CFL, players’ union make tentative labor deal, ending strike

TORONTO (AP) — The Canadian Football League and its players’ union have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract, ending the second strike in CFL history, the league said Wednesday night.

The contract must be ratified by both the CFL board of governors and the CFL Players’ Association, but the expectation is players will report to their teams Thursday and go through a walkthrough.

The CFLPA said in a memo to its membership that the strike is over.

“We will inform the league that we have approved a Memorandum of Agreement and that we have ended our strike,” the union said. “We believe the clubs will want to start training camp soon and players should expect to hear from them.”

The new collective bargaining agreement comes four days after players with seven of the league’s nine teams did not show up for the start of training camp.

Talks between the league and union broke off Saturday.

The previous deal, originally signed in 2019 and amended for a shortened ’21 campaign, expired at midnight Saturday, putting the players on the seven squads in a legal strike position.

Players with the Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders reported to camp because they weren’t in a legal strike position under Alberta labor laws. Those players would have been eligible to walk off the job Thursday.

The regular season kicks off June 9 with the Montreal Alouettes in Calgary to face the Stampeders.

The previous CFL strike, in 1974, was also settled before the season began.

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