Three former minor league baseball players filed a suit yesterday (February 11) in federal court in San Francisco, claiming that 19th-century laws essentially keep minor leaguers in a state of indentured servitude. The suit is intended to become a class-action one, but it has to be certified by the court first.
The suit was filed by former players for the Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, and San Francisco Giants. The suit notes that while the Major League Baseball Players' Association agreement requires teams to pay players at least $500,000 a season, that agreement does not cover minor leaguers, who have no union. Most minor leaguers make $3000 to $7500 a year, despite 50-hour weeks, says the suit.
Major League Baseball's "longstanding exemption from the United States's antitrust laws allows it to openly collude on the working conditions for the development of its chief commodity: young baseball players," charges the suit.