by Grand Forks Herald
September 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm in Grand Forks Herald
Locked-out workers demonstrated in front of the homes of American Crystal Sugar Co. directors Wednesday for the second day in a row, in a bid to drive home the lockout’s human toll. Continue Reading
Tags: american crystal, crookston, labor dispute, updates 87 Comments »
I challenge the local union to write down what it is that is holding the negotiations up. I want to see it in writing. I feel it is high time they post this information for everyone to see. John Riskey…you and the other leaders need to do this right away. We deserve to know exactly what it is that is costing everyone their jobs. I’m tired of rumors and second hand information.
I want to add that I feel this group from the AFL-CIO that is here to “guide” the union is a year too late. Where were you people last fall? And why are you here now? All you six are going to do is drag this out even further. We don’t need this. We have been through enough. Our communities are suffering. It is not just the union members. If you aren’t here to help get this settled than pack up and go back to where ever it is you came from. The last thing we need is more bad press and hard feelings. Don’t play with us….we really have had enough. This is the Red River Valley not New Jersey.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 179 15
Maybe they should have considered voting yes one of the three times they had the chance. Remember Einstein’s definition of stupid: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 169 34
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That’s not a very good analogy FN. How many times did your children do something you told them NO to, until you broke down and said “ok.”. Not many times in my life I would do this, but for my 2 year old, I would. I love him with all my heart. Am I comparing the locked out workers to children, perhaps. I have had a boss/owner that was like a dad to me. We had our differences, but it all worked out. Thinking of employees as “skilled laborers” is a mistake. You will get untapped motivation out of them if you consider them as family.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 24 125
Your points are valid. Trust me, no attempt was made to compare the locked out employees to children. Einstein’s saying was and is targeted at adults. Same here. The locked out workers figure if they continue to use the same tired techniques (no growth in union tactics since Hoffa dissappeared) they will eventually get a new result. WRONG
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 88 16
““We can’t let board members live in ivory towers when it’s under their control,” said Todd Anderson, an AFL-CIO leader who is helping coordinate the demonstrations. “In the morning and in the evening, they should have to look a locked-out worker in the face.” ”
Gosh, and to think just a couple of days ago in honor of Labor Day my inbox was full of emails reminding me to thank a union member for, (among other things), helping to eliminate harassment, coercion, and intimidation in the workplace.
After so successfully stomping out harassment, coercion, and intimidation in the workplace, I guess the logical thing to do was to MOVE the harassment, coercion, and intimidation to….peoples’…..homes.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 173 25
I have been both a union member and labeled a rat, (no I dont work for ACS, never have) I couldn’t stand the union way. Good things? There are a few, the bad outweighs the good handsdown. Wanna talk about a feeling of “We run this place”, “It’s our work, how dare anyone else think we shouldn’t be doing it, OH wait a minute, we just want the easy stuff” The sense of entitlement is laughable, they believe the whole world revolves around them. There is no reasoning with a union member, if the other members find out there is one in the ranks that can be reasoned with, they will drum them out.
I’ve seen it before, the thug tactics will soon escalate ( I can’t beleve more things haven’t happend. If ths were the building trades there would have been fires started already. Next they’ll sabotage the beet farmers equipment, if it looks like the new workers will pull this off.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 146 24
‘Crystal Workers put Pressure on Board Members’…. really? Doubt any board members will be losing any sleep over another stupid union, stupid stunt.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 134 24
I guess they are using the term Crystal Sugar “Workers” loosely.
At last check, the “Workers” were inside the building running operations while the “Former Workers” sit outside doing nothing productive.
Time to move on Union folk, you blew it.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 138 20
Crystal’s estimated payment to shareholders last year dropped from nearly $70 per ton to $59 per ton. Sugar beet payments from the Minn-Dak Farmer’s cooperative, by contrast, climbed sharply to $74 per ton.
The company says it is happy with the performance of its replacement workers
These facts prove ACS’s plan to break the union at all costs. Romney and Ryan would be proud….
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 29 141
Wrong R’s. Mr. Riskey would be proud!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 83 13
That was a close one Jeff.
I thought you actually had a coherent thought written down without invoking your anti GOP nonsense.
Then there is was…..
