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Dave Olson, Published January 15 2012

Minn-Dak co-op has deal in place

WAHPETON, N.D. – While the American Crystal Sugar Co. lockout has received heavy media attention since it began in August, another regional co-op that is also a union shop has quietly been flying under the radar.

The approximately 280 union employees of Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op voted to ratify a new contract in June. The two-year contract included a 4 percent wage increase, preserved the existing defined benefit pension plan and maintained the existing health insurance plan.

Minn-Dak, which like American Crystal became a grower-owned cooperative in the early 1970s, has never experienced a worker strike or company lockout, a company spokesman said.