Crystal Sugar workers to vote again on labor contract

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On Dec. 1, locked-out workers of American Crystal Sugar will take another stab at approving a proposed labor contract, the Forum reports.

More than 1,300 union workers from plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa have been locked out since August 2011.

A union official tells MPR that the contract is essentially the same one that union members rejected in June. The Forum said 82 percent of members participated in the last vote, but it's unclear how many are expected to turn out in December.

This will be the fourth vote since the lockout began 16 months ago and the company has not changed its offer since then, according to a Grand Forks Herald report.

American Crystal Sugar stands by the contract that offers a 13 percent raise over five years but would also expand the company's ability to contract out union jobs and increases workers' out-of-pocket health care expenses.

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