Audio available at https://dl.dropbox.com/u/12103381/7-25press%20conference.mp3
(St. Paul, Minn., July 25) – Today AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joined 1300 workers with the Bakery, Confectionery Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), who have been locked out of five processing facilities and other facilities of American Crystal Sugar, in announcing that the AFL-CIO and BCTGM are escalating their campaign for fairness and justice at the company. The lockout, which began on August 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. Trumka pledged the ongoing support and coordination of efforts with the BCTGM National in focusing on American Crystal Sugar’s total disregard for their employees. The AFL-CIO and BCTGM pledged to make American Crystal Sugar a poster child for corporate greed and profit above employees.
“Generations of families have worked here to make American Crystal Sugar a profitable and productive producer of sugar,” said Trumka “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.”
For decades BCTGM locals across the Red River Valley worked hand in hand with their respective cooperative farmers and their processing management and worked together on legislation that helps the industry prosper and thrive. Workers with BCTGM have been committed to bring a settlement to this dispute that works for everyone but the aggressive corporate campaign has put destroying workers’ voices over the well-being of the corporation, its employees and cooperative farmers.
“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,” Trumka added. “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.”