Major League Baseball announced they will be starting a $1 million fund to support Spring Training workers affected by the cancelled exhibition games. This fund applies to both the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues and will be available to a number of part-time and seasonal workers.
Some of those eligible to receive financial compensation include concessionaires, grounds crew, security, clubhouse and general ballpark and game operators. MLB also announced a commitment to do the same for missed regular season games should that be the outcome.
“We know that our sport is facing a challenging time as we work toward a new collective bargaining agreement,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Regrettably, the people who make Spring Training a first-class experience for our fans have been affected through no fault of their own.”
“As an institution, Major League Baseball and our Clubs remain committed to supporting our most vulnerable staff. We hope this fund will alleviate some of the financial concerns they have faced due to missed Grapefruit and Cactus League games this spring.”
While fans and workers are likely disappointed in the lack of Spring Training games, there is a silver lining in knowing that part-time workers will still be compensated for the time that should have been spent in Florida or Arizona.
This fund was partially created in response to a similar move by the MLBPA, who committed $1 million last week for workers affected by the lockout. It’s unclear if the union’s fund is specifically for Spring Training workers or regular season workers.
But if the two sides can unite on only one topic this spring, it is a huge positive that workers’ compensation is that topic.
MLB preparing Tuesday offer and deadline
MLB reportedly is threatening to cancel another stretch of games if a new collective bargaining agreement cannot be agreed to by Tuesday. At this time, the two sides remain far apart on a number of key issues, but the gap has started to close in recent days.
If a deal is not agreed to on Tuesday, we’ll see if MLB’s threat is as legitimate as their last.