Editor’s note:

We in Houston want to express our solidarity with the American Crystal Sugar workers. We demand that the locked out workers be restored to their jobs and that the American Crystal Sugar company make reasonable efforts to negotiate a new contract with these workers. We urge people to support these workers in whatever way they can.

Att’n: Everyone in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (please forward)

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I’m writing to urge your active solidarity with 1,300 U.S. sugar workers who have been locked out along the Red River valley just south of us for nearly a year. It’s one of the more hidden stories.*

Although the labour movement here is aware of the American Crystal Sugar lockout, we urge added solidarity. This is from our party’s greetings to the Manitoba Federation of Labour convention which wrapped up yesterday**:

American Crystal Sugar workers – Solidarity forever

A heroic struggle is taking place just south of us in N. Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. On August 1 last year, ACS locked out 1,300 workers. Last year, it was the 3rd largest in days-lost of any U.S. labour dispute and this year comprises nearly half all days-lost. If the workers reject the contract offer on Saturday (3rd vote on the same offer), then make a point to visit to their picket line between the border and Grand Forks (route 29).

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Well, over the weekend the sugar workers rejected the offer again!:

Sugar union rejects third offer

Morning Star, June 24, 2012


Union members at American Crystal Sugar locked out for nearly a year rejected the company’s contract proposal a third time at the weekend.

Sixty-three per cent of voters opted against the latest offer on a turnout of 82 per cent of the 1,300 union members who have been out of work for nearly a year.

The union said “give-and-take negotiations” and “co-operation” are the only way to get back on track to productivity and profitability.”

It added that the company was not willing to compromise on any issue at the last talks.

The union demands wage and pension increases “significantly above” the final offer of a 17 per cent wage increase over five years.

The company continues to operate with scabs.

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Wouldn’t it be great to have well-organized meetings up here to hear directly from the sugar workers?

Labour news is important, especially at a time when the unrest among students has a greater chance to spread to the labour movement and beyond.

Solidarity Forever,
Darrell Rankin
Manitoba office, Communist Party of Canada

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More about the strike

For added info visit:

http://bctgmlocal167g.com/  (Workers at Nutty Club in Winnipeg are members of the Bakery Workers, but not this local)
http://www.facebook.com/BCTGMLocal167g  (Like this on facebook!)