Junior hockey league players could unionize - WNEM TV 5

Junior hockey league players could unionize

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Canadian Hockey League Player's Association logo- Photo courtesy of Facebook. Canadian Hockey League Player's Association logo- Photo courtesy of Facebook.
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Canada's largest private sector union is now spear-heading an effort to unionize more than 12-hundred junior hockey players across the U.S. and Canada.

Glenn Gumbley, the founder of the Canadian Hockey League's players association announced they are joining one of Canada's largest unions. The union is made up of more than 300-thousand members.

"It's just another player's association that's representing the players and their standing and best beliefs for the players," says Gumbley.

Former Chicago Blackhawks player Victor Posa supports an effort to see the more than 12-hundred junior hockey players unionized.

"It's a good thing for hockey all the way around. Players will have a place to go that might be totally separate from the teams and it will be confidential and they will feel more like it's a home away from home where they can bounce their feelings off of certain people," says Posa.

Posa's oldest son Saverio played in the OHL for four years. The OHL is the same league the Saginaw Spirit play in. Posa feels that a stronger union will benefit players.

With more than 50 teams across Canada and the United States with players aged 16 to 20, another hurdle to unionization is whether these players are professionals or amateur athletes who receive a stipend. If they are not employees then unionization is not an option but Posa still believes this is a step in the right direction.

"Through time, now with the implementation with the player's association, I think there's gonna be more done. It's going to be more steady. They are going to become more involved as they move forward in the process," says Posa.

TV5 asked representatives with the Saginaw Spirit about the situation. They had no comment.

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