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Perspective | MLB players love our caps. The people who make them for us deserve fair wages.

the Washington Nationals
New Era’s
Major League Baseball
Brooklyn Excelsiors
the National Baseball Hall of Fame
the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA
The Washington Post
New Era Cap

Ken Griffey Jr.
Ken Griffey Sr
Paul Gallagher


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South Jersey
the United States
New York

Opening Day
All-Star Game
the World Series

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The New York Times
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Which is why I found one offseason development in the baseball business world particularly distressing.For almost 60 years, workers at New Era’s factory in Derby, N.Y., have been making the caps that players wear during games. That means all 750 union-organized professional baseball players who will take the field on Opening Day this season will be wearing caps made by people who don’t enjoy the same labor protections and safeguards that we do — and fans will be buying caps made overseas at lower wages than U.S. workers earn. It’s unfortunate that isn’t the case for the people who make something as integral to our game as the caps we wear.Baseball caps are symbols of a game enshrined in our cultural memory as our national pastime. From transportation workers bringing fans to games, to clubhouse workers ensuring that players’ needs are met, to the stadium concessions and security staff — and the skilled workers manufacturing our caps. We have an obligation to stand with those workers whose jobs are now being eliminated.The replica caps fans buy this year will be made in factories throughout New Era’s global supply chain, mostly in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Haiti. And because New Era’s agreement with MLB stipulates that players’ on-field caps must be produced in the United States, our official caps will be made by nonunion workers in Florida.(Contacted by The Washington Post, a New Era spokesman said only a handful of people will work on making MLB on-field caps at its Florida location, since that work involves only a small amount of production.

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