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Forum staff reports, Published August 25 2011

Union claims Crystal Sugar offered no new deal in meeting to end worker lockout

FARGO - American Crystal Sugar met today with locked out union workers at Fargo's Doublewood Inn, but no deal has been reached, according to a union representative.

In a news release, John Riskey, union president for the locked out workers, said they met with company officials for the first time since being locked out four weeks ago.

"We came to the table in good faith with proposals that addressed many of the company’s concerns including changes to health coverage and expanding upon the company’s substance abuse policy," Riskey said. "Unfortunately, the company ignored our ideas and stubbornly offered the same proposal that 96 percent of our membership rejected."

No further meetings have been scheduled.

"We still hope to sit down and negotiate as soon as possible," Riskey said. "We continue to call on American Crystal Sugar executives to end this lockout, let us get back to work, and continue negotiations.”

American Crystal Sugar has processing plants in East Grand Forks, Crookston and Moorhead in Minnesota, Hillsboro and Drayton in North Dakota, and packaging and transportation sites in Chaska, Minn. and Mason City, Iowa.

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