Canadian Junior Hockey Players Warn League

     TORONTO (CN) – A labor union representing Canadian junior hockey league players threatened to sue the Ontario Hockey League over “flagrant” violations of employment law.
     Attorneys for the Canadian Hockey League Players’ Association wrote a demand letter to the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), all 20 of its teams, the Canadian Hockey League and governing body Hockey Canada.
     The OHL is one of three major junior hockey leagues under the Canadian Hockey League umbrella. Players are from 15 to 20 years old.
     “We are writing concerning the serious and ongoing violations by the OHL and all of its member teams of the minimum employment legislative standards,” the Thursday letter states. “More specifically, there has been, and continues to be, flagrant breaches of the Employment Standards Act (Ontario), the Canada Pension Plan and the Employment Insurance Act.”
     Attorneys from Gibson & Barnes say the league does not pay minimum or overtime wages, vacation or holiday pay, termination or severance pay and pension or unemployment contributions.
     The attorneys say the violations show a “blatant disregard for the bare minimum working standards that have been set for employees.”
     Gibson & Barnes said the union will sue if the violations are not rectified, and will sue again if the OHL or its teams retaliate against players for exercising their legal rights.
     Gibson & Barnes attorney Michael Mazzuca signed the letter.

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