It’s been nearly a year since the 1,300 American Crystal Sugar Co. workers with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers ( BCTGM ) have gone to work. The workers are locked out of five American Crystal Sugar processing facilities and other facilities.
The lockout, which started Aug. 1, 2011, came in the midst of bargaining over a successor contract between American Crystal Sugar and five locals of BCTGM at various locations in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pledged ongoing support for the national BCTGM in focusing on American Crystal Sugar’s total disregard for their employees.
Trumka spoke in Minneapolis this afternoon:
Generations of families have worked here to make American Crystal Sugar a profitable and productive producer of sugar….This abysmal display shows total disregard for those employees and the community who have made Crystal Sugar a well-renowned brand and a leader in sugar production in this country.
BCTGM members overwhelmingly rejected the company’s final offer last year, which included significant increases to workers’ health care costs and major changes to job security, including the right to outsource work and seniority language.
The AFL-CIO is calling on American Crystal Sugar to return to the negotiating table to pass a fair contract for employees and their families and to end the lockout.
This misguided campaign undertaken by this company is doing grave damage to not only its locked-out employees and their families but also to American Crystal Sugar’s cooperative farmers and the community of the Red River Valley. We stand with the workers at American Crystal Sugar and community who are trying to get a fair shake and prevent the corporate management from driving this company into the ground.