Bolsonaro Indicted – Revolt in Major League Baseball Players Union – Saskatchewan Teachers Strike Threatens Basketball Championship

Bolsonaro sought asylum in the Hungarian embassy as he is expected to be arrested soon.

Greetings from Rio de Janeiro, where former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been indicted. 

Bolsonaro Indicted for Falsifying COVID Vaccine Records 

Earlier today, the Brazilian federal police announced that they were indicting former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro for falsifying vaccine records for himself and his daughter Laura. The false vaccine cards were then used to travel to the United States. 

The evidence was obtained as part of a plea deal caught by Bolsonaro’s military aide, Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid. 

Earlier this year, Cid was indicted for a scheme to sell Rolex watches gifted to Bolsonaro by foreign leaders and distribute the money to the Bolsonaro family in violation of federal law. To avoid prosecution, Cid revealed to authorities that Bolsonaro had ordered him to falsify his vaccine record to enter the United States. 

Bolsonaro denied being involved in any plan to falsify records but proudly stated that he had not received the COVID-19 Vaccine. 

“It’s a selective investigation. I’m calm. The world knows that I didn’t take the vaccine,” Bolsonaro told Reuters today. 

In addition to being indicted for falsifying vaccine records, Bolsonaro is also being charged with leading a criminal conspiracy to cover up the crime. Bolsonaro could face up to 1-to-3 years in prison if he is convicted. 

For more, check out the New York Times. 

Revolt in Major League Baseball Players Union 

Today, The Atlantic and ESPN reported that major league baseball players are moving closer to removing their union’s leadership. 

The moves come as many players accuse baseball owners of illegally colluding to reduce their salaries. This offseason, $1 billion was offered less in contracts than in the previous offseason. 

The players want the union to change leadership to take a more militant line against the owners. They also want MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark to remove his head of baseball operation, 62-year-old Bruce Meyers, and replace him with 33-year-old Harry Marino. 

Marino, a former minor league pitcher turned lawyer, had previously served as the founding executive director of the Advocates for Minor Leaguers, a non-profit group set up to advocate for minor leaguers. The group successfully pushed the MLBPA, which had previously been loath to represent minor leaguers, to bargain on behalf of players. 

(Read Payday’s 2021 interview with Marino)

In 2022, Marino joined the MLBPA staff and negotiated the first-ever collective bargaining agreement on behalf of minor league players. However, after disagreements with Clark and Meyer, Marino left the union in July 2023. 

Now, a majority of player representatives are calling on the MLBPA to replace Clark’s deputy Meyer with Marino. They are also calling for the union’s budget to be audited. 

However, Clark and Meyer, who are closely aligned with agent Scott Boras, are fighting back and attacking the rank-and-file revolt in the union. Marino, though, has come out swinging. 

“The players who sought me out want a union that represents the will of the majority,” said Marino in a statement to the Athletic. “Scott Boras is rich because he makes — or used to make — the richest players in the game richer. That he is running to the defense of Tony Clark and Bruce Meyer this morning is genuinely alarming.”

Now, both Meyer and Tony Clark may be pushed out in the rank-and-file revolt. From the Athletic: 

The discord comes as the overall down winter for free agents has banded together some agents and players who have long been unhappy with the union, but had never arrived at the point of action before this year’s market downturn.

As the MLBPA and the player and agent communities remain in a state of limbo, it was becoming increasingly clear Tuesday that a middle-ground scenario where Clark stays as the boss and works side-by-side with Marino is unlikely, according to people briefed on the matter. Both Clark and Meyer grew to greatly distrust Marino in the time they worked together. A scenario where Clark stays and Meyer exits without Marino assuming a prominent role in the union did not appear likely either. Meyer and a union spokesperson declined to comment Tuesday.

The politics underlying the turmoil are sprawling. Many player agents, including some who are now supportive of Marino, have long perceived Clark and Meyer to show favoritism to Boras, the most powerful agent in the game. Boras, Clark, and Meyer have always denied an improper relationship.

For more, check out the Athletic. 

4,000 Saskatchewan Teachers Strike; Potentially Cancel Basketball Championships

Finally, over 4,000 Saskatchewan teachers have shut down schools throughout the Canadian province. The strike is even threatening to shut down the provincewide basketball championship series HOOPLA, where universities for scholarships scout many seniors. 

Administrators are trying to turn parents against the teachers for shutting down HOOPLA. 

However, the union is saying that they will allow the basketball championship to go on if the province’s education ministry agrees to binding arbitration. 

“If the government agreed to binding arbitration for classroom complexity or provided their bargaining team with the mandate that included classroom complexity, we could return to the table to negotiate an agreement,” Saskatchewan Teachers Federation president Samantha Becotte told the CBC. 

Despite the negative publicity against the teachers union, it says it will stand firm on its demands. 

“There is a concern about public perception of these actions, but our hope is that the public recognizes the fight that teachers are having to get this government to make long-term commitments to public education. It shouldn’t be this hard,” Becotte told the CBC. 

For more, check out the CBC. 

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About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]