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 89 13
Come on Captain. You know better. Jeff does not make coherent thoughts. He has a reputation to uphold.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 79 13
Jeff H.: I don’t know why you got so many dislikes, but if you keep Romney and Ryan out of this, it seems like ACS is okay with the $59 with hopes continued improvement over the next years. Technically, they’re not breaking the union. ACS even had a Back To Work agreement in place for Sept. 1st that was compatible with their final offer. It seems like you can’t make a comment without a partisan dig making most of your comments a little caveman-like. Just some food for thought.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 92 13
Jeff gets dislikes because he must tie every ill in the world to the GOP.
If he ever just commented on something without trying to blame it on the GOP people would likely take him seriously.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 53 10
That’s being mighty generous, Capt. Even if Jeff faked it, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. I’d suggest a total makeover, including a week at the GOP convention.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 7
Jeffy, ACSC doesn’t want to break the union, they want and need the union there. Without the union, they won’t have a labot contract, and without a labor contract, the workers could strike at any time. ACSC just wants to get their company back so they can run it the way they want, not the way the union thinks it should run.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 81 12
GO TO WORK! SO SICK OF READING ABOUT THIS!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 129 24
Pretty easy solution Mike, don’t read it if it bothers you.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 14 25
The solution is simple. Sign the contract and get back to work. The union members have the power to end the lockout in their hands.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 130 21
They had the power to end it over a year ago.
let them sit outside wondering what could have been; they dont deserve another vote or another chance.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 109 18
They have always had the power. What is funny alluding to Jeff earlier, even the Dems are lukewarm on the union’s efforts. If your major support leaves, it is usually a good idea to rethink your world view.
Think of those times someone in the GOP got too far forward on their skis and even Fox called them out.
Definitely time to rethink
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 76 16
The smart, true workers have already gone back to work, gave the Union the boot! The ones left standing are often unqualified to work in a factory.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 7
Let’s get serious here. The smart workers left the employment of American Crystal Sugar a long time ago. Adios and vaya con dios amigos.
Like or Dislike: 15 10
Many of these workers like the job salary, benefits, and job security even when marginally productive that they had at Crystal! The good workers probably have looked for a job on the oil field, which is hard work with limited housing accomodations, but they give up the high quality family life we enjoy here. We live in a progressive highly educated community in the Red River Valley not the plighted western half of ND! Western ND residents please take no offense but it is tough for the transplanted workers.
Like or Dislike: 18 5
A double exclamation point this time Mr. B.? Heat is good. It helps the blood circulate. Hasta la vista.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 0 12
The union has made a lot of dumb moves in this standoff but this has to be the dumbest. It may work in the east where the unions bring in bus loads of hired idiots to picket managers homes but in this neck of the woods it is a frowned upon thing. I’ll bet a lot of friendships between members and directors are broken apart with this kind of stunt and I wouldn’t blame the neighbors to get together and escort the bums out of the neighborhood. A person’s home is his castle and to invade that homeowners space is to invite big trouble. No job, no more unemployment (in Minnesota) so just do like the rest of us and go look for work. The replacement workers now have the experience the company needs to run a full campaign.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 103 19
The union has made a lot of bad moves in this standoff but this has to be the worst. It may work in the east where the unions bring in bus loads of hired followers to picket managers homes but in this neck of the woods it is a frowned upon thing. I’ll bet a lot of friendships between members and directors are broken apart with this kind of stunt and I wouldn’t blame the neighbors to get together and escort the union reps out of the neighborhood. A person’s home is his castle and to invade that homeowners space is to invite big trouble. No job, no more unemployment (in Minnesota) so just do like the rest of us and go look for work. The replacement workers now have the experience the company needs to run a full campaign.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 120 19
Funny, this was my second attempt to post this. I removed two less than nice descriptive words of the picketers and the second try went right through. They were not curse words and I will not repeat them here because it will just put this post on moderation. Nothing like free speech, just not on any Forum Communications site.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 71 16
Hmm… so this is the “union way”? Standing out in front of private homes, taking the fight to a persons private residence? If this is the new “line”, then where do the lines end? I wonder how it would look if a few of these executives started counter-protesting at the workers homes? No wait, that wouldn’t happen because they still have jobs. Was that out of line? Just about as out of line as protesting someones personal residence. At first I tried to be objective about this issue…now, I am kinda “hoping” that the union loses out. They don’t really seem to deserve much more than that at this point. And I’d say with the amount of “progress” they’ve made, the rest of the community agrees with me.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 124 19
Its even bigger than that, fmj40. Suppose that the ACS bargaining committee was close to a settlement with the union bargaining committee (not likely, I know, but stick with me for a moment). If you settle now, you give the appearance that demonstrating in front of director’s residences actually worked. Future directors would have to consider if they are willing to have their home picketed every time there is a contract dispute. If ASC were to settle now, I think many shareholders would come unglued and heads would roll at ACS. I believe that this residential picketing stunt ensures that there will be no settlement for many months. After this stunt, I hope the BCTGM never comes back.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 65 10
I’m really sorry this happened Oofda and I want you to know that I understand how you feel. I knew this was going to be a bad deal the minute I heard about it. If I could apologize for the union I would. I would say more but this isn’t the place. Take care my friend.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 6
You are correct oofda. When you decide to play hard ball, you should not be surprised when the other side responds in kind.
