Skip to main content

Selection of American Crystal Sugar CEO as 'Person of the Year' doesn't sit well

The Forum Newspapers has selected David Berg, CEO of American Crystal Sugar as their 'Person of the Year.' Berg is at the center of a dispute between his company and workers which has resulted in a months-long lockout. As you can imagine, workers were less than thrilled to hear the news...
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Each year, Forum Newspapers makes its selection for the ‘Person of the Year’ in the northwestern Minnesota region. This year, they selected David Berg, President and CEO of American Crystal Sugar.

On the surface, selecting the leader of one of the region’s most influential businesses terribly controversial. However, Berg happens to be the man at the center of a months-long stalemate between his company and 1,300 locked out workers at American Crystal Sugar plants.

Reaction came quickly. KVLY-TV talked to union members, who said they were angry, hurt, and confused by the selection.

Forum Editor, Matt Von Pinnon, wrote an article separate from the selection piece that explains how the paper selects the ‘Person of the Year.’ He notes:

Berg was also chosen because the themes in the local dispute mirror themes seen throughout the country and world this past year: unions and their workers fighting to retain bargaining power and low- and middle-class workers rising up to challenge what they see as a growing disparity between the rich and the poor.

Much like Time magazine’s annual Person of the Year, The Forum’s selection is not intended to glorify or demonize anyone or any position. It is simply marking a moment in time by designating a person who most exemplifies that period or its happenings.

What do you think? Did the paper make the right selection?

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 7.04.37 PM

LIVE UPDATES: Dangerous storms move through Twin Cities

We'll have live updates as the storms move through the metro.

tornado

Tornado watch issued in Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

The watch will remain in place until midnight.

Wild fox.

Wild fox in Minnesota tests positive for highly contagious avian flu

This is the first confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a wild mammal in the state, the Department of Natural Resources said.

New COVID-19 testing site in Midway neighborhood.

New COVID-19 testing site in St. Paul; 3 others to close as cases rise

Testing sites in Stillwater, Hutchinson, and St. Paul are closing as part of moves to adjust testing resources.

Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 4.47.49 PM

St. Joseph man dies in motorcycle crash

The 27-year-old motorcyclist struck a curb, causing him to lose control before he crashed.

Downtown-Bike-Day_WS_No-logo

Downtown bike day—city biking at its best!

Move Minneapolis and ABC Ramps Mobility invite you to come along for the ride at Target Plaza on June 1, 2022

Anthony Skelley

Charges: South St. Paul teen killed during apparent marijuana sale

The individual accused of killing Skelley is a 17-year-old from St. Paul.

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards among NBA stars in Adam Sandler's Netflix film, 'Hustle'

The Timberwolves point guard stars alongside other NBA players LeBron James, Trae Young, Juancho Hernangomez and more.

police lights

Armed man found barricaded inside Brooklyn Park home, negotiators on scene

An active police presence remains in the area as negotiators speak with the suspect.

Anthony Skelley

17-year-old South St. Paul homicide victim is identified

The medical examiner determined that Skelley died of multiple gunshot wounds.

tornado, severe weather

Tornado watch issued in Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska

Severe storms are expected to push into southwest Minnesota this afternoon.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 9.08.37 AM

Korean chicken chain Bonchon's 6th MN location set to open

The South Korean-based franchise has steadily increased its presence across the country.

Related

American Crystal Sugar CEO target of Hitler YouTube spoof

The American Crystal Sugar CEO David Berg is the latest public figure to be spoofed in a YouTube video stunt that overlays modern subtitles onto a movie clip of a ranting Adolf Hiter. Chuck Haga at the Grand Forks Herald dissects the controversy.

American Crystal sugar workers to vote on contract for third time in year

Locked-out American Crystal Sugar workers in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa are soon going to vote on a company offer for the third time in less than a year. The vote, set for June 23, comes after failed talks last week between the company and the workers' union. American Crystal Sugar said this is their final offer.

Fire damages American Crystal Sugar plant in Moorhead

Workers are back inside the American Crystal Sugar plant in Moorhead after a fire broke late Tuesday night. Moorhead Fire Capt. Chad Stangeland told Forum Communications maintenance crews were making repairs to a sugar tank that may have sparked the fire on the fourth floor. Workers were evacuated, but no injuries were reported.

Crystal Sugar workers pressure board members

Union members are demonstrating at the homes of American Crystal Sugar's directors as the labor dispute drags on. An AFL-CIO spokesman tells the Fargo Forum the demonstrations will continue indefinitely. Roughly 1,300 workers have been locked out from plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa for more than a year.

Locked-out union workers agree to sit down with American Crystal Sugar

For the first time since February, talks to end a 9-month contract dispute are scheduled to resume on June 8. About 1,300 workers at Crystal plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa have been locked out since August.

Sugar workers will bring new proposal to June talks with American Crystal

A union official says there won't be mass concessions but there will be new proposals when locked out workers site down for mediated talks with American Crystal Sugar on June eighth. The two sides have not spoken since February. The lockout of 1,300 workers began last August.

Union workers picket on 1-year anniversary of Crystal Sugar lock out

A few locked out workers from American Crystal Sugar were back on the picket line Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary of the union lockout by company. More than 1,300 workers from plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa have been affected by the lockout.

Crystal Sugar workers kick off national boycott

American Crystal Sugar Co.’s locked-out workers will hold rallies in front of grocery stores in Fargo and in Grand Forks on Monday as they launch a national consumer boycott of the company’s products, the Fargo Forum reports. It's the latest development in the long-running labor dispute that dates to August 2011, when about 1,300 union workers at the company’s plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa were locked out by management.