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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, August 7, 2011

An argument can be made....

A local Fargo ND newspaper "reporter" recites that phrase today as part of a cautionary opinion piece about the local union which has been locked out of work at American Crystal Sugar:

An argument can be made that the aggressive behavior of unions is why so many jobs have been shipped overseas.

Ironic really, coming—as the Forum staffer's opining does—in the same section as the editorial page editor's mocking column about the end-of-days caller who also had a totally self-selected spin on reality.

But in the spirit of the reporter's educating us rubes who didn't come by way of the Rust Belt or the Big Oil/Bible Belt, I have a few arguments that also can be made.

Yep. An argument can be made that the moon is made of green cheese.

And since we're talking about jobs and workers and lockouts and how workers oughta smarten up and take what's offered to them, here's another argument that can be made:

Workers should go back to working for room and board, and for the hours the managers want to assign them. Dark to dark is good. Oh, and family values urges we keep whole families out there working on those sugar beet piles like they used to work in the fields. An argument can be made.

Heck, while we're at it, there's no need for running water or electricity for those workers' homes ... all that electrification stuff, that's socialist, and we don't need socialism in this country. An argument can be made.

On the other hand, an argument can be made that the attitude the Forum reporter and the American Crystal manager espouse is what is killing the middle class ... and has been since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers and unions discovered what happens when unions cave and break ranks. Michael Moore's making that argument.

And there's one more argument that can be made: standing on the sidelines can't be an option anymore. We're all in this country together, and there are those first three words. We, the people. We each must participate or we get the government, we get the leadership, we get the community we deserve.

So. An argument can be made that as a responsible member of my community who sees injustice in action in the American Crystal lockout, I must choose to boycott the brand.

And yes, I am. While American Crystal chooses to lockout, I choose to leave out American Crystal from my shopping list.
crossposted at firedoglake/MyFDL


Anonymous said...

I could not agree more. I would like to see and age discrimination suit against Crystal.

Anonymous said...

American Crystal is a great company. They have been the back bone of the valley's economic engine for quite some time and pay significantly higher than average wages and benefits. To better align work practices to insure the company can continue to provide leading benefits for its employees and shareholders is completely understandable.

Prairie Sunshine said...

American Crystal took a giant step off the historical road. They may have been a wonderful corporate citizen, but their decision to bring in hired guns to break the union workers was at the least a mistake. Now the growers and management find themselves like the frontier town in The Unforgiven...stuck with the corrupt, greedy sheriff and everybody loses. Except for the execs who get to ride into the sunset with their multi-million-dollar paychecks, of course.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine having a strike in the middle of beet harvest? That would be the mistake.

The Union failed it's own members. The deal presented was overly fair-and exceeds that offered in most all industries. The Union is breaking their own back and it's good to see a company trying to position itself for the future.

As far as executive compensation, they earn it and have worked hard to acheive their position through education and experience. Just like insurance agents, sales persons or the like who create a market and earn large commissions from their efforts. We should all strive to be successful rather than strive to complain about successful people.

Prairie Sunshine said...

Thank you for your spirited defense of the American Crystal growers/management. The quality of your argument is a gigantic fail.

This is not a workers' strike. It is a lockout. Read your history. Read your history of why unions formed in the first place. An overly fair deal? That's in the eye of the beholder. As for me, I don't hold much truck with serfdom.

Anonymous said...

Sorry PS but I agree with the writer that the Union is failing its members. Union membership thoughout the nation is at historical lows and with American Crystal paying an average wage and benefit package of $75,000, one can hardly call that a serfdom.