Shortly after midnight on December 2, 2021, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Player’s Association (MLBPA), expired. With no CBA in place, the owners of the 30 MLB teams unanimously voted to “lock out” the players. A “lockout” involves the owners halting all baseball activities, as well as literally locking the players out of team facilities. Typically, this time of year for the MLB revolves around player contract negotiations and training. By stopping these activities, the owners hoped to pressure the MLBPA into expediting CBA negotiations, and into bending to the will of the owners for the next CBA. Furthermore, the owners hoped that a work stoppage with some free agents remaining unsigned would weaken union solidarity as the lockout dragged on. In a statement, the MLBPA claimed that the lockout “is not required by law or for any other reason. It was the owners’ choice, plain and simple, specifically calculated to pressure players into relinquishing rights and benefits, and abandoning good faith bargaining proposals that will benefit not just players, but the game and industry as a whole.”
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on March 21, 2022. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Wachfeild, Daniel, "Major League Baseball’s First Work Stoppage in 27 Years Could, Once Again, End in a Courtroom" (2022). AELJ Blog. 315.