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Baseball Union OKs Aug. 30 Strike

August 16, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Baseball players set a strike date for Aug. 30, a senior member of the union’s executive board said Friday, putting the sport on course for its ninth work stoppage since 1972.

The date was set by the board during a 90-minute conference call, the board member said on the condition he not be identified. He said the union office was to issue an announcement later Friday.

When the board met in Chicago on Monday, it deferred a decision, hoping to spur talks without a deadline. But the sides made little progress on the key economic issues during three days of talks, and players were angered by management’s lack of movement.

Management’s desire for a luxury tax that would restrain spending by high-payroll teams is the key issue blocking a settlement.

There was no immediate response from commissioner Bud Selig, who has pressed for major economic changes. Selig has said for a decade that the major leagues cannot survive without concessions from players.

The last strike began Aug. 12, 1994, dragged on for 232 days, and wiped out the World Series for the first time in 90 years. The walkout ended only after a federal judge issued an injunction restoring the rules of the expired labor contract.

Baseball has a perfect record in labor negotiations, with eight stoppages in eight negotiations, primarily caused by management’s attempts to slow salaries in the free-agent era, which began in 1976.

The Aug. 30 strike date means that if players walk out and the season is not completed, players would lose 16.9 percent of their base salaries. Texas shortstop Alex Rodriguez stands to lose the most, $3,557,377.05. A player at the $200,000 minimum would lose $33,879.78.

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