MLB Players Association launches $1 million fund to assist seasonal workers affected by owners’ lockout


On Friday, the MLB Players Association announced it is launching a $1 million fund to help workers affected by the owners’ lockout. Earlier this week commissioner Rob Manfred announced the first two regular season series have been canceled, meaning seasonal stadium workers will lose paychecks. Others who work at spring training ballparks have lost paychecks as well.

“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 members Andrew Miller and Max Scherzer said in a statement. “Unfortunately, they will also be among those affected by the owner-imposed lockout and the cancellation of games. Through this fund, we want to let them know that they have our support.”

MLB is also setting up a fund to support baseball’s seasonal workers, reports ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. The league will announce details soon.

Here are more on the MLBPA’s fund, from the union’s press release:

The fund will be administered by Major League Baseball Players Association and the AFL-CIO and distributed to stadium workers and others who face financial hardship through no fault of their own due to the MLB franchise owners’ lockout.

… 

Staging more than 2,500 Major League Baseball games each year requires thousands of skilled workers – from concession crews, electricians, ushers, security, transportation and janitors to television and radio broadcasting crews and groundskeepers-who serve in their roles with pride and dignity.  

“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 in a statement. “The labor movement will do everything in our power to support these and all workers.” 

During the 2020 pandemic shutdown, the MLBPA committed $1 million to help seasonal employees who lost work while the sport was on hiatus. Several players, including David Price and Shin-Soo Choo, also paid salaries for minor league players after the minor league season was canceled in 2020.

MLB and the MLBPA have not yet scheduled their next bargaining session. At 93 days, the lockout is the second longest work stoppage in baseball history, behind only the 1994-95 players’ strike (232 days). It’s likely more regular season games will be canceled barring a sudden shift in negotiations.



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