If there’s going to be a league-wide players strike in the CFL, it will be the province of Alberta that holds up the work stoppage.
Because of Alberta labour laws, the Eskimos and Stampeders are at least 11 days away from being able to walk off the job.
The Alberta Labour Relations Board couldn’t deal with the CFLPA’s request for a strike vote until today, since the collective bargaining agreement just expired last night. The request is to hold the vote on Saturday, June 7. In the meantime, the ALRB would have to do some procedural work, like approving the voters’ list.
If the Esks and Stamps vote to strike, they would then have to give their employers 72-hours notice. So at the absolute earliest, Alberta’s CFLers could strike on Tuesday, June 10. That’s just three days before the Eskimos first pre-season game.
The CFL’s other seven teams are in a position to strike. It is hypothetically possible for those clubs to strike while the Esks and Stamps continue working at camp.
Players on other teams have already had the chance to take part in a strike vote. Of those who have voted, over 95% are in favour of a strike. For now, training camps will start this weekend. (jrw)