The Quebec Labour Board ruled Friday that a lockout by the National Hockey League would be legal in the province.
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires Saturday at 11:59 p.m. ET. If a new deal is not reached by the deadline, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said the League will not continue under the expiring agreement.
The National Hockey League Players' Association petitioned the QLB to deem any potential lockout by the NHL illegal. However, the board decided against the NHLPA's requested interim order to prevent the owners from locking out the Montreal Canadiens. The Union's claim revolved around the argument that Quebec employers can’t lock out employees unless they belong to a certified union. The NHLPA isn’t a certified union in Quebec, the Union argued.
"We are pleased but not surprised with the Quebec Labour Board's ruling tonight that any lockout of Players will be effective on a League-wide basis, including in Quebec, and we are extremely appreciative of the expeditious and decisive manner in which the matter was handled," said Bill Daly, Deputy Commissioner of the NHL. "We are hopeful that this ruling will cause the Players' Association to cease pursuing these needless distractions and instead focus all of its efforts and energies on making progress at the bargaining table."
The Union also is engaged in using the labor board in the province of Alberta to block the lockout.