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Locked-out American Crystal Sugar union workers approve contract | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

Published April 14, 2013, 12:59 AM

Locked-out American Crystal Sugar union workers approve contract

Union workers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa who have been locked out of their jobs for 20 months at American Crystal Sugar Co. have voted to ratify the company’s proposed contract.

By: Associated Press, Forum News Service

Union workers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa who have been locked out of their jobs for 20 months at American Crystal Sugar Co. have voted to ratify the company’s proposed contract.

The contract passed today with 55 percent of the vote. Workers have voted four other times to reject the contract, each time by narrower and narrower margins.

They have been locked out since Aug. 1, 2011, the day after the first vote. About 1,300 workers were affected initially, but management says that about half have since retired or found other work.

The union originally focused its complaints on contract provisions regarding seniority and job security. The company says it’s a good contract with substantial increases in wages and other benefits.

American Crystal, based in Moorhead, Minn., is the country’s largest sugar beet processor. It has processing plants in East Grand Forks, Minn., Crookston, Minn., Moorhead, Hillsboro, N.D., and Drayton, N.D., and packing and transportation sites in Chaska, Minn., and Mason City, Iowa.

via Locked-out American Crystal Sugar union workers approve contract | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota.

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