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Crystal Sugar advertising for local workers, might hire up to 1,300 if lockout continues

Managers say the lockout is continuing longer than expected so the company is looking to hire what it says will be temporary local workers.
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Managers say the lockout is continuing longer than expected so the company is looking to hire what it says will be temporary local workers.

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American Crystal says cost of lockout will pass as workers are replaced

The sugar giant will offer beet growers in the Red River Valley a lower price this year, partly because of the financial toll of its lockout of 1,300 union workers. But the company says it has already replaced more than half of those workers. Crystal promised growers higher prices next year, when the company expects all of the locked out workers will have been replaced.

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American Crystal says the latest proposal from its workers includes none of the company's suggestions for ending the lockout that is approaching six months. Meanwhile, the company has posted help wanted ads for what it describes as "long-term temporary" workers.

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American Crystal Sugar Co.’s locked-out workers will hold rallies in front of grocery stores in Fargo and in Grand Forks on Monday as they launch a national consumer boycott of the company’s products, the Fargo Forum reports. It's the latest development in the long-running labor dispute that dates to August 2011, when about 1,300 union workers at the company’s plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa were locked out by management.

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A few locked out workers from American Crystal Sugar were back on the picket line Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary of the union lockout by company. More than 1,300 workers from plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa have been affected by the lockout.

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