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Published September 17 2012

Dayton urges both sides to settle Crystal lockout

ST. PAUL – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is asking American Crystal Sugar Co. and the union representing locked-out workers to settle their differences and agree on a contract.

“The area’s farmers, union members, and American Crystal have all suffered from this lockout. The Red River Valley’s communities have all felt the impact,” Dayton said in a letter sent to David Berg, president and CEO of American Crystal, and to Steve Bertelli, vice president of the Region 3 Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.

“I recognize that there is frustration on both sides; however, it is time to work together and agree to settle the contract,” Dayton added, stating that every day the lockout continues makes a resolution more difficult.

Dayton concluded his letter by repeating advice he gave eight months ago: that a new, high-level mediator be brought in. He also provided his phone number, just in case he can be of assistance in the lockout that began a little more than a year ago and that has affected about 1,300 workers.