Will NRL Players Strike Over CBA Dispute?
The dispute between the CBA and NRL players is still raging. The players are reportedly considering taking more protest actions during the preseason trial games.
Preseason Trials Strike?
Preseason trials have been re-branded in 2023 and now have a prize of $100,000 dollars to the winning team. The winner is decided by whatever team has the most points. A strike could seriously disrupt this new competition created by the NRL. It was reported by the Sydney Morning Herold that players might be covering up logos on jerseys and potentially delaying starting times for matches and not showing up for media interviews.
The Fits Step In Player’s Protest Set To Begin
While games will continue as scheduled with players potentially delaying starting times, and covering logos on jerseys. Players completely striking and not showing up for games is not currently happening but has not been taken off the table.
RLPA players have been given a deadline that should an agreement not be met before the kick-off between New Zealand Warriors and the Tigers this Thursday serious action will take place.
The Main Reasons For This Dispute
The NRL and RLPA are failing to gain ground in negotiations over post-retirement hardship and injury funds, finances for the women’s League, the salary cap and should the RLPA be able to manage its own funds.
NRL Players’ Stance On The Dispute
Shaun Lane Parramatta Eels player commented last week:
“It’s dragged on for way too long. It should have been handled six months ago and obviously, it’s heading to a time where some action may need to be taken in order to finally resolve the conflict and get what we need to get out of this bargain.”
Kurt Campbell From the Brisbane Broncos said “ a strike is not off the table if the NRL does not come to the table and sort the CBA disagreement”
Cristian Welch from the Melbourne Storm commented:
‘We’re ready to draw a line in the sand and we’ll make a stand. We don’t want it to come to a player strike but if the NRL are going to sit on their heels and not budge, who knows where it’s going to go?”
The NRL Stance On The CBA Dispute
The NRL has given its biggest salary cap rise in the history of the game in 2023. A whopping 25% percent was given. The average salary rise for Australians is between 2%-5% per year so understandably they feel they have been generous. They have publicly announced several times they are trying too hard to settle the dispute but have not given much in finer details. If the players do strike what will their reaction be?
What Can The NRL Do If Players Do Strike?
Potentially we could see some fierce legal battles if players go too far in their protest of the CBA disagreement. There could be fines and players could be sued under contract. It is unlikely we will see all players strike and potentially the players who do decide to strike could be outed from the NRL altogether.
How Will A Strike Effect The 2023 Season?
If players do decide to strike the games will go on and we expect players from reserve grade will be called up to fill the spots of the absent players who are on strike. We will still see some awesome footy regardless of if the strike happens or not.
The Fans Reactions
The CBA disagreement and threats of strikes from the players have seen a massive backlash towards the players threatening this and against the RLPA. Calling their long list of demands greedy, unfair, and several other names we will choose not to publish in this blog. Again with a salary cap increase of 25% the average fan is seeing this move by the RLPA as pure greed and not being fair to the NRL.
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