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Would NHL lockout violate Quebec labor laws?

Sep 9, 2012, 9:46 PM EDT

Erik Cole AP

The current CBA is set to expire on Sept. 15 and the two sides are still far apart. If a new deal isn’t reached by the time the old CBA ends, then the NHL will presumably lock out the players.

Montreal forward Erik Cole is still hoping that a deal will be reached next week. However, the Canadiens players are prepared to go to the Quebec Labour Board if the NHL continues with their lockout threats, according to Dave Stubbs.

“The NHL seems content to lock out the players if an agreement isn’t reached this week,” Cole said, “and we would like the Quebec Labour Board to step in and inform them that their lockout would be in direct violation of the Quebec labour laws.”

Quebec law will only allow employers to lock out employees represented by a union. However, the NHLPA hasn’t been certified by the Quebec Labour Board.

“The NHLPA went to the QLB to start the process to (have the union) certified in April 2005 but the NHL formally opposed this,” NHLPA spokesperson Jonathan Weatherdon said.

“In Quebec, replacement workers can’t be used (during a lockout). Being certified would therefore have stopped the Canadiens from using scab players in Year Two of the lockout.”

It’s worth mentioning that the NHLPA is also trying to prevent the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames from having a lockout vote by taking their case to the Alberta Labour Relations Board.

In Ontario, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators have already gotten permission to lock out their players on Sept. 15.

  1. guitarmy204 - Sep 9, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Quebec always has to have a say in everything.

    • kitshky - Sep 10, 2012 at 2:50 AM

      You do realize that Quebec isn’t even the first jurisdiction to attempt this right?

  2. phillyphannn83 - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Funny, I don’t remember the NHL being a Canadian company. Last I checked, its registered with the American government as an American business with franchises in Canada, meaning local LABOR boards have no jurisdiction in the matter.

    • kitshky - Sep 10, 2012 at 2:45 AM

      Last time I checked, there’s very little more entertaining than watching someone throw themselves face forward and wholeheartedly into a point or an opinion … without the slightest factual basis.


      • hystoracle - Sep 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        That is the current mindset in American Politics. HE who shouts the loudest wins regardless of the validity and factual accuracy of their argument.

        Still, I don’t see the league playing games with just 3 or 4 teams.. That would be ridiculous.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Sep 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      Seriously? So when you travel to foreign countries do you demand the locals follow your American rights and rules?

      Despite what you seem to think when a company expands to a new location it’s up to them to follow the local laws not up to the new location to adopt to the laws of that foreign entity. Take Honda for example, it’s a Japanese company, would it be acceptable for them to demand all of their American employees work 60+ hours a week (no overtime) because that’s what Japanese laws allow?

      As for the arguement “so what? They don’t have to hold games or practices” technically I guess that’s true but no lockout means that they have to honor the contracts of all of those players meaning there will be full pay and full benefits. Also they would possibly be setting themselves up for breach of contract lawsuits with Sportsnet, TSN, and CBC, they sold tv rights to these companies promising them games to televise except if there’s a lockout, but there won’t be a lockout in those areas yet the NHL won’t be providing them with a product to televise.

    • tatdue - Sep 10, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      Oh phillyphannn83, ye of little knowledge, Wikipedia is free try it out – the NHL is an organization (or franchise) – each team is its own company and even though the NHL’s headquarters is in New York, the NHL was founded on November 26, 1917, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Furthermore since each team is its own company each team must abide by the labor laws which apply to each teams location….If it was an American business what you are saying still makes no sense what so ever….McDonalds is an American business so does that mean that the franchises all over the world don’t have to abide by the labor laws of the countries they’re located in?

      • somekat - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:34 PM

        although you are correct where it was founded, the NHL is in fact an American orginaization, they did it for tax purposes long ago (specifically, to save the canadian teams from ridiculous federal tax rates). But you are correct that they have to honor local labor laws, unless they have a waiver saying otherwise.

        Also, using Wikipedia as a source is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. I can go there right now and change Bettmans page to say he died in a tragic circus midget accident

  3. id4joey - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:05 AM

    That’s right! Quebec isn’t the first. Furthermore, every team based in Canada will be doing the same. Why single out Quebec? Or any other province for that matter. This tactic is clearly driven by the NHLPA.

    • hystoracle - Sep 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      Except Toronto and Ottawa. That leaves Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Winnipeg. Woohoo 5 team league.. like the original six but without the US exposure. .. Not going to happen. They may not be able to lock them out of the building, but the teams don’t have to play any games or hold practices.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Sep 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        They have to pay them and provide them with full benefits though.

  4. mclovinhockey - Sep 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Yeah, kinda odd this is not the only place in Canada. Oh and I am a flyers fan but a hockey fan first, I know hockey was created in Quebec, it started in Montreal at a college and was played with 8 or 9 players on the ice per side and with a square puck. If anyplace deserves to have a say in this its Quebec.

  5. mclovinhockey - Sep 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Oh and one last thing, why are you idiots being such, well idiots, they are trying to make it so there is no possible way there can be a lockout. They are fighting the owners, why act like they are idiots when they are in the right?

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