It’s Time For The American Crystal Union Workers To Accept Their Contract
According to media reports, this Sunday the American Crystal Sugar workers will hold yet another vote on whether or not to accept the contract management is offering which requires them to pay more into their benefits plans in exchange for a raise.
Management has not made any changes to their offer. The union has rejected the offer twice before with over 90% of union members voting against it.
Chris Berg, in his debut web show for Valley News Live, makes an excellent point as to why the union workers should accept the contract: Over 7,000 other workers have applied for the jobs with the compensation package American Crystal is offering. If those workers are willing to take the deal, why should American Crystal offer anything different to the union workers?
Labor markets are, like any other market, competitive. Workers try to negotiate the highest levels of compensation they can while employers try to keep labor costs low. In the end both sides find a happy, mutually-beneficial medium.
In the American Crystal dispute, management knows they can find plenty of other skilled workers willing to work for the contract the union has rejected. American Crystal has said that they want to continue doing business with the union – and I don’t think there’s any reason not to believe that – but why would they pay the union workers above what other perfectly qualified workers are willing to accept?
That would make no business sense at all.
If your insurance company raises your rates above what you would pay one of their competitors, who could blame you for switching to one of the said competitors? If your cell phone service provider raised their fees, is it such a bad thing that you go looking for a better deal?
The union wants us to think ill of American Crystal because they went looking for a better labor deal, but that’s how free markets operate. The union workers can either accept what American Crystal is offering, or try their luck at finding a better deal for their labor somewhere else. Because their current standoff isn’t working. Not even labor-friendly Democrats like Senator Kent Conrad or Senator Al Franken were willing to side with the union when it came to a recent vote on ending the sugar program.Tags: american crystal sugar company, Chris Berg, North Dakota News, unions