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Locked out workers shown support


This news story was published on April 14, 2012.
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by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – Locked out union workers from American Crystal Sugar were shown support on Friday.

Checks for $500 were presented to some of the 25 locked out workers.  The checks were presented by the North Iowa Nine Labor Council and the Iowa Federation of Labor.

Legislators Amanda Ragan and Sharon Steckman were on hand to show support as well.  “Just here to show we care,” Ragan said.

The local workers have been locked out since August 1, 2011.

“A lockout, is a layoff,” said Charlie Wishman, a spokesman for the Iowa Federation of Labor.  Wishman led the press conference and introduced several union reps who made statements on the status of the lockout.

Tom Johanns, BCTGM Union President (Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers), said no new developments in the struggle have emerged, and negotiations are at a standstill.  He said there could be a meeting in the next few weeks, but hadn’t heard much.

“The workers are willing and able to return to work,” a union statement said. “They are waiting for the company to return to the bargaining table and be reasonable with negotiations.”

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5 Responses to Locked out workers shown support

  1. Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    April 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Legislators Amanda Ragan and Sharon Steckman were on hand to show support as well. “Just here to show we care.”

    Yes, they care. Plus, there might be an election on the horizon too.

  2. John Reply Report comment

    April 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I am sympathetic to all workers, Union or not, in their quest to earn as much as they can. These workers turned down a pretty good offer compared to what most of us in North Iowa are earning. It was a 25% increase over 3 or 5 years as I recall. I think the earnings were $75,000 anual.

    Just me, but I would rather have that money and benefit as opposed to eating the wood chips I carved out of my cain for each day I was off the job.

    The replacement workers are trained now. They no longer need these people. Just need to find a non union Rail company to ship, otherwise, looks like they are doing fine for now.

    • uptown Reply Report comment

      April 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Finding a non-union rail company is gonna be nearly impossible.

    • common sense Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      Don’t know the specifics of what they were offered but I would be shocked if they were anywhere close to what you said. I have been in two unions and raises were between 30 and 60 cents each year and wages 25,000 to 30,000 a year for factory work.

  3. Echo Reply Report comment

    April 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Something is wrong in this country when a person who is a hard working employee is locked out of their job because of company greed. This company is not hurting they are making a nice profit but they want the workers to take a cut in benefits to continue working. Hopefully the people of this country will let crystal sugar know you dont treat our fellow workers this way by not buying their product until these people are back to work.