Beet Harvest: Will I be a scab? (1 Viewer)

harveysilver

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I was hired by Express Employment to werk a beet harvest for American Crystal and Sidney Sugars. Apparently, American Crystal is on strike, which is in North Dakota, Minnesota and Utah. However, I'm supposed to report to Sidney, MT. I haven't found anything online about a strike in Montana and the company is Sidney Sugar which I don't think is on strike, according to my research. Does anyone know what is up with this? I would hate to get that far and have to turn around at a picket line.
 
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

HoboClown

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You are being hired for a seasonal job. You are not a scab but they dp not know if you are a replacement worker or not when you go in the gate
 

wetcat

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im gonna be in sidney, mt too. when do you start and where ya coming from?
 
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harveysilver

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I just called the Union that would be dealing with it in Montana, from their knowledge things were on the up and up at Sydney Sugar. American Crystal in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa have locked out workers, though. I'm in Seattle, wetcat.
 

Linda/Ziggy

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Also how do you feel about the fact that you may be handling foods that are heavily
contaminated with pesticides and may be genetically modified?
This is just as important as workers rights,
and right on for contacting the union :>) .
I am thinking of doing the beet harvest, but I do not want to support
corporate business, chemical companies or GMO.
So would be looking for a organic producer.
 

kickthatshit

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Fuck fuck fuck... Latest news, "no talks scheduled" between labor and ownership...

Well, for those of us already set to work for American Sugar, the question is, are you still going?

It's true that by definition of a 'scab' for seasonal workers is iffy... You are not replacing a unionized worker, but on the other hand, you are accepting employment in a non-union company where unionized workers are locked out, thus enabling the company to continue locking out union workers. But this is semantics... the root of the issue is, is it right to work for American Sugar?

Reasons not to work for em':
1: You're crossing a picket line.
2: You're working - and making money - for a sleazy company.
3: You're helping to undermine solidarity in the region where you're working.
4: Workplace conditions could be really unsafe, since everyone in the factory is new and nobody knows what the hell they're doing.
5: Everybody in North Dakota / Minnesota will treat us like horseshit, assuming that we're replacement workers. (Good fucking luck hitchhiking...)

Reasons one might consider it okay to work for American Sugar:
1: Unions almost never stick their necks out for the very poor or seasonal workers, so why should we stick our necks out for them? (After all, we're not getting ANY health care benefits...) In other words, unions have been mostly self-serving enterprises for decades, and have largely given up on widespread social movements, so why should we necessarily feel obligated to participate in their strike / lockout?
2: Our refusal to work will absolutely not stop the beets from being processed; it's unskilled work, and we are infinitely replaceable, making our opting out of work merely symbolic. (The old posters are wrong: the boss doesn't need us.)
3: Most other options we have for making money are equally unethical.

For me, it comes down to this: Is it worth giving up the only job I have right now, and $3,000 to symbolically support a bunch of people that I sympathize with, but who I don't know, and who've never cared much for what happens to people like me?

So who's got an opinion? Who's going, who's not?
 

wetcat

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I'm in Tacoma if you wanna catch a ride. Ill probably leave in a week and hustle for gas money. I'm going I could use some cash
 
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harveysilver

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You make some good points, kickthatshit. Fortunately, I'm not werking for a company that's on strike. The Bakery, Tobacco and Confectionary Union in Montana says there's no lockout for Sidney Sugar. I don't put much faith in Unions either, I just don't want to take someone else's job. I, personally, can't justify that for myself. Fortunately, I'm not in your position, with working for a lockout company nor am I desperate for cash, I still have a couple grand from my other gig. Just do what's right for you, what really feels right for you. But best of luck to you, man.

Linda/Ziggy, as far as GMO and pesticides go, that's something I feel like I can let pass for now. Hell, I drive a cab, so, ya know, gas. I guess labor is something that I feel more strongly about. I feel closer to it, I guess. Maybe you noticed that I didn't even spell beat right when I started this thread. I'm glad you folks care about this shit.
 

dprogram

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Riverdale Park, United States
Seriously. I need the money so I'm going. I'm not protesting anything and I really only care about making enough money to get the hell out of this country. =)

Coming from Memphis, TN to the N. Dakota location.
 

HoboClown

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The union does not want to sign the contact because the company wants to start making the employees pay for health insurance.
Which will cost the employees like 20 something bucks a week
 

dprogram

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So. I got another call today and was told the pay starts at $11.60/hr and everything over 8 hours a day is time and a half. They generally work 12 hour shifts 7 days a week. Sat. & Sun are time and a half all day long. Is this what you guys were told? I'd hate to make the trip and it end up being all jacked up. If the full shifts are worked every day of the week that works out to roughly a grand a week. If anyone else has worked this harvest before could you pipe in and give me some advice? Thanks!
 

kickthatshit

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Aug 25, 2011
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I was told the same, but that base pay was only something like $10.50 an hour. I haven't made up my mind yet about going.
 

deanmoriarty

Newbie
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
39
Ignition out. Ready to work my butt off! I can't believe no one else on STP is going...easy money...camping. Psh. Oh. Is this one of those dry states? If so fuck it.
is there still a chance at getting my girlfriend and i signed up this year?were all the way in maine now,but may be willing to give it a try if still possible...
 

dprogram

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May 31, 2011
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Riverdale Park, United States
Likely. A lot of people who were scheduled to work have backed out due to the Union lockout and the guy I spoke with said they still needed people. Call this number 1-888-791-6738 and ask!
 

CXR1037

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
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Who cares, unions are shit anyway. Their loss!
 

HoboClown

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I am working in grand forks and the picketers are punks when confronted they back off
 

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