Democrats Want ND Legislature To Bail Out Sugar Workers
American Crystal Sugar union workers, locked out for well over a year now as they’ve rejected multiple iterations of a contract from management, have been fighting to get unemployment benefits from the state of North Dakota. But state law, recently affirmed by the state Supreme Court after workers appealed a legal challenge there, doesn’t support unemployment benefits for workers in a labor dispute.
And for good reason. Why should the taxpayers of North Dakota provide what amounts to strike pay for workers who refuse their contracts? The taxpayers have no more business subsidizing the workers in a labor dispute than they would have subsidizing the company.
But Democrats, ever willing to do the bidding of their Big Labor masters, are looking to change the law and give the workers their bailout:
Democratic Rep. Lee Kaldor represents a number of the workers, and American Crystal’s Hillsboro sugar beet processing plant is in his district.
He says the law should be more explicit about whether locked-out workers should get unemployment payments.
Kaldor says state policy is favoring management by denying benefits to the sugar workers.
Democrats have tried this before. During a special legislative session held late last year, the Dems tried (unbelievably) to attach this policy change to legislation providing relief for victims of last year’s flooding. They even tried to claim that the locked out workers were the same as flood victims.
Which is ridiculous. Providing these benefits would be a powerful weapon for unions in their battles with management. Giving workers who refuse to go back on the job government benefits is tantamount to subsidizing labor disputes.
Kaldor, by the way, won’t be in the legislature after the coming election. He announced his resignation after taking a federal job with Obama-appointed Office of Rural Development Director Jasper Schneider.Tags: american crystal sugar, lee kaldor, North Dakota News, unions