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BASEBALL BACK TO BUSINESS II: UMPS TAKE A NORTHWARD POSE
Published April 6, 1995
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).