Major League Baseball and the Players Association (MLBPA) have submitted letters of intent to pursue new employment terms as the sport’s collective bargaining agreement nears expiration on December 1.
The notices, sent to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, are a formality under federal labor law required during each negotiation. They were traded Aug. 26 by Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem and Ian Penny, the general counsel of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Under federal labor law, a collective agreement cannot be modified or canceled unless a party wishing to make changes notifies the other party more than 60 days in advance of expiration and informs the mediation service within 30 days of expiration. to the notification.
Baseball has not had a work stoppage since the seven-and-a-half-month strike that ended the 1994 World Series. The parties reached agreements without work stoppages in 2002, 2006, 2011 and 2016, but the relationship has become more strained. in recent years as the pay climb has slowed down. Wages in 2021 are likely to fall between $ 3.6 million and $ 3.7 million, down from just under $ 4.1 million in 2017.
Negotiations have moved slowly and both sides appear to be preparing for a lockout that could begin on December 1 or when players are scheduled to report to spring training in February.
The MLB and MLBPA are also scheduled to open a grievance hearing Monday over the union’s claim that the 2020 season affected by the pandemic was too short. If the union prevails, MLB could be liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.