From the Editor's Desk - January 2020

January 12 2020


Rugby Canada v Union Update; Hong Kong Premier and Global Rapid Rugby; Path to MLR

Rugby Canada v Union Update

The latest on the Rugby Canada vs 7s players' union from Vancouver Magazine worth a read to keep up to date, it's from November 2019.
Last year, Rugby Canada presented its sevens team with a new agreement that, essentially, reduced payment to players (bonuses like the Vancouver sevens tourney’s went from $5,000 to $500 per player) and treated the sevens team as more of a development squad for the 15s, which the organization admitted was its first priority.

So, the players decided to organize. More than half of the players on the rugby sevens roster boycotted practices in September 2018 in hopes of getting a new deal. They eventually came to an agreement with Rugby Canada, but wanted to put in some protections to make sure they weren’t taken advantage of again.

“Someone told them ‘You should go talk to a union about organizing,’ and that’s what happened—we sat down with them,” recalls Scott Lunny, assistant to the director for United Steelworkers Canada. “We explained that, in the world of labour relations, what prevents [getting taken advantage of] from happening is the labour code, which says ‘thou shalt bargain in good faith when you have a union.’”

On September 21, 2018, the United Steelworkers and Vancouver-based Victory Square Law Office filed an application on behalf of the sevens team to certify as a bargaining unit to the British Columbia Labour Relations Board.

That wasn’t met with open arms. Rugby Canada’s response to the union was filled with objections. For one, they argued that the application wasn’t within the jurisdiction of the B.C. Labour Relations Board, because it’s Rugby Canada.
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Hong Kong Premier and Global Rapid Rugby

We followed this story when we found BC Premier player, Cole Mosychuk, playing in the Hong Kong Premier this season. Cole has played for Burnaby previously and Westshore last season and the beginning of this season before heading to Hong Kong. The video below shows Mosychuk in action this weekend.

The bigger picture perhaps is the South China Tigers who will be playing in the Global Rapid Rugby league. The league had a trial run last year and is planning a full schedule this year. Players from the Hong Kong Premier will be vying for positions in the Hong Kong based South China Tigers squad. When we first heard of the league last year we pondered if Vancouver could be a future expansion destination but at this point that's a long shot speculation. This year there are 6 teams based in Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Hong Kong, Malaysia.

Path to MLR

In a league closer to home we saw this article from USA based Earful of Dirt Podcast and like the fact they recognized the BC Premier as one of the paths to the MLR. The BC Premier is one of, if not the top, amateur rugby competition in North America. You can read more on their website.

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