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LoriJayne M. Grahn, Pelican Rapids, Minn., Published April 13 2012

Support good, hardworking folks who stand up to corporate greed

I am not a union member nor a beet grower. But I am a farmer with experience in the dairy business dealing with corporate entities. I know the unfair playing fields, corruption, power and greedy behavior that exist while good, hardworking people and families on dairy farms have to take much less in money and have fewer rights, along with unjustified treatment. These practices are found in too many places and continue to escape being stopped. It’s a shame.

Recently on a local PBS channel, I watched the “Triangle Fire” of 1911 in New York.

One can clearly learn why good, hard workers needed to unionize for the sake of their well-being and survival. From that tragedy came many of our first safety laws and important deserved rights.

Though the times have changed, some things have not.

If American Crystal Sugar Co. gets away with locking out good, hardworking people just because of disagreements on a new contract, instead of continuing negotiating practices, then who else among good, hardworking people will be next to be locked out from our jobs due to this unjustified action that still continues?

Is locking out people becoming the way for entities to rid themselves of workers who disagree with issues that raise legitimate concerns on fairness and rights for one’s well-being? The greedy approach for profits, where the scale tilts to one side only, is unacceptable, and so is the lockout.

We should be supporting locked-out workers who want and fight for rights and benefits that have been lost to many of us. The attitude to say, “We don’t get those rights and benefits so why should they?” is wrong. The question is: Why don’t we all get the fair rights and benefits we all deserve? The bar has been allowed to be lowered for good, hardworking people everywhere. We should be seriously supporting those who are holding the bar and raising it in the interest of everyone’s well-being and for fairness and justice wherever we work.

These good people were not fired, they did not walk out, and they want to negotiate. The alarming fact is they showed up for work but were locked out maliciously, on purpose. And the lockout continues. This unjustified action has harmed and devastated many lives to this day. The lockout is senseless and a shame to the conduct of a business and their success. It affects us all somehow in some way.


Grahn lives in rural Pelican Rapids, Minn.