This was a very childish and foolish stunt from the git go. The union has enjoyed very little support since the second vote; almost none since the third. This pretty much guarantees their complete and total marginalization.
I really cannot wrap my mind around the fact that the national union is using tactics developed in the 1970s for a labor dispute in 2012. It is just mind boggling.
I bet if the union guys could figure out how to get past the security at the CEO house they would put a horses head in his bed.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 44 7
They must be close to running out of welfare benefits if they are stepping up their tactics.
The first year was just a “break” to hold them over until retirement.
I hope ACS never allows a single one of them back in the workplace without starting over with zero seniority and working for the replacement workers that have been there diligently working for the past year.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 102 22
Nurse that is the definition of insanity not stupid.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 45 12
Correct. Stand corrected. Thank you.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 41 13
I agree with you to a point tj. It would be awesome to have the union publish there major talking points to drive home their message of why they do not want to agree on the final off. I haven’t seen any type of agressive acts by the afl cio yet and I do agree that they should have been here from the start to help guide the union. I am still on the fence about sitting in front of board member houses. if it is an actual vigil and not an aggressive protest I can understand what they are trying to do. But I believe it would be better served outside of some major farm operation headquarters in high traffic areas.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 23 74
Ron: you seem to get 10 dislikes in the first few minutes, even with the most reasonable comment. It speaks to maybe the fact that neither side is the least bit interested in what the other has to say. With no mystic powers whatsoever, I foresee the same Back To Work offer on ACS’s website dated September 1, 2013. I’m not trying to be funny. It makes me want to cry.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 60 9
If you think those kind of tactics will get you anything but trouble you are sadly mistaken. I can’t imagine what the union members are thinking or how they can blindly follow the pied piper.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 77 9
The ACS workers need to look at their las 14 months. Thats how long they have not been ACS workers. They need to go find new jobs. Who knows, ACS may hire then as non union workers.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 82 13
Why doesn’t someone build a new business from the ground up, hire these bozos to get them off the streets and put this baby to bed? Hire them to fill sandbags for the next flood. Have them start excavating, with hand shovels, a large open area of land to look for dinosaur bones. Or better yet, start a dog and cat farm that raises dogs and cats for export to China. Problem solved. Thank you, come again!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 14
After your advice last fall several union members enrolled at the tech college to learn the fine skill of ditch digging. We now have an over-abundance of ditch diggers. And you didn’t think anybody took you seriously.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 8
This is a serious matter but I don’t mind the jokes. The two of you should go on the road. I get a laugh over your exchange of barbs.
Like or Dislike: 17 3
Oh no. I’m afraid only one of them would come back. I don’t encourage this. Not at all.
Like or Dislike: 16 3
““We can’t let board members live in ivory towers when it’s under their control,” said Todd Anderson, an AL-CIO leader who is helping coordinate the .demonstrations
my guess is that he is very familiar with ivory towers himself.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 84 11
As of February 2011 Todd Anderson’s salary was $102,374 + benefits package of $27,757 = $130,131
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 69 4
Todd Anderson got a nice raise since then, salary $112,760.00 with a benefits package of $35,878.00 total $148,638.00
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 56 3
TJ the dfferance in wages and benefits packages seemed kinda high so I went back and found your numbers are from 2006.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 45 2
Thank you for the correction. I want the facts to be accurate.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 39 1
Alvin, I have come to the conclusion a long time ago that there are 4 types of readers to this website. 1. People that just read and don’t hit like or dislike. 2. People who read the entire comment and like or dislike based upon what is actually said. 3. People who skim the comment and like or dislike without reading the entire comment. 4. People who simply hit dislike based on who wrote the comment and not the actual information written.. sadly there are too many of 3. And 4.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 55 66
skimmed your comment and put like because you wrote it Ron
Hot debate. What do you think? 39 29
My comment was meant to be funny. Maybe my wife is right. No one gets my jokes, OR 3 or 4.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 38 3
I’m guessing she’s right a lot, but I’m positive you’re funnier than most people here. ha ha ha, 17 dislikes on your last, very harmless comment. Good times.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 3
Seven dislikes already. hahahaha. Mark me as a “like” on this one.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 6
I would agree with that sentiment. Almost makes me miss Always. Pun intended.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 22 3
Like the “U” in union, go back where you came from. You were on top of the job market. Quit peeing on the doormat of the Valley because you’re locked out.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 61 9
I liked your post ok. It was funny.
