CFL labor dispute | The Alouettes are waiting

(Trois-Rivières) According to information circulating for several weeks, three CFL teams will train, even as the players called for a strike when the collective agreement expired on May 15. The Alouettes are one of those three teams.

Posted at 10:03 am
Updated at 2:02 pm

Miguel Bujold

Miguel Bujold
The Press

But ultimately, like the Saskatchewan Roughriders, BC Lions, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks, the Alouettes officially went on strike from Sunday midnight. Due to Alberta provincial laws, the Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders must train for three days before they can strike as well.

About half of the Alouettes players took part in a light training session (walk through) on the Diablos field in Cégep de Trois-Rivières on Sunday morning. An optional training, arranged by the players.

“We don’t have a league agreement, but we don’t want to stay in our quarters idle. We want to be ready when it starts, whether it’s a day or a week,” Kristian Matte explained.

The Alouettes will remain in Trois-Rivières until further notice. CFL teams are committed to placing and boarding their players, although there is currently no contract in place.

“All the teams provide accommodation and food for their players, which I think is the right thing to do,” said general manager Danny Maciocia, who, like the organization, hopes to see his team in practice on Sunday morning.


PHOTO FRANÇOIS ROY, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia

“Based on what I heard, I did believe that we would practice. »

Not a salary issue

Despite a bargaining blitz over the past few days, the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the Players ’Association have not agreed on the terms of a long -term contract, with the League coming out of the table. He and commissioner Randy Ambrosie later indicated publicly that they had offered a total of more than $ 24 million in salary increases to players during the would-be seven-year deal.

The points of contention, however, are not about the salary cap and player salaries.

“From what I’ve heard, there have been positive developments in the last week, but we’re still not on the same page at some point. Our bargaining committee is in charge of that. Some player surveys have been conducted over the past two or three years. , so the committee knows what the players want.And at this time, our committee believes it is not beneficial for us.So we have to wait and continue to negotiate when the league is ready to do so, ”said Matte.

“It has to be good for everyone, and right now there is no agreement, so no. We must move forward and follow the recommendations of our representatives. »

“I am optimistic that a new agreement will be reached before the camp starts, but unfortunately this is not the case. But I remain optimistic, we must remain patient,” Maciocia commented.

I understand that everyone wants an agreement as soon as possible. But we need to make sure both sides are happy with the agreement.

Danny Maciocia, GM of Alouettes

“Things could change in 30 minutes. I have no idea how the situation will develop, but I am convinced that both sides want to find a common ground as soon as possible. There is optimism, but will it lead to a new collective agreement in the next hours or days? I do not know. »

Nice to meet you again

As the showdown between the management party and the players ’union continues, Alouettes members are happy to meet again.

“The atmosphere in the team right now is very good. Players are happy to see each other. During the off-season, some have experienced the birth of a child, others have gotten married or graduated. So many congratulations to be given today! said Eugene Lewis.

“I appreciate being able to be here despite what is happening. Many players are at home and want to be in our shoes. I love playing football, I don’t feel like it’s a job, ”added the receiver, who gets regular updates from Chris Ackie, one of the club’s representatives on board. Players Association.

“We want to play football, football fans want it, and we know very well that this is also what the League wants”, summed up Matte, who seemed to be hoping that the conflict would be resolved sooner rather than later. .

“There was no season in 2020 so a lot of players had to look for other jobs. For the League, it was a year without any income. And right now, there’s also no money coming in. We’ll tell each other, money is spinning. in the world, so if no one comes in, it’s not good for anyone, ”the Quebec guard recalled.

“We play because we are passionate and we love it. Yes, we get paid well for what we do, but it’s not like the NFL or other leagues. On the Canadian League side, managing professional teams is expensive. So you need to find the right balance. »

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