I recently read a story detailing the devastating financial hit sugarbeet farmers face this year. I can’t help but think back about 8 years ago when I read how workers at American Crystal Sugar felt a devastating financial hit following contract negotiations that went sour. I guess what goes around comes around, eh? Is the irony lost on anyone in this region? Back when workers were trying to fight for a fair contract, all sugarbeet farmers (who happen to own American Crystal Sugar) could hear was the sound of beets thumping into the metal boxes of their trucks. “The sound of money,” according to David Kragnes, a farmer who sat on the ACS board of directors.
- Few growers willing to talk about lockout
- A year into sugar lockout, common ground elusive
- Jobless benefits near end for some American Crystal locked-out workers
- Crystal says parties still 'far apart' after talks fail again this morning
I, for one, have zero sympathy for sugarbeet farmers. To me, they were complicit in the screw-job handed to ACS workers, members of the BCTGM union. Since 2011, there’s never been a bag of Crystal Sugar in my house and there never will be. The dignity and respect of ACS workers was trampled. Those hard working people took a major hit.
Now it’s the farmers’ turn. The only difference is that Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and the federal government are at beck-and-call to give the farmers another handout welfare payment. How convenient. Where were you when the worker needed you, Rep. Peterson?