FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Union representatives of locked-out employees at American Crystal Sugar Co. are criticizing the company president and CEO for what they call anti-worker sentiments.

The union released audio recordings Wednesday of CEO David Berg telling shareholders a story about a friend with cancer and saying, “We can’t let a labor contract make us sick forever and ever. We have to treat the disease and that’s what we’re doing here.”

The union says Berg was likening the workers to a 21-pound cancerous tumor.

Company spokesman Brian Ingulsrud did not immediately return a phone message.

Union workers planned a prayer vigil Wednesday evening outside company headquarters in Moorhead, Minn., to mark the fifth month of the lockout.

About 1,300 workers have been locked out at plants in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (17)
  1. Kevin says:

    Ummmm…Unions…..Cancer……yup….I get it…..I hate unions…but I also CEO’s…..so lets just catch them all on fire and bring some marshmellows for a snack……”There is nothing like the smell of a burning CEO in the morning”…..

  2. Jay says:

    Evidently the truth hurts! Quit your whining union members and go back to your jobs. It may be a very long time before you see another paycheck otherwise. Your union ISNT looking after you, only themselves!

    1. Andrew Kutnink says:

      I absolutely hate unions. They destroy jobs and make the economy harder for companies to open up jobs to people. Kind of sad when a company is forced to pay a certain wage when they can take half that wage and hire 2 people, but in a union job, the company has to pay everything for the employee. This isnt the 1920s anymore, we dont need unions.

      1. bpk says:

        So what youre saying is you would like to make half as much and pay for everything yourself ? Pro or ant union you must love your job

        1. Doy doy doy doy doy! says:

          No, what he’s saying is union members (especially State union workers) make twice as much as they ever should, being the lazy b@st@rd$ they are.

          1. Adam says:

            My dad worked for the state for 30+ years. He would have made way more money in the private sector but the hours and travel would have sucked. Some of his employees took pay cuts for the state job, again for the hours (40 a week vs 60-70 a week). I work for the county…and without the union the county commissioners would be saving money on our backs with pay cuts. I make a decent wage but it’s not great. If it were up to some of you government employees would work for nothing…but our lives are the same as yours. The cost of everything goes up for us just the same as you. So the 1or 2% raise I get this year won’t even cover inflation. Sometimes I wonder about unions, but in my experience they protect me from politicians.
            Now unions in the corporate world can sometimes try to take too much…but then again with CEO bonus’ in 6 and 7 figures maybe some of that could trickle down to the employees who are actually making the business run. But wait…this trickle down theory really doesn’t work so well, does it? I’m just sayin.

  3. bpk says:

    Something has to give soon. While growing up my dad worked a 40 hr week job, my mom part time and we got by ok. Now I am a college graduate, I leave for work at 4:15 am. get home about 6 and my wife works full time. I just got done balancing the check book to make sure I had enough for the phone bill, and we dont live extravagently. I also just read these sugar execs recieved a six figure bonus for last years record profits, I’m not pro or anti union, but come on now.

    1. A Voter says:

      Just wait until you see the bonuses they will get if they are successful in disposing of the union.

  4. rocky says:

    That.s right Jay, unions care about there own income, which comes from the workers, that is all they care about, I call em 1% ers…….

  5. Kenny says:

    Unions give workers a false sense of worth in exchange for union dues Eventually the wages and benefits exceed the worth and the company is gone.
    It really doesn’t matter what you think you should make or what the union thinks you should make, its what the market says your worth. If you don’t like the system vote in a socialist.

    1. A Voter says:

      @ Kenny, you sound envious, you are worth what you get.

  6. Harry Orieley says:

    Unions suck the brains out of there members. You live and die for the unions. You vote for the canidates they tell you to vote for. Because your to f-uk_ing stupid to figure it out yourself

  7. Earl butthammer says:

    The same thing should be said about gays. Direct parallel.

  8. Fred says:

    You deserve all you can do for YOURSELF union or no union.

  9. DavyT says:

    We should ALL thank a union member for the great jobs, benefits, etc. we enjou today. Our 40-hour work week, sick time, paid holidays, vacations, insurance, etc. weren’t gifts to us by our beneveolent employers. They were fought for by unions. Don’t forget our history. Unions MADE this country great. We should ALL stand up and support our union brothers and sisters.

  10. ooompa says:

    I’m guessing the union members cannot go back on their own? I know I would.

  11. Renee says:

    You get rid of all the unions and we will be right back to the 1920’s. All this talk of getting rid of the unoins and then cutting gov. where do you think this is all going to lead? Do you really think that money is going to end up in the pockets of the likes of you and me??? It will all end up in the pockets of Bachmans 1%”ers

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