Professional Minor League Baseball Umpires Ratify New Collective Bargaining Agreement

Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU/OPEIU Guild 322) Agrees to Five-Year Deal

NEW YORK, NY (November 28, 2011) — The Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU)/Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Guild 322, announced that its more than 200 members voted to approve a new five-year labor agreement with Minor League Baseball.

“It is exciting to have such a good contract and get it done before the December holidays,” said Shaun Francis, AMLU president. “In this deal we have more money and a better overall contract than what we were able to get last time after a strike. It’s clear to me that this union’s solidarity and determination in 2006 was one of the driving forces behind getting a deal done this time around. And our affiliation with OPEIU gave us the strength and the resources we needed to get a deal done.”

This agreement is the first deal since AMLU went on a prolonged strike to start the 2006 baseball season. That year, Minor League Baseball used replacement, amateur umpires while 100 percent of the professional umpires remained on strike. Umpires returned to work after agreeing to a six-year contract in June of that year.

“It isn’t necessarily the deal that you get when you’re on strike that makes a work-stoppage worthwhile; often it is the deal you get the next time around when both sides don’t want to have to go through that again,” said Francis.

AMLU became an affiliated Guild of OPEIU in 2010. OPEIU Director of Organization and Field Services Kevin Kistler served as the lead negotiator for the union. “We’re very pleased that we were able to secure a contract that provides for improved working conditions and benefits for these hardworking umpires,” said Kistler.

“I cannot thank OPEIU, Kevin Kistler, and International President Michael Goodwin enough for the resources and support they put behind AMLU and the Minor League Umpires. Now it is time to take a breath and then get ready for negotiating the next deal in 2016,” said Francis.

About Association of Minor League Umpires/OPEIU Guild 322 AMLU, founded in 1999 and headquartered in New York City, is a national labor union that represents professional baseball umpires working in the United States and Canada. AMLU’s mission is to promote the integrity of the hardest working employees of the national pastime; to create a work environment for professional umpires where they can display their strengths and abilities; to uphold the integrity of the game of baseball; to improve wages, benefits and working conditions for those who devote their lives to the game of baseball. AMLU is an affiliated Guild of Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO. OPEIU represents more than 125,000 employees and independent contractors in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada in banking and credit unions, insurance, shipping, hospitals, medical clinics, utilities, transportation, hotels, administrative offices and more.