NEW YORK (AP) -Minor league umpires on Tuesday voted against allowing Major League Baseball to perform credit checks on them because they aren't big league employees.
Minor league umps, just like their major league colleagues, are opposed to expanded background checks that the baseball commissioner's office wants to perform in the wake of the NBA's referee betting scandal.
Members of the Association of Minor League Umpires, the labor union that represents more than 200 minor league umps, were briefed on discussions between MLB and the AMLU during a conference call Tuesday.
In a vote, umpires then refused to sign away privacy rights to MLB.
Members of the AMLU are employed by the Professional Baseball Umpire Corp., an offshoot of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues.
``We appreciate MLB's effort to answer our questions and concerns about the background checks. But time and time again, MLB has made it clear that they do not recognize us as employees of MLB. Therefore, we cannot advise our members to release to any non-employer, the kind of in-depth private and personal financial information such as that which MLB has asked for,'' AMLU president Shaun Francis said in a statement.
MLB has said that such refusal could affect whether a minor league ump gets a major league job.
``We are not opposed to background checks,'' Francis said. ``We believe MLB answered our questions honestly and forthrightly as to how these checks may be used in determining assignments and while we agree these checks may be appropriate in the context of an employee-employer relationship, they are otherwise, intrusive and inappropriate outside of that relationship.
``As a result, while we cannot at this time, agree to MLB's request, we hope to continue the positive dialogue which this has started with the goal of broadening and strengthening our relationship with MLB in the future.''
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