SBD/6/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL BACK TO BUSINESS II: UMPS TAKE A NORTHWARD POSE

     The MLBUA "will petition the Ontario Labor Board to prevent
the use of replacement umpires," according to this morning's
TORONTO SUN.  While MLBUA General Counsel Richie Phillips said
they were "assured," based on a conversation with the Ontario
Labor Board, that MLB could not employ replacement umps in
Toronto, Ontario Labor Minister Shirley Coppen said there is
still "some question" on whether the umps are protected since
"neither the umpires, their union or the employer is located in
Ontario."  Phillips' response:  "The league is not a separate
entity.  The Jays are a constituent part of the league and the
umpires are employed by all the clubs, including the Blue Jays.
[Jays President] Paul Beeston has input into what the umpires are
paid and he's part of any labor agreement or negotiations" (Bill
Lankhof, TORONTO SUN, 4/6).  Prior to seeking a ruling from the
OLRB, the parties must go through a "formal consiliation process"
(James Christie, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/6).  The umpires have
been locked out since January 1.
     FACT-CHECKING:  Management attorney Robert Kheel claims the
umpires are seeking a 53% wage increase at the start of a new
four-year contract.  Phillips responds:  "Our position was being
portrayed inaccurately.  The actual increase the umpires are
asking for is a 53% increase over four years.  It's not like 53%
a year for four years" (Mike Bass, SCRIPPS HOWARD/CINCINNATI
POST, 4/6).  "Contractually, the umpires may not stage sympathy
strikes for the players, and vice versa" (Michael Bamberger,
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/6).
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