The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) taking a step toward significantly improving pay for minor league baseball players.
The Athletic reported Sunday night the MLBPA is moving to unionize minor league players. They have sent minor leaguers union authorization cards, which is in line with organizing under the National Labor Relations Act.
“The union authorization card is the form you and your fellow minor league players can sign to indicate support to have the MLBPA represent you and serve as your collective bargaining agent,” the union told players, via The Athletic.
The MLB has already had to shell out nearly $200 million thanks to a lawsuit filed by former minor leaguers. Unionizing would allow minor leaguers to negotiate better wages, among other rights and benefits.
According to ESPN, 50 percent or more of minor leaguers would need to vote in favor of MLBPA union representation. Consequently, this would cause the NLRB to require MLB to recognize the union.
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark opened up about the decision on Sunday. He said this step stemmed from what his union has heard from minor leaguers themselves.
“Over the course of the last few weeks and really over the course of the last couple years has been a buildup of players offering their voices and their concerns with Advocates for Minor Leaguers continuing to echo and aggregate those voices in a way that have gotten us to this point,” Clark told ESPN.
The MLBPA did not release an official timeline for an election on the matter. They did note, however, that the process could take several months. Regardless, they are willing to fight for and represent minor leaguers.
“In recent years, Minor Leaguers have dramatically raised awareness of the work they do, the value they provide, and the remarkably unfair treatment they receive from Major League Baseball in return. They have created unprecedented momentum toward positive change and there may never be a better time to organize,” the union said, via The Athletic.