974 during training camp and was resolved before the start of the season.

The CFL’s exhibition season is currently scheduled for May 23 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers visiting the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 16, 2022.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

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