Fewer union workers return to American Crystal following lockout

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Less than half of the 1,300 union workers locked out of American Crystal Sugar for 20 months returned to their jobs on Tuesday, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports.

About 400 workers went back to work after the union ratified Crystal's longstanding contract offer last month. Members had rejected the labor deal four previous votes.

“We’re glad to have our employees back,” Brian Ingulsrud, vice president for administration with American Crystal, told the newspaper.

About 650 union workers retired or moved on to different jobs, according to the Moorhead-based co-op.

American Crystal is the nation’s largest sugar beet processor, with four Minnesota plants in Moorhead, Crookston, East Grand Forks and Chaska.

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