Locked-out workers from American Crystal Sugar and Cooper Tire will begin a 1,000-mile Journey for Justice tomorrow from Fargo, N.D., to Findlay, Ohio. The journey will highlight the corporate greed that marks their lockouts, and the growing drive by corporate CEOs to drive down wages and benefits to pad their own pockets.
More than 1,300 Crystal Sugar workers–members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM)–have been locked out of seven facilities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa since last August. More than 1,000 United Steelworkers (USW) members were locked out of their jobs at Cooper Tire’s Findlay, Ohio plant in November.
The justice trek kicks off with a rally in Fargo and then workers and their allies will deliver tens of thousands of signatures on a petition to American Crystal CEO David Berg at company headquarters in Moorhead, Minn. The six-day journey will make stops in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, before concluding in Findlay, with a “hands around the plant” action. There will be rallies, fundraisers for the locked out workers and their families and other actions along the way.
The march will not only highlight the plight of the Crystal Sugar and Cooper Tire workers but also focus attention on the most recent wave of greed-motivated corporate attacks on workers and their unions including recent lockouts of thousands of workers at Caterpillar, Rio Tinto Alcan, HealthBridge and elsewhere.