The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) on Sept. 7 announced that it is formally affiliating with the AFL-CIO, with a goal of supporting the efforts and strengthening the voice of the national labor movement.
The SIU also is an AFL-CIO affiliate. SIU President Michael Sacco is the longest-serving vice president on the federation’s executive council.
“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 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“The MLBPA and every single one of its 1,200 players have 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 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.”
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 fiveyear collective bargaining agreement reached on March 10.
The MLBPA will play an active role in the AFLCIO’s Sports Council, a working group of unions representing professional athletes founded to align interests in areas of common concern with service, hospitality and other workers who support the professional sports industries.
The Sports Council 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.
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