Friday, November 23, 2012

More Stupid Union News

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune: Forced into financial hardship by a 16-month-long lockout that halved their ranks, American Crystal Sugar workers plan to vote next week on a labor contract that's changed little from management's initial offering.
Many workers are eager for a steady paycheck as winter approaches, ending the seasonal factory or farming jobs they've relied on since the lockout started Aug. 1, 2011, said Gayln Olson, a sugar boiler and union leader. Workers plan to vote Dec. 1.
"People are giving up," said Jeannie Madsen, who worked in the Moorhead company's lab and is engaged to Olson. "People are losing everything. People just want their jobs back."
When workers first rejected the contract last year they numbered roughly 1,300, but about half have retired or quit as two dozen meetings between the union and American Crystal Sugar representatives went nowhere. The union has three times rejected the contract because of health care cuts and changes to the role seniority would play in promotions, among other concerns.
And what was the company offer the idiot union members turned down?
American Crystal Sugar spokesman Jeff Schweitzer confirmed that the company's offer has basically remained unchanged.
"From the company's perspective, it's a very good offer," Schweitzer said.
The contract offers a 13 percent raise over five years but also expands the company's ability to contract out union jobs and increases workers' out-of-pocket health care expenses, the union has said.
Workers make an average of $40,000 a year at the plant.
Madsen said she's upset that the company won't compromise on some issues when the union has made concessions. The contract calls for random drug testing of all union workers, she said. Management refused the union's push to include supervisors and contract employees, she said, and the union eventually conceded on the matter.
So, they are making $40,000 a year, which is more than many teachers make, and they turned down a 13% raise?  That would raise their pay to about $45,200 a year. 

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