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Associated Press, Published November 25 2011

Minnesota governor urges Crystal, union to resume negotiations

GRAND FORKS (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is urging American Crystal Sugar Co. and its locked-out factory workers to get back to the bargaining table.

Dayton says in a statement posted on his website that the lockout that has dragged on for four months has devastated families and hurt the region's economy.

The lockout of 1,300 workers began Aug. 1 when the company and the union couldn't come to agreement on a new contract. American Crystal has been using replacement workers at its processing plants in eastern North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota and Iowa.

It isn't the first time Dayton has waded into the dispute. In July, he met with Crystal executives and union leaders and urged a resolution before the contract expired on Aug. 1.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.