Minor League Baseball Players are Unionized for the First Time in History

Minor league baseball was established in 1901. This is the first time that minor league players have been unionized. Major League Baseball (MLB), however, voluntarily recognized the union Wednesday.

MLB Announces its intent to recognizeThe union was formed last week. over half ofMinor leaguers signed authorization cards from the union, which were certified this week by an arbiter. The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) now represents players. has representedMajor league players since the 1960s

The union celebrated the good news. “I applaud this extraordinary group of young Players and welcome them to the MLBPA,” MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said in a statement. “This historic achievement required the right group of Players at the right moment to succeed. Minor Leaguers have courageously seized that moment, and we look forward to improving their terms and conditions of employment through the process of good faith collective bargaining.”

Negotiations will begin for players their first contract afterOctober is the end of the current Season. Clark sayingHe hopes that players will reach an agreement before they start spring training.

Salary is expected to be a major priority for players. The average weekly salary for minor league players is $290 to $700. during the seasonOr an averageMany players will be living below the poverty level due to their annual salary of $12,000 Union advocates sayMost players will need to take on second jobs. even third jobsTo remain afloat.

“This is my eighth year,” union organizer Andres Angulo, a catcher in the Baltimore Orioles’s system, told The AthleticIn an article published last Wednesday. “Last year, I went home with $500 in my pocket. And I don’t think that’s something that I want for my life. But I’m still in baseball, just because I have a dream to make it to the big leagues. But I don’t think that’s fair for us.”

Minor leaguers sought to ease some financial strain. for and wonMLB-provided housing this year. Players’ advocate group Advocates for Minor Leaguers celebratedThe decision was a victory for the players, but it was criticised by the MLB for placing two people per bedroom. for excludingPlayers with families were excluded from the plan, which was determined unilaterally by the MLB without any input from players.

Since at least six years ago, players have been organizing themselves. according to ESPN, after members of CongressA bill was introduced to exempt minor leaguers of overtime pay and minimum wage requirements. The bill was not adopted by the Senate when it was introduced, but was reinstated in 2016. included in a spending bill in 2018

Voluntary recognition avoids a potentially contentious fight between players and the MLB. If the MLB didn’t recognize the union, the league would have had to go through a union election administered by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), delaying the unionization process; employers often This delay can be usedUnion bust

The MLB is for its part. has pledged to bargain “in good faith” with the union. But this doesn’t mean that all is rosy between the MLB and the union; in fact, the MLB had locked outMajor league players were without pay for almost 100 days between December and March of last year. This was the second-longest lockout period in MLB history.

Major leaguers’ contract had expired in December, and progress toward a new contract had not been made; major leaguers were frustrated with salary declines, among other disputes, and Clark characterized the lockout as “the ultimate economic weapon” used against the players.