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Elephant Rumblings: MLBPA has majority support from minor leaguers, joins AFL-CIO

MLB news roundup

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Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Happy Thursday, Athletics Nation!

There have been a pair of big events regarding the Major League Baseball Players Association this week. First and most notably, MLBPA has already been able to state the result of the union authorization cards that were sent out to minor league players. As reported in The Athletic by Evan Drellich, over 50% of players in the minors have returned signed cards. This means the weight of the players is behind the union, and MLBPA has already requested voluntary recognition by MLB for a Minor League Player Union.

Now, whether MLB will look to avoid a protracted fight and consent to the union, or dig in their heels and battle with MLBPA is still unclear. As is typical in these scenarios MLB hasn’t said a word regarding the minor league unionization effort. The best case scenario for the over 5,000 MiLB players that would be represented is for MLB to voluntarily recognize the union and get to work on drafting a collective bargaining agreement. What is more likely with the general tone and behaviour of MLB is that this is just the beginning of a long fight over the offseason, and MLBPA looks to the National Labour Relations Board to hold a union election.

The other big piece of MLBPA news is that yesterday, the union has joined the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organizations. The MLBPA joining AFL-CIO doesn’t change any of the general functions for players, but it does provide a lot of bargaining weight when the next CBA rolls around.

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