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Local AAA Baseball Umpires vote to join larger union

03.15.10

MARCH 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Local AAA Baseball Umpires vote to join larger union

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, March 1st- Minor league umpires of International League Baseball, which the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees is affiliated, voted to join the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU). The union is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

Members of the Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU), a non AFL-CIO affiliated union, voted by more than 90 percent in favor of affiliation with OPEIU. The AMLU will now be known as AMLU/OPEIU Guild 322.

“Our affiliation with OPEIU is the next step in a progression toward improving the lives and working conditions of some of the hardest working and most underappreciated people in the game. We evaluated the pros and cons of affiliation with a variety of different unions and OPEIU was head and shoulders about the rest. OPEIU’s size, diversity of membership in a wide range of industries, as well as the quality of staff made them a perfect fit for our group,” said AMLU President Shaun Francis.

OPEIU represents more than 125,000 members in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. The union represents employees and independent contractors in banking and credit unions, insurance, higher education, shopping, hospitals, medical clinics, utilities, transportation, hotels and administrative offices.

The newspaper contacted Nicole Korkolis, OPEIU Director of Communication, Education and Research, and she comfirmed the local umpires that will umpire at PNC Stadium in Lackawanna County will be represented by the union.

According to Ms. Korkolis, prior to AMLU’s formation in 2000, minor league umpires had been working with no union representation. The goals of the AMLU’s organizers was to secure health insurance, as well as a ranking and promotion system to standardize movement up through the various leagues.

Minor league umpires also work regularly in Major League Baseball, filling in for sick, injured or vacationing full-time umpires. More than 1,300 regular season MLB games had at least one AMLU member on the field in the 2009 season.

Salary for a minor league umpire starts at $1,800 per month, and is only paid during the season.

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