Earlier this week, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his wife Eireann Dolan brought attention to a labor issue that likely would have flown under the radar. New Era, the official manufacturer of MLB caps, planned to close their factory in Derby New York, eliminating 219 union jobs. Those jobs would be moved to a manufacturing facility in Miami and the jobs would become non-union and contracted.
Doolittle posted a series of tweets informing fans about the ramifications:
MLB has an exclusive deal with New Era to make our on-field hats in the US. But now New Era is planning to close its factory in NY next month and eliminate 200 union jobs in favor of non-union (cheaper) labor. #NewEraHatsOff pic.twitter.com/V0G4vCLaud— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) February 18, 2019
Baseball players, of course, are also members of a union, so it is important that workers stand together on these issues. Separately, no one worker has the power to stop union-busting, but together, they have the power to hold those in power accountable. It is important that fellow union members don’t cross picket lines, as some players did last October when hotel workers were on strike in Boston.
The MLBPA issued a statement on Thursday expressing solidarity with the New Era factory workers,