American Crystal, union reps try to restart talks 08 Jun 12

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) – American Crystal Sugar and union representatives meet Friday in attempt to restart contract talks in a dispute that has locked out workers and dragged on for 10 months.

It’s the fourth time the two sides have met with a federal mediator in an attempt to end the impasse. Unemployment payments for most of the workers who were locked out at the company’s plants in Minnesota will end in the next month. North Dakota workers were not eligible for unemployment.

American Crystal locked out about 1,300 union workers at sugar beet processing plants in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa last August. Minnesota Public Radio News  says the company is using replacement workers at its plants and plans to stand by its final contract offer.

Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News,