This didn’t take long: a majority of the 5,567 contacted MiLB players have agreed to be represented as a separate bargaining unit by the MLB Players Association.
Both MLB and MiLB were informed that the majority of players approved the representation. This wasn’t a surprise; the players association had already projected enough players would send in approval via union authorization cards. With MLB agreeing anyway to voluntarily recognize the MLBPA as representatives for the MiLB bargaining unit if approved by players, today’s formal notification was a foregone conclusion.
Statement from Executive Director Tony Clark regarding Minor League Players joining the MLBPA pic.twitter.com/RrZO9AR22p
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) September 14, 2022
“Major League Baseball has a long history of bargaining in good faith with unions, including those representing minor and major league umpires, and major league players,” the league said in a press statement. “Based on the authorization cards gathered, MLB has voluntarily and promptly recognized the MLBPA as the representatives of minor league players. We are hopeful that a timely and fair collective bargaining agreement will be reached.”
So what happens next? If things keep progressing as rapidly as they have over the past few weeks, we could see negotiations begin rather soon for the 2023 season. Player pay will undoubtedly be #1 on the agenda for players, but other topics should include a codification of the policies implemented by MLB for 2022, include penalties for teams not meeting MLB rules for housing and post-game clubhouse meals. After that will come the discussions about how MLB will pay for these measures–and these will be the uncomfortable talks with MiLB teams.
RELATED STORIES: MiLB unionization, new CBA could happen as soon as 2023 season; MLBPA affiliating with AFL-CIO in MiLB player pursuit; MLBPA announces initiative to unionize Minor League Baseball players