A Game With Extra Innings A Short History Of Industrial Relations In Major League Baseball (June 2016)

Braham Dabscheck, Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School.

CELRL Labour Law Seminar

‘A Game With Extra Innings: A Short History Of Industrial Relations In Major League Baseball’

Seminar presented by Braham Dabscheck, Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016: 1:00 - 2:00 PM

Braham Dabscheck with Anna Chapman

About the event

For almost a century baseball owners used the reserve system to dominate players in negotiations concerning their income and working conditions. On five occasions, players formed unions in seeking redress from their weakened bargaining position. They all failed. In 1953, they initiated a sixth attempt and formed the MLBPA. In 1966, players turned to Marvin Miller, a seasoned union negotiator, to become their leader. It took him almost a decade to bring about the abolition of the reserve system. The owners resented their loss of power. Subsequent negotiations over new Basic Agreements where characterised by strikes and lockouts, the best or worst example being the 232 day strike of 1994/95. This forced a change in the behaviour of owners who looked to variants of revenue sharing to solve differences in the financial strength of clubs.

About the speaker

Braham Dabscheck is a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School, where he teaches in the sports law program in the Melbourne Law Masters. His major research interests have been Australian industrial relations, industrial relations theory and professional team sports. In 2011 he published Reading Baseball: Books, Biographies and the Business of the Game. Braham was the editor of The Journal of Industrial Relations from 1991 to 1999, has been active in the Australian Society for Sports History, being President from 1997 to 1999 and receiving a Service Award in 2009. He has been a consultant to various Australian player associations, the Australian Athletes’ Alliance, the Irish Rugby Union Players’ Association, FIFPro and the Gaelic Players’ Association. Braham has been a member of sports based dispute tribunals within Australian Football and is a member of Player Agent Boards in both the Australian Football League and Australian Rugby.

Braham Dabscheck speaking