(Washington) The Major League Baseball Players’ Association (MLBPA) has joined a major American union group, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), players’ union director Tony Clark said. .
Posted at 11:39 a.m.
The association comes as the MLBPA attempts to organize minor league players after decades of opposition and a nearly 100-day lockout that resulted in the start of the final MLB season being postponed.
Clark made the announcement with AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler during an event at the National Press Club.
Shuler called the association « a great moment for the labor movement. » Clark added that the players want to strengthen their organization by supporting minor league players and becoming members of the AFL-CIO.
The MLBPA on Tuesday called on Major League Baseball executives to voluntarily accept the union as the bargaining agent for minor league players. Bruce Meyer, the union’s assistant manager, sent a letter to MLB assistant commissioner Dan Halem in which he says more than half of minor league players have signed membership cards.
Clark repeated that claim on Wednesday, saying « thousands » of cards have been signed and returned to the MLBPA.
The union, which won a first contract for Major League players in 1968, began its process of organizing minor league players on August 28. Players on minor league contracts, who can earn as little as US$400 a week over a six-month season, would get their own bargaining unit within the MLBPA.
Baseball and the players agreed to a new contract in March, ending the sport’s ninth labor dispute after 99 days and paving the way for a full 162-game season, which was pushed back a week, however. compared to its usual launch date.