MLBPA joins AFL-CIO in bid to organize minor league baseball players

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The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced on September 7, 2022 that it is officially affiliating with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in an effort to strengthen its position. The announcement was made during an appearance by AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark at the National Press Club.

The MLBPA, which reached its first major league collective bargaining agreement in 1968, launched an organizing campaign for minor league players on August 28.e2022. The MLBPA’s efforts to represent the minor leaguers recently cleared their first hurdle when more than fifty percent (50%) of minor league baseball players signed clearance cards in favor of unionization, vastly surpassing thirty percent (30%) of the required signatures. to call an official election.

On September 6, 2022, the MLBPA applied for voluntary recognition from Major League Baseball (MLB). The Players’ Association sent a “Card Verification Agreement”, in which the league would agree to voluntary recognition, subject to independent verification of authorization cards. On September 9, 2022, MLB announced that it would voluntarily recognize the minor league union.

Organizing more than 5,000 minor leaguers is a major step in a decades-long labor dispute that has escalated in Congress. The MLBPA currently represents players on the 40-man rosters of all 30 MLB teams. The MLBPA is the 58th union to affiliate with the AFL-CIO, the largest labor federation in the United States with 12.5 million members. The AFL-CIO Sports Council already includes player associations from the NFL, National Women’s Soccer League, United Soccer League and US Women’s National Team.

Aligning players with the AFL-CIO could attract other unions representing workers in the sports industry, such as television crews and stadium vendors. In light of these developments, employers in the sports industry should retain the services of experienced labor lawyers to help them formulate their labor relations strategy, including education on the potential effects of signing union authorization cards during organizing efforts.

The St. Louis labor attorneys at McMahon Berger have represented employers nationwide on labor and employment matters for more than sixty years and are available to discuss these and other issues. As always, the above is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice regarding any particular situation, as each situation should be evaluated on its own facts. Choosing a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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[email protected] September 1, 2022

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