Blog Briefing Room

MLB Players Association starts campaign to unionize Minor League Players

FILE – The Erie SeaWolves host the Altoona Curve for an Eastern League baseball game at UPMC Park in Erie, Pa., June 4, 2019. Leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee have asked baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to explain the impact of potential legislation stripping the sport’s antitrust exemption from covering the sport’s relationship with minor league players. (Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via AP, File)

The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced on Monday that it is launching a campaign to unionize Minor League Baseball players.

“Minor Leaguers represent our game’s future and deserve wages and working conditions that befit elite athletes who entertain millions of baseball fans nationwide,” MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said in a statement.

“They’re an important part of our fraternity, and we want to help them achieve their goals both on and off the field,” he said.

MLBPA’s campaign, reported earlier by ESPN, garnered the support of Advocates for Minor Leaguers, a nonprofit that has sought to bring attention to minor league players’ working conditions and wages since early 2020.

Advocates for Minor Leaguers said it will suspend its day-to-day operations until further notice, as each of its staff members resigned to accept a new role at the MLBPA.

“We are thrilled by this development and have no doubt that joining the MLBPA is the best possible outcome for every Minor League player,” the group said in a statement.

The Hill has reached out to Major League Baseball (MLB) for comment.

Working conditions and wages for players in the minor leagues have garnered attention among lawmakers in recent months after MLB owners in late 2021 voted unanimously to begin a lockout after a contract with MLBPA expired for unionized Major League players.

Soon after the lockout ended in March, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced a bill that targeted the league’s antitrust exemption.

In late June, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to MLB requesting more information about the league’s antitrust exemption on its minor league players and teams.

“We are grateful to the many people who have spoken up to demand better treatment for Minor Leaguers over the past two years,” Advocates for Minor Leaguers said in its statement.

“Without their courage, passion and advocacy, none of this would have been possible,” the statement continued. “Though there is much work left to be done, one thing is clear: better days lie ahead for Minor League baseball players.”

Tags Baseball Major League Baseball Players Association Minor League Baseball MLB Union

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video