The Major League Baseball Players Association will be attempting to unionize all players in the Minor League system. This includes upwards of 5,000 players who currently have no collective bargaining power and face unfair working conditions.
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) August 29, 2022
Unionizing the minor league players could be a long process, of which MLBPA has taken the first step. This was sending out authorization cards to all minor league players. If at least 30% of them sign it, a vote would be triggered for the players to unionize. This would designate the MLBPA as minor leaguers’ collective bargaining representative.
ICYMI, MLB has been hustling the MiLB for a while.
The treatment of minor league players has been a hot topic recently. Major League Baseball is currently the subject of a Congress hearing trying to determine the legitimacy of its antitrust exemption. This exemption has far-reaching consequences that extend far beyond the poverty wages that minor league players make. It also allows MLB to manipulate the number of jobs available to players as they see fit by lowering the number of teams in the organization or converting Minor League teams to independent professional MLB Partner teams. These teams are affiliated with the League but not with a specific team, which means that minor league resources are lost to an unaffiliated team.
Earlier this summer, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made waves by denying that MiLB players are not paid a living wage. Seeing as most minor leaguers make $10,000 (or even less) for an entire year, that’s not true. This lie spread online and created public outrage, bringing more attention to the unfair conditions that players are subjected to.
Advocates for Minor Leaguers Shuts Down
The organization Advocates for Minor Leaguers released a statement earlier today, stating that they will be suspending operations in light of recent developments in minor league working conditions. Each staff member has joined the MLBPA and will continue the goal of Advocates for Minor Leaguers there. The organization was founded in 2020 by a group of former players and labor activists to support minor league players and fight for their labor rights. In the two years since its birth, Advocates for Minor Leaguers has brought a lot of attention to the numerous problems and inequities in Minor League Baseball.
For now, we wait for enough minor league players to authorize the MLBPA as their collective bargaining representative. Then, players will be able to vote to unionize. This is a massive step in the fight for fair play and could set off a chain reaction in action for equitable treatment.
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