10:00am: The league is also in the process of setting up a fund for impacted workers, tweets ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
9:06am: The Major League Baseball Players Association announced Friday that it will launch a $1MM fund for workers impacted by the ongoing MLB lockout and the cancellation of regular-season games. The MLBPA and the AFL-CIO will administer the fund and provide aid to “stadium workers and others who face financial hardship through no fault of their own due to the MLB franchise owners’ lockout.”
“There are a lot of people who make our game great,” MLBPA executive board leaders Andrew Miller and Max Scherzer said in a joint statement. “Many aren’t seen or heard, but they are vital to the entertainment experience of our games. 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.”
“This fund is intended to support workers who are most affected by the MLB-impost lockout but whose livelihoods have been disregarded by the owners in their effort to pressure Players into accepting an unfair deal,” said MLBPA executive director Tony Clark in his own statement.
The ongoing labor strife between Major League Baseball and the Players Association reached a tipping point earlier this week, when the union rejected the league’s “best offer” prior an MLB-imposed deadline to avoid the cancellation of 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 toward an agreement. The widespread expectation is that additional games will also be wiped from the schedule.
While the players, owners and the negotiators leading these talks have been at the forefront of the labor dispute, the subsequent stoppage has a broad-reaching effect that will impact thousands throughout the industry. There are plenty of team employees (scouts, for instance) whose careers have been placed on hold, but stadium workers and the businesses surrounding MLB stadiums/Spring Training sites that depend on baseball for revenues are, in particular, adversely impacted. The financial impact felt by third parties throughout the sport will only mount as negotiations continue.
Today’s press release indicates that the MLBPA and AFL-CIO will work together to “determine the hardest hit communities and align resource distribution to those who need it most.”