As the 2020 MLB season remained in limbo due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Players Association and team owners made several attempts to reach agreements on not only health and safety protocols, but an economic plan as well.
While the former was jointly established, the latter never came to fruition. It resulted in commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally imposing a 60-game season, with players receiving the full prorated salaries they desired.
By doing so, however, the MLBPA retained the right to file a grievance over claims that the league did not act in good faith to play as many games as possible. Such became a reality this past May, with MLB also filing a counter-grievance.
According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, the Players Association’s grievance hearing will begin on Monday:
In the midst of difficult negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, Major League Baseball and its players’ association are scheduled to start a grievance hearing next Monday over the union’s claim the 2020 pandemic-affected season was too short.
The union’s case will be heard by Martin F. Scheinman, who recently replaced Mark L. Irvings as baseball’s impartial arbitrator. If he rules in favor of the players, MLB may be held accountable to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
The hearing comes at a time in which the sides are far apart on a new collective bargaining agreement. The current one is set to expire on Dec. 1., and if a deal isn’t reached by then, MLB could face its first work stoppage in over 25 years.
Prior to the union officially filing their grievance against MLB, the two sides reportedly met in April for the first round of CBA talks.
Non-playing personnel reportedly required to be vaccinated for postseason
As MLB prepares for next week’s grievance hearing, they recently informed potential postseason teams that all non-playing personnel must be at least partially vaccinated by Oct. 4.
The mandate presumably was issued due to COVID-19 cases being on the rise again as a result of the highly contagious Delta variant. While players aren’t required to be vaccinated, it’s worth noting that most teams have already reached the 85% threshold for Tier 1 individuals.
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