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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 64: PREZ APPOINTS MEDIATOR
Published October 14, 1994
The Clinton Administration named former Labor Secretary William Usery as a special mediator in "an attempt to craft a settlement in the two-month-old baseball strike." Usery, 70, who served under Gerald Ford and was director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, will be introduced this afternoon at a White House news conference. (Maske & Swoboda, WASHINGTON POST, 10/14). Labor Secretary Robert Reich asked the players and owners to agree to "return to the bargaining table next week" with Usery acting as a special mediator. The two sides have not met since September 9. Gene Orza, MLBPA's associate general counsel: "It has been clear for a while that the Administration, as well as it should, has a keen and ongoing interest in seeing that this disagreement is resolved" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 10/14). One administration source said they have "been working behind the scenes on this for quite some time" (Claire Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 10/14). NO COMMENTS FROM THE TOP: Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr refused comment on the appointment, but Orioles Owner Peter Angelos called it "a constructive and positive step." Angelos: "In labor matters, (Usery) has few peers" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 10/14). Another owner called it a "significant step in the right direction" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/14). MORE LAYOFFS: Central Baseball -- the Commissioner's office, the American and National Leagues, MLB Properties, the Baseball Network and MLB International -- reduced its work force by 27 employees due to revenue losses from the work stoppage (MLB).