For the first time in 26 years, MLB is in a lockout, a type of work stoppage used by the owners of a business during a labor dispute. Illinois professor and labor expert Michael LeRoy was quoted extensively on the process by the New York Times.
On the downsides of a lockout:
“Right now, the calendar favors ownership,” he said. “Players can’t sign free-agent deals and they’re going to get anxious about that. But if players are able to hold fast through late January or February, now the advantage shifts to the players. It’s not very common, but there are times that lockouts convert to strikes. My concern about this is that a lockout would not be resolved quickly, and that in time it would morph into a strike and it would last into spring training and beyond.”
LeRoy said there have been roughly 20 work stoppages in the four major North American sports leagues since the 1960s with almost all of them won by management. The lone exception: the 1994-95 baseball players’ strike.
“That was the strike that set the bar for labor unions in sports to emulate and so that is framing everything here,” he said. “That was a spectacular success for the union that was so successful, because the union avoided a hard salary cap. And that’s why we have players signing 10-year deals for over $300 million. You have nothing like it in any other sport.”
Read the full article at nytimes.com.