Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
AP

Major League Baseball Players Association joins AFL-CIO

  • Updated
  • 0
BBO MLBPA AFL CIO

Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Tony Clark accompanied by AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler speaks during a news conference at the Press Club in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Support this work for $1 a month

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Major League Baseball Players Association is joining the AFL-CIO in an effort to strengthen its position in the aftermath of one labor struggle and in the midst of another.

Executive director Tony Clark made the announcement Wednesday alongside AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler during an event at the National Press Club, discussing the MLBPA's attempt to unionize minor leaguers following a nearly 100-day lockout that delayed the start of the season.

Clark cited lessons learned from 2020, when minor league baseball was not played, as a major impetus for this decision.

“Over the past couple of years, our experiences have suggested now is the right time to have that conversation," he said. “We are in a world now where strengthening our organization, strengthening our player fraternity by bringing the minor leaguers under our umbrella, as well as joining the AFL-CIO and doing so alongside our brothers and sisters that are part of the labor movement, together we’re going to navigate that chaos, and together we’re going to work through it."

Shuler called it “an incredible moment for the labor movement.” Clark said baseball players want to strengthen their organization by supporting minor leaguers and becoming part of the AFL-CIO.

The MLBPA is the 58th union to affiliate with the AFL-CIO, the largest labor federation in the U.S. with 12.5 million members. The AFL-CIO's Sports Council already included players' associations from the NFL, National Women's Soccer League, United Soccer League and U.S. Women's National Team.

The International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, whose members are involved in broadcasting and staging major league games, voiced support for the move.

“Today’s announcement was a winning play by the players' association,” president Matthew D. Loeb said in a statement. “We look forward to working in solidarity with the MLBPA to improve both the fan experience and the work lives of our members.”

The MLPBA on Tuesday asked management to voluntarily accept the union as the bargaining agent for minor leaguers. Bruce Meyer, the union’s deputy executive director, sent a letter to MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem that claimed a majority of roughly 5,400 minor leaguers had signed authorization cards.

Clark repeated that assertion Wednesday, saying “thousands” of cards had been returned.

The MLBPA, which reached its first collective bargaining agreement for major leaguers in 1968, launched the minor league unionization drive Aug. 28. Players with minor league contracts, who earn as little as $400 weekly during the six-month season, would become their own bargaining unit within the MLBPA.

If MLB does not voluntarily accept the union, signed cards from 30% of the 5,000 to 6,500 minor leaguers in the bargaining unit would allow the union to file a petition to the National Labor Relations Board asking for a union authorization election. A majority vote in an election would authorize union representation.

“We support the MLBPA’s position, and so we’ll bring the full breadth and scope of the labor movement to back them up,” Shuler said. “And we hope that the league does the right thing.”

Baseball and the players settled on terms of a new collective bargaining agreement in March, ending the sport’s ninth work stoppage after 99 days and clearing the way for a full, 162-game regular season with opening day pushed back a week.

0 Comments
* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Aaron Judge fell a few feet short of a record-tying 61st homer, hitting a 404-foot drive caught just in front of the center field wall, and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Josh Donaldson’s 10th-inning single to clinch their sixth straight playoff berth. Judge had walked three times and struck out once before he came to the plate with the score tied 4-4 in the ninth. He drove a fastball from Matt Barnes just to the right of straightaway center. The ball left the bat at 113 mph, and fans waited in anticipation as Judge jogged toward first base. But they groaned in unison as Kiké Hernández made the catch a step in front of the fence.

Aaron Judge hit his 60th home run and Giancarlo Stanton followed minutes later with a game-ending grand slam, completing the New York Yankees’ stunning five-run, ninth-inning rally to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-8. Judge moved within one of Roger Maris’ American League record when he turned on a sinker from right-hander Wil Crowe and drove it 430 feet into the left-field bleachers, pulling New York within 8-5. Judge matched the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit for the 1927 Yankees to set a big league record that stood for 34 years.

Aaron Judge disappointed fans by staying stuck at 60 homers but doubled twice and scored on Oswaldo Cabrera’s first-inning grand slam that started the New York Yankees to a 14-2 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates. A day after hitting home run No. 60 to spark a stunning five-run, ninth-inning rally capped by Giancarlo Stanton’s game-ending slam, Judge doubled on the first pitch to him in the first and fifth innings. Judge leads the AL in average, home runs and RBIs, in position to become the first Triple Crown winner in a decade. Cabrera and Gleyber Torres had five RBIs each.

The young Cleveland Guardians finished what they started. Rookie Steven Kwan hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high five runs as the Guardians beat the Texas Rangers 10-4 to clinch the AL Central. Baseball's youngest team, the Guardians have won seven straight and gone 18-3 since being tied for first on Sept. 4. It's Cleveland's first division title since 2018 and it came in the team's first season after changing its name from Indians to Guardians. Manager Terry Francona was in the middle of a chaotic celebration in the clubhouse. It was a personal triumph for the 63-year-old who battled serious health problems the past two years.

Travis d’Arnaud broke a scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the fourth inning, Dansby Swanson went deep in the eighth, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 and clinched a playoff berth. The defending World Series champion Braves secured their trip to the postseason when Milwaukee lost to the New York Mets 7-5 less than 30 minutes later. Atlanta (93-55) is also vying for its fifth consecutive division title, but remained in second place, one game behind the Mets in the NL East. Swanson added his 21st homer in the eighth off Kyle Finnegan. The Braves have won 10 straight games at home, outscoring opponents 47-15 over this stretch.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News