SOME 1,300 workers at five American Crystal Sugar Co. plants and warehouses across North Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota have been locked out since last August when they voted to reject management’s contract proposal.
David Berg, the president and CEO of American Crystal, told a gathering of company shareholders: “We could give wonderful raises and unlimited health care benefits, bankrupt the company, and who benefits from that?”
Berg is a hypocrite. He has no problem giving himself a “wonderful” raise—his “compensation” jumped by 23 percent to $2.4 million in 2011. Brian Ingulsrud, American Crystal’a vice president of administration, saw his “earnings” increase from $700,000 to $809,000 last year.
As Kari Sorenson, who works in the Moorhouse, Minn., plant, said in a union statement:
We worked hard to produce a quality product until they locked us out…I’m angry that the board has rewarded CEO Dave Berg with a $2.4 million compensation package this year. And yet management are committed to taking away from the workers who’ve helped make this company such a success, no matter the cost to our communities.