Minor league baseball players vote to unionize with MLBPA

A The majority of minor league baseball players have voted to unionize, according to the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The MLBPA announced the news on Tuesday and said it was seeking recognition from Major League Baseball to become the collective bargaining representative for minor league players. The push for unionization has only come in recent days but has attracted outsized support among players, according to the union.

“Minor league players have made it clear that they want MLBPA to represent them and are prepared to enter into collective bargaining to have a positive impact on the upcoming season,” said MLBPA executive director Tony Clark.

The MLBPA executive board authorized the minor league player recruitment drive ahead of the push and voted to form a new bargaining unit under the union’s umbrella.

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Minor league players have complained about low wages and are hoping unionization will bring better wages and working conditions. Player salaries can range from $4,800 at the rookie level to around $14,000 at Triple-A, depending on the Washington Post.

Ahead of Tuesday’s news, the MLBPA sent union clearance cards to minor league players to gauge interest in unionizing. Just 10 days after sending, the amount of support for the organization was well over the 30% threshold needed to continue the effort.

An MLBPA press release provided to the Washington Examiner said the number of minor league players in favor of joining the union has now passed that 30% threshold to reach a “significant majority.”

MLBPA is asking MLB to recognize the union as representing minor league players, although if MLB refuses to do so, a National Labor Relations Board vote could take place, in which more than 50% of players would have to allow unionization.

“I’m really scared, but it’s the right thing to do. We’re all excited,” Joe Hudson, a Triple-A Durham affiliate wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Rays, told ESPN.

“There are bewildered teammates who can’t believe this is actually happening. Everyone raving with positivity, go ahead,” he added. is against it right now. It’s really a snowball effect here.

If the minor leagues did eventually unionize, it would swell the ranks of the MLBPA and result in the association representing more than 5,000 American players.

The new surge is part of a larger wave of unionization sweeping the country.

In less than a year, more than 300 Starbucks locations have petitioned the NLRB for union elections since a New York store became the first to vote to unionize in December. More than 200 of those stores have since voted to unionize.

Earlier this year, an Amazon warehouse in New York became the first to vote for unionization, an REI store in New York did the same, and a Trader Joe’s in Massachusetts became the first to file for a union election.

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The Labor Board issued a press release in March indicating that in the first six months of fiscal 2022, applications for union representation filed with the NLRB increased 57%, to 1,174 from 748 in the same period last year. Unfair labor practice charges also increased by 14% over the same period.

Public support for trade unions has also increased. A new Gallup poll has found that more than 70% now say they approve of unions, up from just 48% in 2009. The share of approval is now the highest since the 1960s.

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