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Published October 03, 2011, 07:24 PM

Workers contribute to American Crystal Sugar’s success

We the union support our growers. Now we need your support.

By: Jayson Sorum,

We the union support our growers. Now we need your support.

The workers of American Crystal Sugar have been a big part of the success of American Crystal Sugar.

Haven’t the workers worked with you to process your crop and return a good profit to you and the company? American Crystal Sugar has been doing well for years; everybody has been making a living and working alongside each other in harmony throughout the valley.

Why do you see the need to destroy that relationship with bringing in replacement workers? I am not so sure of any future for American Crystal Sugar without us back in the factories.

Shared goals?

We have a long-term goal in the valley just like you. Do you think the temporary replacement workers share that same long-term goal? Oct. 1 saw the start of the full-scale harvest: A 24/7 operation that needs to run like a well-oiled machine to get your crop into piles to store properly until spring.

When the campaign starts, we also go into full-scale 24/7 operation in the factory and keep that up until the last beet is sliced. Do you try to recruit your same harvest help year after year? Does having experienced, trained, dedicated, faithful employees make your harvest operation go any smoother? The same goes for the factory; do you really think that the temporary replacement workers that are in your factories can do the same jobs that we have done so well for years? Do you think they even care? Do you really think that these temporary replacement workers will ensure the maximum return on your crop? Do you think they have the backbone to travel in any type of weather to come to work and do whatever and however long it takes to keep things running?

Working it out

Yes, there are some disagreements between management and the union on the current and proposed contract, but if we put out heads together and discuss the issues between both sides, we can come to an acceptable agreement between both sides. We need to get back to the bargaining table and collectively bargain and get this contract issue resolved. We need this matter resolved so we all can get back to business as usual and preserve the harmony and balance in the valley and in our communities that American Crystal Sugar owner/growers and workers have shared for so many years.

Editor’s Note: Sorum is from Grand Forks, N.D.