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CFLPA calls first day of labour talks with the CFL ‘a step in the right direction’

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The CFLPA’s executive director described the long-awaited first bargaining session between the league and its players as “a step in the right direction.”

Brian Ramsay spoke to TSN’s Matthew Scianitti following the meeting between representatives for the CFL and the union leadership which took place Monday in Toronto.

“I think both sides would tell you that it is a good thing to get everyone in the same room. It was a productive day,” Ramsay said. “On the first day like this, it’s a big step to get in the same room and to be able to have those discussions. So for a first day, it was overall productive,”

The players were represented by Ramsay, CFLPA president Jeff Keeping – both former CFL offensive linemen – as well as CFLPA senior advisor Ken Georgetti. There were also a number of current or recently-retired players in the room, including B.C. Lions Solomon Elimimian and Rolly Lumbala, former Ticat and Rider Peter Dyakowski, veteran Montreal defensive end John Bowman, Toronto linebacker Bear Woods and Winnipeg long snapper Chad Rempel.

“We talked all along that this agreement is being done by the players and that was represented by the players that were here today,” Ramsay said.

The league is being led Stephen Shamie, the league’s general counsel, and members of the league’s player-relations committee including Ticats CEO Scott Mitchell, Redblacks co-owner Roger Greenberg, Lions president Rick LeLacheur and Bombers CEO Wade Miller (who also played in the league.)

The two-day bargaining session is expected to wrap up on Tuesday and has been billed as primarily an exchange of opening proposals.

“We’re hoping to have another productive day tomorrow and from that we’ll base on when the next meeting will be,” Ramsay said. “The two sides are coming together and trying to work together. To be as productive as we were was a step in the right direction.”

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