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DFLers' bill would ban Minnesota from buying Crystal sugar until lockout ends

Ten Democrats in the Legislature have introduced a bill that would prohibit government departments and agencies from buying sugar from American Crystal until the company resolves its dispute with union workers. More than 1,300 workers have been locked out since Aug. 1.
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Ten Democrats in the Legislature have introduced a bill that would prohibit government departments and agencies from buying sugar from American Crystal until the company resolves its dispute with union workers. More than 1,300 workers have been locked out since Aug. 1.

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Crystal Sugar workers pressure board members

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.

Crystal Sugar workers will vote on same offer that produced lockout

American Crystal Sugar is adamant that it will not change its contract offer to 1,300 union workers. Some of the employees who have been locked out for nearly 11 months are now interested in voting again on the offer they've spurned in the past. Union leaders have scheduled a vote for June 23.

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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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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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