Players are launching a $1 million fund to help support workers affected by the lockout and cancellation of games by Major League Baseball owners.
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.
The lockout was implemented by owners on Dec. 2 after spending months avoiding meaningful bargaining over issues of importance to players, including improving competition, providing fair compensation for younger players and upholding the integrity of MLB’s market-based economic system.
MLB announced on Tuesday that it would postpone the start of the regular season, depriving workers who are depending on baseball games for employment.
“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 leaders Andrew Miller and Max Scherzer said Thursday. “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.”
The MLBPA will work with the AFL-CIO in the weeks ahead to determine the hardest hit communities and align resource distribution to those who need it most.
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,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “The labor movement will do everything in our power to support these and all workers.”
The Players Association has worked closely with the stadium and hospitality workers across the country who are integral to Major League Baseball in recent years, and it recognizes the value they provide to the industry’s success.
“This fund is intended to support workers who are most affected by the MLB-imposed lockout but whose livelihoods have been disregarded by the owners in their efforts to pressure Players into accepting an unfair deal,” MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said.