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Associated Press, Published July 25 2012

AFL-CIO president to speak out on Crystal Sugar lockout today

ST. PAUL — The president of the AFL-CIO is speaking out against the lockout of union employees at American Crystal Sugar.

Richard Trumka will be in the Twin Cities on Wednesday to make what the 12 million member labor federation says will be a major announcement on the lockout.

Spokespeople for the Minnesota and national AFL-CIO declined to say Tuesday what actions Trumka might announce on behalf of the 1,300 workers who've been locked out of their jobs since last Aug. 1 at facilities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa.

Moorhead-based American Crystal Sugar is the largest sugar beet processor in the country. Union workers have rejected its contract proposal three times over seniority and job security concerns. The company says it's a good offer with substantial increases in wages and benefits.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.