Phillies maintain class-act reputation after latest gesture

Stadium staff man the Third Base Gate (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
Stadium staff man the Third Base Gate (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images) /

In a letter to 460-plus full-time employees, Phillies owner John Middleton announced the organization’s decision to guarantee employment through October.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much uncertainty in the world as of late, especially for millions of people whose work status remains up-in-the-air. A recent gesture by the Philadelphia Phillies organization helped make sure more than 460 of that figure no longer has to worry about their income.

After already guaranteeing that their full-time employees’ jobs were safe through May, Phillies brass stepped up to the plate again on Friday and delivered a home run in the biggest way. According to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury, employees are now ensured employment through October.

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Phillies Managing Partner John Middleton sent a letter to the employees announcing their generous decision: “The Buck and Middleton families have decided that there will be no furloughs or layoffs due to the coronavirus crisis through the end of our fiscal year (October 31, 2020) for regular full-time employees,” he wrote while also expressing optimism that a 2020 season will occur in the letter, obtained by NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“While we will likely need to implement other cost-cutting alternatives in the interim to deal with our extraordinary loss of revenue, including possible salary reductions, you can be assured of your job and health insurance for the next five-plus months.”

Ruben Amaro Jr., a longtime former member of the Phillies family and now employed by NBC Sports Philadelphia, praised the organization for its decision. “The Phillies, as an organization, always try do the right thing for their fans and employees,” he recently tweeted. “It’s simple, they are a class act.”

Middleton continued in telling the employees that they have successfully transitioned to working remotely, given back to the community, engaged with fans, partnered with sponsors, and prepared for a virtual draft:

“Above all else, you have supported each other,” he said. “These are the kinds of actions and behaviors that make me honored to call you my colleagues and to be part of your team. Together we will get through this, not without pain, but ultimately as a better organization and as better people.”

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More than 460 employees are considered full-time in the organization, ranging from the front office to the field across Philadelphia; Clearwater, Florida; and the Dominican Republic.

As Salisbury notes, the Phillies could have made a decision in the opposite direction, but chose to maintain their class-act reputation and do the right thing for their hard-working employees.

In April, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred suspended uniform employee contracts, allowing teams to  be able to “furlough or lay off some front office personnel as well as field personnel such as managers, coaches and scouts. The Phillies will not do any of that,” Salisbury writes.

Good job, Phillies. In fact, excellent job.