(Reuters) – Major League Baseball described negotiations with its locked-out players as “deadlocked” after a meeting on Sunday during which it said the union presented a proposal that “backtracked” on some issues.
The two sides met in New York for the first time since Tuesday when MLB decided to cancel the first week of the regular season games after a league-imposed deadline passed without an deal on a new collective bargaining agreement.
But MLB, which said it was hoping see some movement in its direction in order to gain additional flexibility to get a deal done quickly, walked away from the meeting unimpressed.
“The Players Association chose to come back to us with a proposal that was worse than Monday night and was not designed to move the process forward,” said MLB spokesman Glen Caplin.
“On some issues, they even went backwards. Simply put, we are deadlocked. We will try to figure out how to respond but nothing in this proposal makes it easy.”
The MLB Players Association did not immediately respond when asked by Reuters for a comment on the latest talks but according to reports one official denies the league’s assertion that the union moved backwards.
The two sides reportedly remain far apart on issues like luxury tax, minimum salaries and pre-arbitration bonus pool, raising the possibility that more games could soon be cancelled.
The 2022 season was scheduled to begin with Opening Day on March 31 and this year marks the first missed MLB games due to a labor dispute since the players’ strike of 1994-1995.
That work stoppage forced a premature end to one season, delayed the start of the next year’s campaign and turned off fans, with attendances plummeting when play finally resumed.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto)