Canadian Premier League Formally Recognizes Players’ Union
The Canadian Premier League has officially recognized PFA Canada as the union that will represent the league’s professional football players.
The historic moment in Canadian football history comes after a membership vote by CPL athletes, the majority of whom chose PFA Canada to represent them collectively as their official negotiating partner.
Flashback: “The League Doesn’t Hear Us”: Insights into the pro-union attitude of several CPL players
New CPL commissioner Mark Noonan had said that a professional sports league like the CPL had to have a relationship with the workforce, and that’s exactly what the five-year-old league is about to do.
“We respect the outcome of the players’ vote in the CPL and their desire to be represented by PFA Canada,” Noonan said today. “We look forward to working with PFA Canada to negotiate an initial collective bargaining agreement that is a win-win for both the players and the league. We all have hope that we can work together and collectively to grow the CPL and the sport of football in Canada for all concerned.”
PFA Canada President Marco Carducci, who is a founding member of the Cavalry FC squad, explained that the officially recognized union has worked hard to increase players’ demand for meaningful input to make professional football a viable career choice in the country close.
“We have no doubt that by working with the CPL through collective bargaining, we will forge an even stronger relationship between players and the league and further establish Canada’s Premier League as a premier Concacaf target competition that continues to grow, as does the desire of Canadians for top-flight football.”
Formal voting took place between December 15th and 19th, with players signed to CPL teams all invited to participate in an online voting via a third-party provider.
PFA Canada had first announced following a 25 per cent cut in player salaries during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the union finding increasing support over the past year through both player involvement and the acquisition of FIFPro membership and a partnership thereafter received with the CSPA.
At this time there is no timetable for when the first collective bargaining agreement between PFA Canada and the CPL will be reached.
The voluntary recognition of PFA Canada by the domestic league is a milestone for the league and one that will have a drastic impact on it for years to come. Now that players are getting a seat at the table, it will be interesting to see what happens next.