Major League Baseball Joins AFL-CIO

Washington (AFP) – The Major League Baseball Players Association is joining AFL-CIO In an attempt to strengthen its position in the wake of one labor struggle and in the midst of another labor struggle.

CEO Tony Clark made the announcement Wednesday along with AFL-CIO President Liz Schuller during an event at the National Press Club, where he discussed the MLBPA’s bid to unite the minor unions after a nearly 100-day shutdown that delayed the start of the season.

Clarke cited lessons from 2020, when baseball wasn’t played in minor league, as a major impetus for that decision.

“Over the past two years, our experiences have indicated that now is the time to have that conversation,” he said. “Now we are in a world where our organization is being strengthened, the brotherhood with the players is being strengthened by bringing the young racers under our umbrella, and also joining the AFL-CIO and doing it side by side with our brothers and sisters who are part of the labor movement, together we will get through that mess, and together we will work to transcend it.”

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

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The MLBPA is the 58th union affiliated with the AFL-CIO, and is the largest labor union in the United States with 12.5 million members. The AFL-CIO Sports Council already includes player associations from the NFL, the Women’s National Football League, the United Soccer League, and the United States Women’s National Team.

The International Alliance of Theater and Theater Employees, whose members are involved in broadcasting and organizing major league matches, expressed support for the move.

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

The MLPBA on Tuesday asked the administration to voluntarily accept the association as a negotiating agent for the junior leagues. Bruce Meyer, the union’s deputy executive director, sent a letter to MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halim claiming that a majority of the roughly 5,400 junior league members had signed authorization cards.

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

The MLBPA, which reached its first collective bargaining agreement for the major leagues in 1968, launched the Small Leagues campaign on August 28. Players with minor league contracts, and who earn less than $400 per week during the six-month season, will become their king. The negotiation unit within the MLBPA.

If the MLB does not accept the union voluntarily, cards signed by 30% of the 5,000 to 6,500 junior investigators in the bargaining unit will allow the union to file a petition with the National Labor Relations Board requesting union authorization. Majority voting in elections allows union representation.

“We support the MLBPA’s position, and so we will bring the breadth and full scope of the labor movement to support it,” Schuller said. “And hopefully, the league will do the right thing.”

Baseball players and players settled the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement in March, ending the sport’s ninth stoppage after 99 days and paving the way for a full regular season of 162 games with the opening day postponed by a week.