CFL says players on five teams aren’t in a legal strike position, threaten suspensions

The CFL says that players in five cities are not in a legal strike position and that teams will issue suspensions if they don’t show up for training camp.

The league is also threatening to force players to pay for their own travel and accommodation if and when they do show up at training camp and that any “report and pass” bonuses could be at risk.

The letter says that players could be subject to “other disciplinary penalties as determined with the club” and the league and its teams will “avail ourselves of any and all legal remedies against the CFLPA… and any players who participate in an illegal strike.”

Labour laws differ from province to province and, according to the CFL, the players not in Ontario and Alberta are not in a legal strike position. That covers franchises in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Edmonton and Calgary.

General managers across the league delivered the message in a letter to all players sent Tuesday afternoon.

The move comes as the sides wrapped up two days of negotiations in Toronto following a league-mandated three-week break. In response, the CFLPA’s bargaining committee instructed players not to arrange travel to training camp and number of high-profile players, including quarterbacks Bo Levi Mitchell and Mike Reilly, have said they will not report without a new CBA in place.

The response from the CFL is the latest move in an increasingly contentious negotiation between the league and its players on a new collective bargaining agreement.

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