10:00 am: The association is also in the process of establishing a fund for affected workers, Tweets ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
9:06 am: Major League Baseball Players Association announced Friday that it will release a $1 million fund for workers affected by the ongoing MLB shutdown and cancellation of regular season games. Both the MLBPA and the AFL-CIO will manage the fund and provide assistance “to stadium workers and others who are experiencing financial hardship through no fault of their own due to the closure of MLB franchise owners.”
“There are so many people who make our game great,” Andrew Miller and Max Scherzer, the MLBPA’s executive chairman, said in a joint statement. “Not much is seen or heard, but they are essential to our gaming entertainment experience. Unfortunately, they will also be among those affected by owner-imposed lockdowns and game cancellations. With this fund, we want to let them know they have our support.”
“This fund is intended to support the workers most affected by the MLB-impost shutdown, but whose livelihoods have been neglected by the owners in their efforts to pressure players into accepting an unfair deal,” MLBPA CEO Tony Clark said in his special statement. .
The ongoing labor conflict between Major League Baseball and the Players’ League reached a turning point earlier this week, when the league rejected the league’s “best offer” before an MLB-imposed deadline to avoid canceling regular season games. Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday that the first two series of the regular season will be canceled – not postponed – as the two sides continue to work towards an agreement. The widespread expectation is that additional games will also be wiped off the schedule.
While the players, owners, and negotiators driving these conversations have been at the forefront of the labor dispute, the subsequent stoppage is having a widespread impact that will affect thousands across the industry. There are plenty of team employees (scouts, for example) who have their careers on hold, but stadium workers and companies surrounding MLB stadiums/spring training sites that rely on baseball for revenue are particularly negatively affected. Only as negotiations continue, the financial impact felt by third parties across the sport will only increase.
Today’s press release notes that the MLBPA and AFL-CIO will work together “to identify the communities most affected and align resource distribution with those most in need.”
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