Dayton calls for nonstop talks betwen American Crystal, union

Union officials quickly embraced the plan but management has stayed quiet. Dayton is urging both parties to resume negotiations and not stop -- except to eat and sleep -- until they can reach a deal.
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Union officials quickly embraced the plan but management has stayed quiet. Dayton is urging both parties to resume negotiations and not stop -- except to eat and sleep -- until they can reach a deal.

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Minn. congress members urge American Crystal and union to reach agreement

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Representatives Collin Peterson and Tim Walz suggest it is time to bring in a “new high-level mediator” to help Moorhead-based American Crystal Sugar and union workers reach a deal. The four DFL members of Congress sent a letter to leaders on both sides of the yearlong labor dispute on Thursday.

Crystal Sugar says window to deal is closing after talks fail again

Valley News reports American Crystal executives and union negotiators made no progress after yet another meeting. In a statement, executives said the union is ignoring the fact "times have changed dramatically" and that contracts must reflect those changes. The union says it has put forward new proposals but the company refuses to bargain.

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The chief executive says he thinks the parties will eventually reach a settlement that gets locked-out workers back on the job. “Bruises take awhile to get healed, but we’ll get over it,” said David Berg. The workers, meanwhile, want the company to explain why they were locked out in the first place.

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Union leaders and company executives returned to the bargaining table for the first time in more than two months, though they left again without a deal. WDAY reports Crystal Sugar is sticking with what it calls its final offer, but union workers are still worried about some of the contract's wording surrounding job security.

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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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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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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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