Union Steps Up Fight vs American Crystal

Union Steps Up Fight vs American Crystal Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jul 26, 2012 at 8:38 am

MINNEAPOLIS (KNSI) - The national president of the AFL-CIO says the union is escalating the campaign against American Crystal Sugar over the company's lockout of some 1,300 workers.

"We pledge to coordinate and support the efforts to highlight American Crystal Sugar's total disregard for its employees and to make [American Crystal] a poster child for corporate greed and profit over employees," Richard Trumka said.

Since the lockout began, a number of American Crystal workers have retired, quit, or have taken other jobs to pay the bills until the issue is resolved. No matter what obstacles these workers face, Trumka said the AFL-CIO will be there to the end.

"As long as we stick together and as long as we get the word out, there is no way that they can win because they don't get to decide when this fight's over," Trumka said. "We'll decide when the fight's over. And the fight is not over until they get fair treatment."

Trumka believes the lockout represents a fundamental question about the future of America.

"Do we believe that by working hard, everyone should be able to get ahead and be paid what you're worth, or that companies should take profits without concern for their employees or cooperative farmers or their community," Trumka said.

American Crystal says the contract offer that the workers have rejected is fair, building on a wages and benefits package of 75-thousand dollars a year on average for a full-time year-around employee.

The workers at facilities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa were locked out nearly one year ago on August 1, 2012.

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