On the eve of Thanksgiving, Gov. Mark Dayton called for new negotiations in the four-month labor dispute at American Crystal Sugar in the Red River Valley and asked the company for a “fair settlement.”
The governor said in a statement:
“As Thanksgiving approaches, my heart goes out to the 1300 American Crystal Sugar workers in the Red River Valley, who have been locked out by their employer and are struggling to survive. After almost four months, the lockout has devastated families, communities, and the economy in Northwestern Minnesota.
“It is time for American Crystal’s management to reach a fair agreement with its workers, who have contributed so much to the company’s current profitability. The absence of meaningful negotiations is greatly disappointing, given the terrible divide this lockout has caused among people, who have lived and worked together. I strongly urge both parties to return to negotiations and find a solution that returns those locked out workers to their jobs and restores stability to the company and the communities in which it operates.”
The company has been using temporary workers to replace the 1,300 locked out union workers, but Tuesday announced it was seeking local replacements, so it won’t have to pay housing and per diem cost to the outside temp workers.