Major League Baseball

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1. Briefly, what are the major developments in the history of the labor-management relationship within Major League Baseball? According to Lewicki, Barry & Saunders (2010), the major developments of labor-management relationship within Major League Baseball (MLB) started in the late 1960s and were characterized by the ongoing disputes between the owners and the players that resulted in the following hard bargaining agreements, work stoppages and lockouts: a)1st and 2nd Basic Agreement – was a contract that 1) significantly increased the minimum salary of all the players and 2) established a protocol that players could follow to air their grievances. The agreements came as a response mechanism that was used by U.S. owners who wanted to avoid the competitive pressure that had been created by the Mexican League in terms of U.S player salaries. In 1946, the Mexican Baseball League had begun hiring U.S. players and the U.S owners wanted to avoid a bidding war with the Mexican League. In 1953, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) was formed to serve as the player’s main bargaining body and in response, the owners formed the Major League Player Relations Committee (PRC) to serve as their main negotiating body. b)3rd Basic Agreement – the MLBPA was demanding that the pension fund surplus of $1 million should be used to offset the increased cost of living but the PRC declined to budge. It was evident that both parties could not come to an agreement on how much money the owners should contribute to the player’s pension fund. The players went on strike in 1972 forcing the two sides to compromise on a contribution amount of $500,000. c)4th Basic Agreement – was a contract that 1) annihilated the reserve clause and 2) paved way for free agency. The owners implemented the reserve clause into the players’ contracts to ensure that the players could not offer their skills and services to the highest bidder. This basically meant that the players could not...
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