The CFL Players’ Association has informed players on four CFL teams not to report to camp if a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t reached by May 18.
Union executive director Brian Ramsay said in conference calls that players with the B.C. Lions, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Montreal Alouettes won’t report to the start of training camp without a new agreement.
The Lions are scheduled to host camp from May 19 to June 6 at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops, with rookie camp to run from May 15 to May 17.
Ramsay added players with the two Alberta teams (Calgary and Edmonton) and three Ontario franchises (Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton) have been advised to report to comply with labour laws in those provinces.
However, Ramsay said those players would be in a legal strike position by May 23 and could join to make it a league-wide work stoppage at that time.
Ramsay reiterated the union’s overwhelming preference is to reach an agreement with the league and prevent any work stoppage.
The CFL and its players ended three days of talks on Wednesday, after which Ramsay said the two sides aren’t “necessarily where we need to be right now,’’ with the current agreement set to expire May 18.