Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced today that the league is ready to voluntarily recognize the MLBPA as the new collective bargaining representatives for minor league players. The announcement comes less than two weeks after the MLBPA sent mandate cards to a junior league seeking to represent them, and just days after the league had “big” majority support and I formally requested That the Commissioner’s office voluntarily acknowledges the seismic shift in player representation. According to Ivan Drillic of Athletic (Twitter link), the acknowledgment is pending agreement between the league and the union over the decision to screen the card – essentially an independent verification of the authorization cards sent out last month.
MLBPA CEO Tony Clark issued a statement in response to the MLB announcement (transmitted by James Wagner from The New York Times):
“We are pleased that MLB is moving forward with this process in a productive manner. While there are still important steps left, we are confident that the discussions will reach a positive conclusion.“
Had the league not been agreed upon, the MLBPA would have partnered with the Federal National Labor Relations Board to push for elections among the members of the minor league. Assuming the majority of those who voted to agree to represent the MLBPA, the NLRB could have forced the MLB’s hand to recognize the unions. These additional steps will not be necessary, following today’s announcement by Manfred.
An MLBPA official told MLBTR last week that the proposed union effort would give junior agents their own separate negotiating unit under the MLBPA umbrella, adding that any CBA minor leagues would be negotiated independently of the CBA major league that was completed earlier this year. The MLBPA recently announced that it has hired all members of the Advocates For Minor Leaguers, a move that has bolstered the ranks of the union leadership in preparation for the shift, which will see MLBPA membership grow from 1,200 to more than 5,000.
MLB announcement numbers to speed up the process to eventually get minor league players under the MLBPA umbrella. Recognition of the league would be a tacit acknowledgment that a majority of the smaller unions would likely have voted for the unions had the PA petitioned the NLRB for elections.
It now appears that all but a few junior contestants will soon become members of the MLB Players Association. It is completely uncharted territory for the Little Leagues, who were not previously part of a federation. in full post Earlier this week, Drelish spoke to a handful of minor league players about the process. Drilech noted that players in the junior-level Dominican Summer League will not be automatically included because it is located outside the United States, but that the MLBPA will now likely represent players from domestic complex ball up to Triple-A and plan to compromise on DSL working conditions even though those have not joined Players officially joined the Federation.
Drillic wrote this evening Both the league and the MLBPA believe it is possible to reach a CBA for minor league players in time for the start of the 2023 season. Negotiations will not begin long after the MLB grants its official recognition (assuming that happens), and Drelish notes that a card verification agreement could be reached in The near future, except for setbacks.
As he points out, the expected recognition comes just two months after members of Congress from both parties showed interest in it reconsidering MLB Antitrust Exemption. Low pay rates for junior unions have been one of the criticisms of many lawmakers, but recognizing the union and signing a collective bargaining agreement with smaller unions would take away that problem. the outside The world of antitrust law and in the area of labor law.
Set to be a massive change for the MLBPA, which also join AFL-CIO this week. The union’s efforts to expand its membership and increase its outreach to labor leaders in other industries follow a few years of labor struggle. Clarke cited controversial return-to-play negotiations after the 2020 COVID lockdown and last winter’s shutdown as reasons to join the AFL-CIO.
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