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No Dayton mediation for now in Crystal Sugar dispute

They’re not taking up Gov. Mark Dayton’s offer to help restart stalled talks in the American Crystal Sugar labor lockout in Moorhead.

In fact, the governor has been asked to keep out of it, for now.

The Grand Forks Herald reports that Dayton spokesperson Katie Tinucci confirmed in an email:

 “The Governor has been asked by the federal officials to withhold comment for the time being. However, he is ready and willing to go to Moorhead, whenever both sides agree to his presence there.”

Such talks with a federal mediator from the Twin Cities took place in late August and late October in Fargo.

Union workers seemed enthusiastic about a possible Dayton intervention when he went to Duluth Dec. 5 for meetings with both sides.

About 1,300 union workers have been locked out at the sugar plant since summer, after they’d voted down a contract offer. The two sides met in talks with a federal mediator in August and in October, without success. No further sessions are known to be scheduled.

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