I like jeff, I really do. When he wants to he can write a very serious and well thought out argument, but he does lean on attacking the gop as his main argument.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 4
While I’m not really in favor of this tactic, I do have to say one thing.
Thank God in America we can still do things like this! In most parts of the world you’d be thrown in jail. Every single day one group after another has been taking away our individual, business, and property rights in the name of being politically correct or in their quest to save us from ourselves. But, thank God they haven’t taken away our right to protest. Not completely yet anyway……
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 5
I can agree with 95% of that. Unlike many people, I take the First Amendment very seriously. It is the closest thing we have to Holy Writ in this country and must be protected.
Can Nazi march in Jewish neighborhood? You bet. Can AIDS activists picket the President during Papal visits wearing total body condoms? Absolutely.
When we try to shut down the opposing side Bin Laden, et. al. have already won.
How do we in AMERICA thumb our nose at those who wish to kill us? We ignore them and live our lives.
Fear is for the French. We are better than that.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 3
I was on board with your statement until you went all political with it. I don’t see any of my rights being taken away every day. I have seen privelages become stricter, (such as driving restrictions) and tougher regulations only where private buisness has failed to do its duty in an ethical manner. I still have not seen a right taken away from me.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 9 23
I would encourage you to look a little closer. Lets take WikiLeaks for example, or Daniel Elsberg before that.
When the government wants to shut down discussion on something, it brands it secret. There is no appeal. If the government says it is secret, it is. No check. No balance.
In the case of the Pentagon Papers, no information of any import was released. No soldiers lives were endangered because troop movements or concentrations were revealed.
The only thing that was revealed was that several administrations had been looking into the camera and lying to the American people.
This did not fit the party line and Nixon called Elsberg the most dangerous man alive. History has since proved him wrong.
More documents are secret and above now than at any time in history. More than WWII when there was a bad guy trying to steal our plans, more than the Cold War when both sides did whatever was possible to mess with the other.
Most of the documents labeled secret are not military in nature. They do not show our means and capabilities, they are political and they show a chink in the armor of the prevailing power structure.
Yes Ron our rights have been taken away: by Republican and Democrat alike. A free press and an informed citizenry are essential to our national defense. Every time some bureaucrat stamps secret on a memo because it disagrees with the party line, we become weaker.
Rome didn’t die from the outside and neither will we. Also, Rome didn’t die because homosexuality and promiscuous sex was the norm. They died because they started to believe their own lies.
