American Crystal calls union offer ‘stunt’ 17 Jan 12

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) – American Crystal Sugar Co. has rejected a proposal to end the cooperative’s lengthy lockout of its union employees.

The company posted a statement Monday calling the union’s proposal a “publicity stunt” by its leadership.

American Crystal has locked out its 1,300 union-represented employees since August as part of a contract dispute.

The company’s statement says negotiators for the union and American Crystal met informally with a federal mediator last week. The union followed up with a 16-page proposal.

Crystal said Monday it was rejecting the proposal. It says the union’s offer ignored company’s suggestions for ending the lockout.

American Crystal is advertising for “long-term temporary workers” to complete the year’s sugar beet processing work.

A company financial filing says its profits fell 28 percent during last September, October and November.

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