World Umpires Association
The World Umpires Association (WUA) is an organization of Major League Baseball (MLB) umpires. It was certified by the National Labor Relations Board on February 24, 2000 as a bargaining agent. It took over as bargaining agent for MLB umpires before the 2000 MLB season, replacing the Major League Umpires Association (MLUA), which dated back to 1970.
The MLUA, led by longtime negotiatiating attorney Richie Phillips, was decertified by its member umpires (by a vote of 57 to 35) in February 2000, after Phillips' strategy of mass resignations in September 1999 backfired. MLB simply accepting many of the resignations and promoted new umpires from the minor leagues. The WUA was created immediately afterward. Its first president was working umpire John Hirschbeck, who held the position from 2000 to 2009. He was replaced by Joe West in February 2009. In December 2009, the WUA reached an agreement with MLB on a five-year labor agreement, which is reportedly the largest ever contract in the history of MLB. The contract runs through December 2014. On January 18, 2010, members of the union voted 66 to 1 to ratify the contract.
As of 2014, board members Joe West (President), Fieldin Culbreth (Vice-President), and Jerry Layne (Secretary/Treasurer) make up the executive board for the union. Mike Everitt, Sam Holbrook, Jeff Kellogg, Dan Iassogna, Phil Cuzzi, and Mike Winters comprise the remainder of the governing body. All members of the governing and executive boards are active umpires. Legal counsel for the WUA is Brian Lam of Lam Legal, of Washington, D.C.
- World Umpires Association official website (dead link)