The same can happen to us
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 30 9
There is nothing stopping a free press or free speech nurse. The herald can write about any story it chooses. Fox news and msnbc can spin any story and spit out straight lies to the public. The kkk and neo nazis can organize in a legal manner and preach outdated hatred. That crazy church can protest outside of churches were servicemen are being laid to rest. Do I support what these organizations do? No. But from the look of it we still have a lot of freedoms and rights that are not being stomped out by the government.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 10
Terrorism is the union tactic! It is not free speech when you use thugery to intimidate the members and their families. I am disgusted by the spoiled sport union members! Take what is a fair offer or find a new job. Your union threat of violence, which this is, can and should not be tolerated!!!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 46 8
John, how is a peacful protest a threat of violence?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 9 32
If it’s NOT against the law– GAME ON.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 12 30
What do union members have left but the threat of violence? That is precisely what these demonstrations are! Private property should be private, free from the shrill voices of your defeated union!! I encourage board members immediately get a restraining order from what I believe are illegal , as this type of intimidation should not be allowed. The RICO statute should apply here!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 8
John, as long as they are peaceful and stay on the sidewalk or county ditch they are obeying the law and nothing can be done at this point. I haven’t heard of any agression during this protest, so until you have some actual proof (video, photo, or police report) I am asking you politly to not spread rumors of violence when they do not exist.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 12 26
Ron; I don’t know if you have children, but imagine that your little girl in first grade had to walk through a picket line to get on the school bus. And then imagine these picketers were calling your parents bad names. How would you feel then? Still think this is a peaceful, legal protest? I firmly believe union employees are entitled to their opinion…don’t do it in front of homes that have children coming and going…that is sick and will in no way help the unions cause. Union employees need to either sign the contract and come back to work; cross the line and come back to work, or move on…all the protesting in the world will not get them back anymore..IT IS OVER!!!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 38 7
A lot of growing up yet to do. And that message is for both sides. What an emabarrassment this is. Who would want to do business where you live and work? Such childish pettiness this all is. It became personal and now nobody wants to work with each other.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 5
Devilschild, your comment shows alot of common sense and compassion. The union held the growers at gun point during the last contract negogiation, which is why they, the growers, were ready this time. They made a fair and generous offer to the union but not the big concessions they made for the last contract. The union and some of its members had unrealistic expectations this time around. They were offered a fair contract given the present economy and the uncertainly about agricultures future in terms of tax payer support, which many of us believe will diminish in the future. I always enjoy your compassionate and sensible imput on this site!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 26 6
I agree with you Mr. B. The union is overplaying their hand. But…a big but…the snotty remarks are coming from both directions. That is true. Thank you for the compliment. It was kind of you.
Like or Dislike: 7 14
“The company says it is happy with the performance of its replacement workers and has no plans to alter its final offer, which the union last rejected in June.
They don’t want you back. Get over it.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 10
Wow kassie, I don’t know where to start. The protest you are describing is far from what I have heard is actually going on.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 7 25
It’s easy to get the information online regarding who these men are and their ages. What young children? A man in his fifties has young kids? The neighbor kids are learning a lesson in economics. I would take the opportunity to explain this to them. Would I do picket? Not on your life but I believe people have the right to assemble.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 22
Grand forks os a progressive highly educated community? Progressive and highly educated describes rochester minnesota not grand forks north dakota. I would say grand forks is just as educated and progressive as any other simular community of similar size. We match the mankatos, bemidjis, sioux falls, and eau clairs of the region. Nothing special but nothing to be ashamed of.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 8 20
Devils, I just left that alone. It is too easy to use an image of children and violence to demonize a peacfule protest. Here is what is actually happening a few guys show up in the morning and afternoon hold signs, talk to each other, and talk peacfully to people passing by. Instead of assuming the worst in these people actually realize they are normal people and not “thugs”. The company is stripping their contract down and they disagree with what is being offered. You may not agree with them but they still have the right to assemble and protest peacefully
Like or Dislike: 10 18
They are protesting peacefully in my neighborhood.
Like or Dislike: 9 15
No. That is not what this group of hardened sour-pusses want to read. You should have played along with them and told them the picketing union members were pillaging your neighborhood, peeing all over the place and attacking anyone who walks down the street. The truth won’t keep you around for long.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 7 17
Ron, if they’re protesting peacefully….that’s great. But while you try to come off here as being all supportive of the activity, how would it play out if the shoe were on the other foot?
Ron Enterprises can’t come to terms regarding a compensation package with an employee or two….or perhaps a bunch.
Would you as CEO of Ron Enterprises be uber-delighted to walk out to your vehicle in the morning and see them standing in your driveway holding signs? Would you be excited on your drive home after a long day as it occurred to you they were going to be there when you returned as well?
Be honest….at least to yourself.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 21 6
Kind of strange why they would do such things in area’s where only ones that see them is the homeowner when they could be looking through the help wanted ads in the paper.
Like or Dislike: 18 8
Oh yeah, they’re just hanging around like the welcome wagon or the greeters at Walmart. It all starts out so innocent…..slowly the greeters get tired of it, frustrated and suddenly it’s not so neighborly. Then the spin starts, well the Union was just provoked. what do you expect.
This is going to get worse before it gets better, dont believe me? Anybody remember International Falls and the peaceful gathering back then. I left the union because of that, oh yeah peaceful . Do a little digging on that sign holding event.
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