Gov. Dayton calls on American Crystal Sugar to offer ‘fair settlement’ in labor dispute

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.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/23/2011 - 11:20 am.

    My heart goes out to that percentage of Crytal Sugar workers that know a good offer when they see it, but are being prevented from accepting it by their less intelligent, union-brainwashed collegues.

    I’m guessing that Dayton’s specious lip service sounds especially hollow to them.

  2. Submitted by Nate Arthur on 11/23/2011 - 04:48 pm.

    I will boycott Crystal Sugar products until they come back to the negotiating table. Let them know what you think at http://www.crystalsugar.com/talk/default.aspx

  3. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 11/28/2011 - 04:06 pm.

    I’d have thought that a farmers’ co-op (a worker’s organization) would not offer a contract that 96% of its employees rejected because “it would diminish union strength and jack up health insurance so much that it would erode wage increases that the company proposed” (StarTribune, 08/01/2011).

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