The surge in U.S. labor organizing now includes minor league baseball players, who are agitating for higher pay and better protections on and off the field.

By Abe Asher, In These Times

Minor league baseball has long been notorious for its low wages and grueling working conditions.

But that could soon change, as players are on the brink of one of the most sweeping unionization drives that professional sports has seen in years. On Tuesday, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced that more than half of minor league players voted to unionize and that it is seeking voluntary recognition from Major League Baseball (MLB) to represent minor leaguers. If the league refuses, a National Labor Relations Board election that would provide a referendum on the state of the changing sports labor landscape is the likely next step.

he Gwinnett Braves, take the field in their newly built stadium on May 23, 2009 in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Dr. Travers, a professor of sociology and anthropology at Simon Fraser University who uses a single name, said that sport has long been treated as a kind of ​quasi profession” with different cultural norms than many other industries — but that appears to be changing.

There’s an ideology of luck,” they said. ​There’s this idea of, ​We’re just so lucky, we’re so grateful to even have a chance at this dream,’ but if you actually look at what’s happening, you have a labor pool that is vastly under-remunerated, who don’t have the same protections that workers in other sectors do.”

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