June 22, 2020

Union expert: Contentious MLB negotiations ‘a warmup exercise’ for new CBA in 2021

WHAT: Major League Baseball players and club owners are close to finalizing a deal for a shortened 2020 season disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The long and contentious negotiation period is setting the stage for 2021, when MLB’s collective bargaining agreement is set to expire.

WHO: James B. Dworkin, a professor in the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, is an expert and author focusing on professional sports unions and collective bargaining, and an arbitrator in a variety of labor-management disputes.

dworkin-james James Dworkin. (Courtesy photo) Download image

QUOTE: “While we have negotiations going on right now, the actual collective bargaining contract between the owners and the players expires on Dec. 1, 2021. What’s going on now — like in baseball, when you have a pitcher warming up in the bullpen and getting ready to go into the game — is a warmup exercise going into the actual negotiations. It’s better if they come to a bilateral agreement now because both sides can say that they agreed. Neither side wants to seem weak, and they want to seem strong going into the next negotiation.”

MORE INFORMATION: Dworkin is author of the book “Owners Versus Players: Baseball and Collective Bargaining.”

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Writer: Joseph Paul, paul102@purdue.edu (working remotely but will provide immediate response) 

Source: James Dworkin, jdworkin@purdue.edu (available for phone and Zoom interviews)

Note to Journalists: A Major League Baseball stock image and a photograph of the professor are available via Google Drive.

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