The Major League Baseball Players Association announced today that it is formally affiliating with the AFL-CIO with the goal of supporting the efforts and strengthening the voice of the national labor movement.
“The MLBPA has a proud, 56-year history of success rooted in unity and a highly engaged membership,” Executive Director Tony Clark said. “We look forward to bringing that history and experience to bear as a more formal part of the movement.”
The announcement was made during an appearance by AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Clark before the National Press Club.
“The MLBPA and every single one of its 1,200 players has a home in our movement because this union understands and lives the meaning of the word solidarity by leveraging the power of sports and helping others,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “Together, with our 12.5 million members, we will bring our strength to their fights, including working to organize 5,400 minor league players.”
Notably, the AFL-CIO and many of its member unions offered consistent support that helped the MLBPA withstand a 99-day lockout by Major League Baseball to achieve significant improvements in a five-year collective bargaining agreement reached on March 10.
The MLBPA will play an active role in the AFL-CIO’s Sports Council, a working group of professional athletes’ unions founded to align interests in areas of common concern with service, hospitality, and other workers who support the professional sports industries.
The Sports Council’s founding unions include the NFL Players Association, the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association, the United Soccer League Players Association-CWA, the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, and the newly organized United Football Players Association-USW.