American Crystal Union Implements The Mutually Assured Destruction Route
It’s been interesting to watch as the union in the American Crystal Sugar labor dispute has attempted to use the nation’s sugar protectionism as leverage. First the union got some of their Democrat cronies (including Senators Kent Conrad and Al Franken as well as Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton) to make threats against the sugar program. Now the union is promising to call for that program’s end themselves.
Because if they can’t have the jobs on their terms, then nobody should have the jobs I guess. Proving once again that unions have, in recent times, become a cancer in America’s body politic.
The Bakery Worker’s union now will lobby against the sugar program in Congress, according to a union official, breaking a long tradition of fighting for the program with farmers and American Crystal Sugar Co.
“We are going to do what we can to educate the urban legislators that are friendly to labor and tell them what Crystal Sugar is doing to the working class and the labor people,” John Riskey, president of Local 167, which represents locked out employees of Crystal’s factories in East Grand Forks, Moorhead and Drayton, N.D.
“That doesn’t make any sense to me at all,” said Brian Ingulsrud, Crystal’s vice president for administration and spokesman on the contract negotiations. “I don’t know why you would want to lobby against an industry that has provided you with good jobs for many years and hopefully will in the future, as well.”
Riskey said it’s a needed response to the company’s new strategy since Aug. 1, when the company locked out union workers after the union rejected a proposed five-year contract.
“Right now, we don’t have jobs. Crystal Sugar locked us out,” he said.
The Bakery Workers might want to consider the words of Samuel Gompers, who founded the American Federation of Labor (now part of the AFL-CIO): “The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit.” Gompers was referring to the symbiotic relationship between labor and management. Companies can’t profit without labor, but laborers can’t have jobs without businesses. Relations between labor and management have to be mutually beneficial.
If the union folks truly wanted their jobs back they wouldn’t be trying to destroy their old company.
Which isn’t to say that an end to the sugar program would be an end to American Crystal. I think the writing is already on the wall for the sugar program. In this political atmosphere, there’s not a lot of sympathy among American voters in general for protectionist policies that drive up the price of goods. The sugar program was likely going to end whatever the outcome of this labor dispute.
Part of me wonders if American Crystal isn’t being set up by the unions/Democrats to be the scapegoat for its end.Tags: american crystal, Asshats, North Dakota News, unions