Baseball Owners Strike Out on ContractOften termed the modern era's slave documents, the professional baseball league's standard contract and terms of agreement were ruled unfair by the Fair Trade Commission on Wednesday.
The chairman of the antitrust agency, Lee Nam-ki, said, "The Korea Baseball Organization and the team owners that comprise it have been engaging in unfair trade practices that hinder fair competition among the teams. The players' rights to choose the team they play for and negotiate their contracts have also been violated."
The organization's terms of agreement and the standard contract contain provisions that put the players at a disadvantage, the agency ruled. Under the terms, players were required to play a minimum of 10 years to be granted free agency status and be able to make their own deals with other clubs. The organization also put players who deferred signing a contract renewal each November on a list, and when the players did not have a contract by January, they were expelled from the team.
The terms also prohibited the players from being represented in contract negotiations.
The agency ordered the baseball organization and six teams to correct or delete terms in the standard contract within 60 days. Failure to do so will result in a jail term or fine.
The case was brought by the league's players association in July.
by Suh Kyoung-ho