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MLB Players’ Association Unionize Minor Leaguers

Last month, baseball’s MLB Players’ Association (the “MLBPA”) announced it planned to unionize all minor leaguers who played on teams affiliated with the MLB. To this end, the MLBPA distributed union authorization cards to over 3,500 minor league players.

Almost simultaneous with the card distribution, the non-profit Advocates for Minor Leaguers (the “AML”) and the MLBPA announced the AML would be dissolving and its employees would be joining the MLBPA. 

The MLBPA’s effort comes approximately two years after the MLB assumed control over the operations of its minor league system.  At that time, MLB cut the number of franchises affiliated with MLB from 163 to 120 teams. The players on the 43 franchises cut from the system, who now play on “independent teams,” will not be part of this unionizing effort.  

What’s Next? 

Since the distribution of the cards, the MLB has elected to voluntarily recognize the minor leaguers.

Minor league salaries have remained stagnant for more than two decades- with minimum salaries ranging from $400- $700 per week depending on the level of play.  It is important to note, these weekly amounts are only paid to players in season, not year-round.  Now unionized, it is widely anticipated the MLBPA will utilize its 50 years of bargaining experience to significantly improve the pay and working conditions of these minor league baseball players who have historically lacked the leverage to obtain such deals.

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on all issues involving unions, staying union-free, complying with the newest decision issued by the NLRB, and training management on how to deal with all these challenges.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560.