Wednesday marked the six-month anniversary of America Crystal Sugar Co.’s lockout of 1,300 workers and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) told the U.S. House: “It’s time for the company to negotiate.”
In a speech on the House floor, Ellison said the workers, members of Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 167G at plant sin Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa, have been
denied the basic and most fundamental right to work and support their families. These workers have gone to bat for the company. These workers stood shoulder to should with the company to fight for a better sugar program in the farm bill just because that’s how dedicated they. What have they got in return? They’ve gotten locked out. They are not on strike. They are locked out because they refuse to accept an unfair take it or leave contract. They have been locked even though they have agreed to a no-strike guarantee. It’s wrong, these 1,300 folks deserve better from this company.
Locked out worker Jay Holter told Steve Share, editor of Minneapolis Labor Review,
We’ve given the best we’ve got to this company and this is how we are treated. It’s probably only a year and a half ago the company gave us shirts that said, “You’re the best at what you do.”
Click here for Share’s full update on the lockout.