CFL Players’ Association tabulates ‘overwhelming’ 95 percent strike vote while CBA deadline nears

Photo courtesy: CFLPA

The Canadian Football League Players’ Association has tallied the strike vote poll as the deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement nears.

In a memo to all CFLPA members distributed on Monday night and procured by 3DownNation, the union revealed its findings.

Your Player Representatives and Bargaining Committee thank you for the overwhelming 95% strike vote received this past weekend while also reaching highs in overall ballots cast. Your support gives us the mandate to press for a new collective agreement recognizing the player’s role and contribution to our sport.

Your bargaining committee has given a clear direction to the CFL that our membership will not attend Training Camps without a Memorandum of Agreement with the League or the certainty that players will not be stranded in their respective cities in the event of a work stoppage. We have asked the League to provide us with a commitment that the teams would cover player costs for those attending Training Camp in the event of a work stoppage, or the CFLPA will be obligated to provide direction not to attend.

In the spirit of these negotiations, the CFL has committed to responding urgently. When a response is received, we will direct the membership on whether or not to travel to Training Camp to start the season. We anticipate our bargaining committee will give that direction to the membership on Wednesday (4th) or Thursday (5th) of this week. 

This decision comes after a full briefing of the current state of negotiations with the CFL, provided to the board of player representatives last evening. The bargaining committee received unanimous support from the board for this direction today. We ask that you remain in communication with your team player representative for the most up-to-date reports.

Your Bargaining Committee has told the League that we are committed to working around the clock over the next 12 days to achieve a fair and reasonable agreement that recognizes the role and contribution of the players to the Canadian Football League. We believe a true partnership is achievable, and we are prepared to play an active role in growing and promoting our sport in every way.

As players, you are the reason fans watch the game, and you deserve a better outcome for your contribution than you are presently receiving. We want to change the financial outcomes to reflect that reality. With your unwavering support and solidarity, we will achieve our goal and hopefully start this season on time.

The existing collective agreement between the CFL and players’ association was ratified in 2019 and amended prior to the 2021 season to help facilitate a safe return under pandemic restrictions — it is set to expire on May 14.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.