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Major League Baseball Players Union to Join AFL-CIO Ranks (1)

Sept. 7, 2022, 2:44 PMUpdated: Sept. 7, 2022, 4:23 PM

The Major League Baseball Players Association has joined the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions.

The move, announced by MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark Wednesday at a National Press Club event in Washington, D.C., comes after the union announced a campaign to organize minor league players late last month.

“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,” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said in a statement.

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Clark added that the decision to join the federation was in part due to the pandemic, and that it will strengthen the organization and help the MLBPA navigate its latest effort in the minor leagues.

But the high-profile union is unlikely to wade into the federation’s political work.

In response to a question about whether the MLBPA will play a role in providing campaign contributions or stumping for union-endorsed candidates as part of its membership in the AFL-CIO, Clark said “not likely.”

“Our organization speaks on behalf of the players. And our players have a number of different interests from a number of different backgrounds,” Clark said. “The politics can stay the politics, but the support for unions is something that our guys can get behind.”

The MLBPA will become the 58th union to join the AFL-CIO, which represents more than 12 million workers.

(Updated with additional reporting throughout. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Rainey in Washington at rrainey@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Genevieve Douglas at gdouglas@bloomberglaw.com; Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com