RURAL REFLECTIONS It just ain't October
There are certain traditions to which I adhere; colache at Christmas, opening the door for Lisa and a column about the sugar beet harvest each October. I mean, I wouldn't have a good reason to... Posted on 10/12/13 at 2:19 AM
Moorhead-based American Crystal Sugar Co. has paid a $24,943 penalty and taken corrective actions to reduce air pollution from emissions at its East Grand Forks facility, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says.
The union has scheduled a third vote Saturday on a contract that triggered the first labor impasse in 30 years at the largest sugar beet processor in the country. On Aug. 1, American Crystal kicked out about 1,300 workers in what a vice president called a proactive move.
Ten months after they locked out 1,300 Bakery Workers union members and two days before their next talks with the union over a new contract, the top brass of American Crystal Sugar Co. looked and spoke Wednesday as if they are sitting in the catbird seat.
As a single mother of two and a four-year employee of American Crystal Sugar’s plant in Hillsboro, N.D., Rochelle Harley never had trouble making ends meet until the company’s lockout put her out of work 10 months ago. Harley and about 100 other workers rallied in front of American Crystal’s headquarters here Wednesday in the final stage of a 200-mile march that began last week.
With union members camping overnight here in a caravan bound for American Crystal Sugar Co.’s headquarters in Moorhead, people from both sides and several faiths in the long-running labor dispute over processing sugar beets met for prayer in the cathedral.
With the price of its 10-month-old lockout falling by the day and thousands of workers seeking jobs under the terms rejected by union employees, American Crystal Sugar has no plans — and little incentive — to budge from the contract offer it’s had on the table since last fall.
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