Is Now The Time To Form A Minor League Baseball Players Association?

Minor leaguers have lost rights over the past four years.

The Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Tony Clark, has decided now would be a good time to form a minor league baseball players association. After all, Major League Baseball has decided to oversee the minors and minor league players’ salaries are depressed and the players really have no benefits. MLB views the players as seasonal employees like lifeguards on beaches in the summer in a good chunk of America when weather conditions are favorable for swimming outdoors. On August 28th, Clark’s Major League Baseball Players Association took the first action which could create a minor league players group by sending out authorization cards. This means minor league players could vote for an election that could eventually make them MLBPA members.

“Minor leaguers represent our game’s future and deserve wages and working conditions that befit elite athletes who entertain millions of baseball fans nationwide,” Clark said. “They’re an important part of our fraternity and we want to help them achieve their goals both on and off the field.” Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, who is the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, welcomed the MLBPA’s initiative releasing a statement which read. “Minor league players make near poverty wages while serving as some of MLB’s best ambassadors in communities across America. Unionization would finally allow minor leaguers to negotiate for better pay and working conditions. I welcome this step by MLBPA.” Minor league players got whacked in Congress four years ago. Changes were made to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Baseball barons can pay players as little as $1,100 per month for four 40-hour or more monthly work weeks according to the Save America’s Pastime Act. Keeping the salaries of minor league players low has been the main concern of Commissioner Rob Manfred and the 30 owners.

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Tampa Tarpons manager Rachel Balkovec. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)