NHL Players Union to Use Quebec Labor Law to Stop Lockout on Canadiens
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
If needed, the National Hockey League Players' Association said Quebec labor law can be used to prevent the league and team owner from locking out Montreal Canadiens' players on Sept. 15.
According to NHLPA, under Quebec labor law, an employer cannot lockout employees unless they are represented by a union certified by the Quebec Labor Board. In this case, the NHL union is not certified by QLB.
"The players are committed to reaching a fair deal with the NHL owners through CBA negotiations and we have told the NHL that the players are willing to continue to negotiate if an agreement isn't reached prior to the expiration of the CBA," Canadiens forward Erik Cole, the alternate NHLPA representative on the team, said.
"The NHL seems content to lock out the players if an agreement isn't reached this week and we would like the Quebec Labor Board to step in and inform them that their lockout would be in direct violation of the Quebec labor laws," Cole added.
With no clear sign of reaching a new collective bargaining agreement, the union is ready to move anytime this week to stop any lockout of Canadiens players. The NHL has already said that it will lock out players if no deal is reached by Saturday.
Under Quebec labor law, the Canadiens players have the right to apply for an order that would prevent team ownership from locking players out after Sept. 15, when the CBA expires.
The players, through their Montreal-based lawyer Michael Cohen, have already sent a have already sent a cease and desist letter to Canadiens owners and to the NHL Friday, saying that they will file an application with the QLB if threats of lockout are not stopped.
The NHLPA said the QLB can order Canadiens owners not to lock out the players or to end a lockout in Quebec if one has started.
The union is also studying labor laws in Ontario and Alberta, where the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames are based, to determine the legalities of a lockout.
Rick Horrow discusses the status of the NHL labor agreement
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