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Latest News - October 2012

October 9, 2012
AFL-CIO Endorses Consumer Boycott of American Crystal Sugar

The AFL-CIO has endorsed a nationwide consumer boycott of Crystal Sugar products starting on Monday, Oct. 15, in response to Crystal Sugar’s 14-month lockout of its unionized workers.

The AFL-CIO said the boycott will be called off if Crystal Sugar management returned to bargaining in good faith.

Crystal Sugar locked out 1,300 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) after they rejected the company’s final contract offer.

“The twelve million union families of the AFL-CIO are proud to stand with the courageous locked-out workers who are responsible for American Crystal Sugar’s profitability and previously strong reputation,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “As we saw with the lockout of the NFL referees, locking out skilled workers who do important, unglamorous work hurts not only the workers, but the bottom line. We hope that this boycott will encourage Crystal Sugar to finally respect its workers, who worked so hard every day to make Crystal Sugar a highly profitable industry leader.”

American Crystal Sugar is the nation’s largest sugar beet processor, has made more than $1.2 billion for the fourth straight year, and produces sugar that is used in food that Americans eat every day such as General Mills, Hershey, Kellogg, Kraft Nabisco and Nestle. Trumka continued that “Crystal Sugar workers have been locked out since August 1st of last year because Crystal Sugar’s CEO, after rewarding himself with a 50% pay increase for his union workers’ increased productivity, decided to try to break the workers’ union.”

If you would like to help the workers, you can donate to the American Crystal Sugar Workers Lockout Fund by clicking here, sign the online petition by clicking here or call the Midwest AFL-CIO Regional Office at 651-665-9196.

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The mortgage protection benefits include an interest-free loan during the first 30 days of the lockout or strike. Up to $1,000 of the loan is a grant that never needs to be repaid. For lockouts or strikes lasting longer than 30 days, Union Plus will cover the member’s full mortgage payment for up to 6 months. Click here for qualifications and to apply.



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