Major League Baseball Players Union Joins AFL-CIO

With only about 1,200 members, the MLBPA is fairly small compared to many other unions within the federation, but given its broad interest in professional sports, it is one of the highest profile unions in the country and is growing. I am aiming for It recently announced plans to add about 5,400 minor league players. The majority of them have signed a card asking for union representatives.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Tony Clark, former major league player and executive director of the players’ union, and Liz Shuler, president of the AFL-CIO.

“The MLBPA has a 56-year history of success rooted in solidarity and extremely engaged membership,” Clark said. We look forward to bringing that history and experience to a more formal part of the movement. ”

Aligning players with the AFL-CIO could boost other unions representing workers in the industry, such as TV crews and stadium vendors. Many of these unions are already in unions at many ballparks.

But joining a larger organization does not mean that the player refuses to play in other stadiums. workers may go on strikeClark said the MLBPA’s current contract does not give a player the right to refuse to cross the picket line. But given the high profile athletes are in the public eye, the possibility that athletes may simply speak up in support of striking workers, or even join a picket line, will make a difference in the dynamics of the negotiations. Shuler said it could lead to

Other sports-related unions welcomed the MLBPA’s decision to join the federation.

“We look forward to working in solidarity with the MLBPA to improve both the fan experience and the working lives of our members,” said the International Alliance of CIOs, AFL-CIO affiliates representing many of the camera crews broadcasting the game. Theatrical and Stage Employees said in a statement.

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The MLBPA is one of the most successful unions when it comes to improving member pay and conditions of employment. It was an early leader in fighting for free agency that allowed players with a certain number of years in the league to negotiate with any team, not just the team they had a previous contract with. has also won the right to binding salary arbitration for players who have not yet qualified for free agency.

These victories have increased player pay significantly over the past 55 years, from an average of $19,000 in 1967 (the year players first negotiated collective bargaining with team owners) to $4.4 million this season. Did. Even adjusted for inflation, the $19,000 average is worth about $170,000 today, a quarter of his $700,000, which is MLB’s current minimum salary.

The league has spent 20 years without stopping working in front of its owner player locked out From the end of last year to this year.transaction end of lockout Arrived in March However The start of the season has been delayed by a week. The new contract increased the player’s minimum wage along with other changes.

The MLBPA is affiliated with several other AFL-CIOs, including the National Football League Players Association, the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association, the United Soccer League Players Association, the US Women’s National Team Players Association, and the United Football Players Association. Join a sports union. was recently formed by another AFL-CIO affiliate, United Steelworkers, to represent members of the emerging US Football League.

Most of the country’s largest and most powerful trade unions are members of the AFL-CIO, but there are a few, including the 1.2 million member Teamster union, the National Education Association representing 3 million teachers, and the Service Workers International Union. with the notable exception of has 2 million members.


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