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AFL-CIO Now

Workers’ Kids Appeal to American Crystal to End Lockout

Photos by Ja-Rei Wang

Ten-year-old Sophia Frank wants American Crystal Sugar CEO Dave Berg and the firm’s board members to stop the 13-month lockout of her father and the more than 1,300 workers because, as she wrote in a letter to company officials:

I'm sorta worried that we're about to run out of food or lose our home because my dad’s out of work for so long.

Frank was one of more than 20 children and grandchildren of the locked-out workers—members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM)—who gathered in East Grand Fork, Minn., over the weekend to write letters to Berg and the board about how the lockout is affecting them and their communities. The workers have been locked out of five American Crystal Sugar sugar beet processing plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa.

Sophia drawing

   

Sandra Fish, 14, wrote that because of the lockout, she is "worried about going to college even though that's a few years from now."

Fish, a high school freshman, told Berg and the board that she has been forced to get a job to help her family out but is still having trouble paying for school supplies and can’t afford the fees to play high school sports.

I can’t really focus on my education because I’m so worried if my father has a job or not.

High school student Lacey Collison told reporters that she hopes the letters "make everyone realize how much we've sacrificed for the company and how much it's hurt all the families and torn apart a lot of relationships."

Help locked-out American Crystal workers. Please donate to the BCTGM Lockout Action Fund, care of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, 175 Aurora Ave., St. Paul, MN 55103.

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