Some teams will have a ‘significant competitive advantage’ if there’s no labour deal: union

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The CFLPA says that some teams will have a “significant competitive advantage” if training camps are allowed to open without a new collective bargaining agreement.

In a letter sent to the league’s general managers and coaches, CFLPA executive director Brian Ramsay says while the players want to reach a settlement with the league, they are preparing for job action after 97 per cent voted in favour of a strike.

With the current deal with the CFL set to expire on May 18 – the day before training camps are set to open – players in B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec have been instructed not to show up to training camp while players in Alberta and Ontario will have to report due to provincial labour laws.

That means that union members on the B.C. Lions, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Montreal Alouettes won’t attend training camp while players on Edmonton Eskimos, Calgary Stampeders, Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Redblacks have been advised by the CFLPA to show up for camp, then go on strike on May 23.

“We have brought this timing issue to the attention of the CFL and stated that in our opinion, it would cause an extremely unfair advantage to certain clubs as they prepare for the 2019 season we argue that it would be in everyone’s best interest to have all clubs follow the same guidelines until the solution to an impasse has been found,” Ramsay wrote. “The CFL has declined that request and we are prepared to move forward as described above.”

The letter was first reported by Jeff Hamilton of the Winnipeg Free Press and here it is in its entirety.