You Reap What You Sow

I’m not against the concept of unions as I believe anybody who wants to voluntarily join together with others is a right. What I am against though is when unions use the government’s monopoly on force to make companies comply with the demands of unions. Here’s how I see it, you’re more than welcome to start a union to fight for increased pay, benefits, and conditions just as the company is more than welcome to fire all of your asses if your demands are too high or you’re not willing to negotiate. The concept is called free association, I can choose to associate with you and you can choose to associate with me but neither of us are required to associate with one another.

There are union protests going on at several American Crystal Sugar because the company finally got fed up with the union’s demands and dumped them for non-union employees:

The union representing sugar beet processors says more than 1,200 employees were turned away from entering seven American Crystal Sugar plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa Monday morning.

The current labor contract expired at midnight Sunday after production workers overwhelmingly rejected the company’s final offer Saturday.

Replacement workers arrived in vans before dawn. In East Grand Forks, security guards were posted at the plant entrances and a line was spray painted outside the doors — a line union employees were told not to cross. WDAZ-TV reports about 120 union workers showed up about 6:15 a.m., but were turned away. Some stayed to picket the plant.


After the union rejected the company’s offer Saturday, American Crystal Sugar Vice President Brian Ingulsrud said the union rejected a 13 percent pay increase over a five-year contract plus a $2,000 signing bonus.

Negotiations require both sides to give to reach a mutually agreeable solution. Although American Crystal Sugar man an offer to increase the wages of union workers by 13% in a time of economic hardship (plus a $2,000 signing bonus) the union decided that wasn’t enough and refused to accept the offer. Here’s the other thing about negotiations, your side has far less power if is willing to walk away and they will walk away if they find you’re demands are too high. American Crystal Sugar found the union’s demands to be unreasonable and thus game them the finger and hired new employees who are likely to cause fewer headaches.

Of course the union claimed that the negotiations are not about pay but on granting the union a monopoly on labor:

“These negotiations are not and never have been about pay,” Riskey added on Saturday. “The company’s offer still has major loopholes allowing non-union contractors to replace union workers and makes health insurance unaffordable. Any raise is meaningless if our health care costs increase even more or if management can eliminate our jobs and replace us at will.”

What company is going to accept terms where they’re unable to hire non-union employees? That’s basically asking the company to tie their hands behind their back during future negotiations. If I owned a company I would never agree to terms that prevent me, the owner, from running things as I damn well pleased. In exchange for not having to deal with such nonsense I’d ensure I paid my employees well so I wouldn’t have to go through the hardship of hiring and retraining new people constantly.

The union is literally saying that they want a monopoly on hiring employees for American Crystal Sugar. I understand why the whole lot of them were replaced although I’m sure if union employees were willing to leave the union and return to work American Crystal Sugar would have no issue rehiring them (although the union might break that employee’s kneecaps). I also love the final part:

Health costs would go up an average of about $1,000 per employee, which is significantly less than their pay increase, the company said. The union says their out-of-pocket health care costs, on average, would more than double.

You wanted your “free” government provide healthcare and now you got it, and you’re going to have to pay dearly for it. Welcome to government interference in the market, the more power you give the government the higher the cost of providing goods and services in that market. The national unions strongly supported the Health Insurance Company Enrichment Act and are now reaping what they sowed. Sadly they made sure all of us got fucked along with them.