MLB, MLBPA launch funds for workers hurt by lockout

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MLB and the players union may have taken away their work days, but both sides are trying to support those hurt by the ongoing lockout.

MLB and the union each launched funds for stadium workers and others impacted by the lockout, which has delayed the start of the 2022 season.

MLB announced Tuesday a $1 million fund to support Cactus and Grapefruit League workers affected by canceled spring training games, matching the $1 million fund the union announced Friday.

MLB said its fund will be administered by teams, based on financial need, to part-time and seasonal workers — including concessionaires, grounds crew, security, clubhouse and ballpark and game operators

The league said it will create another fund for workers affected by lost regular season games, details of which will be announced at a later date.

"Regrettably, the people who make Spring Training a first-class experience for our fans have been affected through no fault of their own," commissioner Rob Manfred said in the statement.

"As an institution, Major League Baseball and our Clubs remain committed to supporting our most vulnerable staff. We hope this fund will alleviate some of the financial concerns they have faced due to missed Grapefruit and Cactus League games this spring.”

The union's fund will be administered in partnership with the AFL-CIO. According to their statement, the two sides will work closely in the coming weeks to determine "the hardest hit communities and align resource distribution to those who need it most."

Said MLBPA executive director Tony Clark in a statement: "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."

Manfred canceled the first two series of the season last week, shortly after the league-imposed deadline for a new labor agreement passed without a deal.

RELATED: MLB delivers another blow to Wrigleyville businesses

Negotiations between the league and union have been slow-moving and often contentious, and there's little signal they're close to reaching an agreement.

MLB reportedly set Tuesday as a deadline to avoid canceling any further games. The league, according to multiple reports, including The Athletic, has signaled a willingness to cancel the first month of the season.

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