I find it very interesting that local, state and national AFL-CIO leaders were opposed to American Crystal Workers occupying the plants when faced with a lockout but now claim they will organize a boycott of American Crystal Sugar.
Does anyone really believe that this boycott will consist of anything more than a another press conference?
Richard Trumka has given American Crystal Sugar's management the ultimatum:
Negotiate a contract in good faith or face a boycott.
Given the fact that Trumka was opposed to workers taking over the plants when management first threatened the lockout; and for over a year Trumka has made no effort to stop replacement workers from entering the ACS plants and operating them at maximum capacity... I bet American Crystal Sugar's management are just shaking in their boots at the threat of the AFL-CIO threatening a consumer boycott as many consumers already "boycott" sugar simply because they can't afford its high price as a result of the AFL-CIO working with ACS management and politicians (Democrats and Republicans) to keep the price (and profits from) beet derived sugar artificially high.
Let's get real here.
The union has already agreed to most of ACS management's concessions and ASC management refuses to negotiate in good faith.
Do you suppose ACS management wants to shed itself from the union altogether?
In fact, the owners/shareholders of American Crystal Sugar stated long before the lockout that it was their intent to get rid of the union and Richard Trumka and the corrupt local and national "leaders" of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) used intimidation tactics against their own members who dared to so much as mention that a worker take-over of the plants be considered.
Here is a list of sugar companies from all over the world:
How many of these companies' products do U.S. consumers see on the shelves when it comes to beet derived sugar that they can choose from as an alternative to American Crystal Sugar?
Union leaders are subjecting American Crystal Sugar workers to a losing "battle" behind all kinds of militant sounding talk that amounts to nothing but more betrayal from which workers will continue to suffer because they were not encouraged to do the right thing in the first place when ACS management threatened a lock-out.
The correct response should have been a take-over of the plants by the workers until the contract was settled.
There is a lesson in this for other workers.
For American Crystal Sugar workers this is now a done deal. They have lost; if the AFL-CIO union "leaders" have their way these workers will not only lose out on what they should have won in a new contract; they will end up losing their union--- and their jobs... the ultimate in concessions.
U.S. workers are paying a terrible price for class collaboration trade unionism.
What is required is a return to class struggle trade unionism with a good heavy dose of anti-imperialist education.