The Players Association (MLBPA) announced they are launching a $1 million fund to support workers who have been affected by the lockout and cancellation of games by MLB owners.
The announcement comes just days after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the league will cancel games and delay the start of the regular season.
The fund will be distributed to workers and others who face financial hardships through no fault of their own due to the lockout.
“There are a lot of people who make our game great. Many aren’t seen or heard, but they are vital to the entertainment experience of our games,” MLBPA executive board leaders Andrew Miller and Max Scherzer said. “Unfortunately, they will also be among those affected by the owner-imposed lockout and their cancellation of games. Through this fund, we want to let them know they have our support.”
The Players Association will work with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) to determine the hardest-hit workers and align resource distribution to those who need it most.
“This fund is intended to support workers who are most affected by the MLB-imposed lockout but whose livelihoods have been disregarded by the owners in their efforts to pressure players into accepting an unfair deal,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said.
Along with the players, MLB employs thousands of workers, including concession crews, electricians, ushers, security, transportation workers, janitors, groundskeepers and media crews.
“Whether you’re a worker on the baseball field or a worker behind the scenes, we all deserve respect and dignity on the job,” AFL-CIO president Liz Shuler said. “The labor movement will do everything in our power to support these and all workers.”
The lockout is now more than three months long and there doesn’t appear to be a resolution in sight after the players voted to unanimously reject MLB’s “best and final offer” earlier this week.
Dan Halem, Bruce Meyer met for informal CBA negotiations
MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem and MLBPA lead negotiator Bruce Meyer met on Thursday for an informal conversation.
While it’s promising MLB and the MLBPA met two days after negotiations stalled in Florida, neither side made a proposal on Thursday. However, the union is said to be preparing an offer.