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Crystal Sugar, union head back to bargaining table

Talks are set to resume Friday between American Crystal Sugar Co. and 1,300 locked-out union workers. It's been more than four months since the two sides last met. Union spokesman John Riskey told the Associated Press he hopes the company will "cooperate and negotiate." Company spokesman Brian Ingulsrud says the company's last contract offer stands.
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Talks are set to resume Friday between American Crystal Sugar Co. and 1,300 locked-out union workers. It's been more than four months since the two sides last met. Union spokesman John Riskey told the Associated Press he hopes the company will "cooperate and negotiate." Company spokesman Brian Ingulsrud says the company's last contract offer stands.

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Union members are demonstrating at the homes of American Crystal Sugar's directors as the labor dispute drags on. An AFL-CIO spokesman tells the Fargo Forum the demonstrations will continue indefinitely. Roughly 1,300 workers have been locked out from plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa for more than a year.

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American Crystal Sugar and its locked out union workers were scheduled to meet again Friday in an effort to restart contract talks. The company locked out 1,300 workers at five factories last August. This is the fourth time the two sides have met with a federal mediator to try to end the impasse.

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For the first time since February, talks to end a 9-month contract dispute are scheduled to resume on June 8. About 1,300 workers at Crystal plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa have been locked out since August.

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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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Contract talks between American Crystal Sugar's leaders and union representatives once again ended Friday with no resolution. The meeting marked the fourth time the parties have tried to resolve their dispute with a federal mediator. More than 1,300 union workers have been locked-out of plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa for the past 10 months.

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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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Employees at American Crystal Sugar have been locked out for 85 days now. Some union members say they're hopeful they can negotiate a deal when talks resume Monday. One company executive told the Fargo Forum he expects the union will make significant movement away from its original positions.