A sugar company’s bitter stance: One year into American Crystal’s lock-out of workers

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This week marks a full year for American Crystal Sugar’s locked out workers in Northwest Minnesota and North Dakota. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) says American Crystal Sugar Corp. is not offering them a fair contract. Workers say the company wants to end labor agreements and protections that have benefited workers and management for generations.

This dark anniversary further marks the Midwest as a battleground in the national fight for workers’ rights and middle class prosperity.

Macalester College history professor Peter Rachleff says this labor dispute demonstrates growing corporate greed, where companies look to move instability and business risks “away from the bastions of wealth and power” onto the backs of middle class workers.