NEW YORK — Locked-out Major League Baseball players are starting a $1 million fund to support workers impacted by canceled games after negotiations between players and management failed to reach an agreement this week.
The players' association said Friday the fund will be administered by the union and the AFL-CIO. It will be distributed to stadium workers and others caused financial hardship by baseball's ninth work stoppage, which was in its 92nd day.
Negotiations reached a major deadline Monday, the last day MLB officials said they could keep opening day and the 162-game season. Even a last-minute extension to Tuesday failed to reach an agreement.
Spring training games failed to start as scheduled on Feb. 26. Commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday canceled the first two series for each team during the regular season, scheduled to start March 31.
"Many aren’t seen or heard, but they are vital to the entertainment experience of our games,” union executive board members Andrew Miller and Max Scherzer said in a statement. “Unfortunately, they will also be among those affected by the owner-imposed lockout and the cancellation of games. Through this fund, we want to let them know that they have our support.”
The union listed broadcast and concession crews, electricians, ushers, security, transportation and janitors as among those needed for MLB games.
“This fund is intended to support workers who are most affected by the MLB-imposed lockout but whose livelihoods have been disregarded by the owners in their efforts to pressure players into accepting an unfair deal,” union head Tony Clark said in a statement.