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Labor secretary Marty Walsh offers to pitch in to help end MLB lockout

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh prepares to throw out the first pitch at a September 2021 Red Sox game.

Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

  • Labor secretary Marty Walsh offered to help MLB and its players’ union find a deal.
  • MLB owners locked out players beginning last December and there’s been no sign of a breakthrough since then.
  • Previously, MLB had gone decades without a major dispute.

Labor secretary Marty Walsh is ready to be put in, coach. 

Walsh said on Monday that if called upon he would happily work to try to help end the MLB lockout that is coming extremely close to possibly delaying spring training as the regular season quickly approaches with no deal in sight, Bloomberg Law reports.

“I have spoken to both the MLBPA and MLB about the ongoing contract negotiations and encourage both sides to continue engagement,” Walsh said in a statement to Insider. “Like any contract negotiation in any industry, I stand ready to help facilitate productive conversations that result in the best outcome for workers and employers.”

Politico first reported Walsh’s offer. A former Boston mayor, Walsh is a lifelong Red Sox fan.

Owners officially locked out players on December 2 and have been unable to reach an agreement since then. The Washington Post reported last week that the MLB Players Association rejected MLB’s request for a federal mediator to get involved. 

America’s national pastime had gone decades without a major dispute, a rare era of peace in what historically has been a fraught relationship between players and owners. A 1994 players strike resulted in the remainder of that season and the World Series being canceled.

If the MLB sticks to its current schedule, pitchers and catchers are supposed to report to spring training in less than two weeks. 

The lockout comes amidst a year of bustling labor activity — something that the Biden administration has thrown its support behind. On Monday, the Biden’s administration union task force released its first report, which included nearly 70 recommendations for bolstering worker organizing and union membership.

“The fact is, increasing union membership means a stronger economy and better quality of life for workers and their families — and I’m living proof,” Walsh wrote in a blog post on the report.

It comes after thousands of workers across the country went on strike in 2021, with walkouts happening everywhere from Kellogg’s to John Deere. In October, Walsh visited Kellogg’s strikers on the picket line in Pennsylvania. 

“If we respect workers moving forward, we will have a stronger economy, and, quite honestly, a stronger country,” Walsh previously told Insider of the striking Kellogg’s workers. Walsh also stepped in to help striking nurses in Worcester, Massachusetts, reach a deal with St. Vincent’s Hospital, helping bring an end to a historic 10-month strike and securing a contract that helped address staffing issues and concerns over access to health insurance.

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