Talks between American Crystal Sugar, workers set to resume Oct. 24The federal mediation service announced today that talks have been scheduled for Oct. 24. The time and place has not been disclosed.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
Negotiations between the management of American Crystal Sugar Co. and local union representatives have been scheduled for Oct. 24 at an undisclosed time and location, the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service announced this morning.
The talks will be the first between the two sides since late August when meetings at a Fargo motel failed to yield any progress towards a new contract.
The lockout is in its 75th day today.
About 1,300 union-represented workers are locked out of American Crystal Sugar sugar beet processing plants in East Grand Forks, Crookston and Moorhead in Minnesota, Drayton and Hillsboro in North Dakota, as well as packaging and transportation sites in Chaska, Minn., and Mason City, Iowa.
The company’s contract covering union-represented workers expired without a new agreement in place on July 31, a day after members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union overwhelmingly voted down the company’s last contract offer.
American Crystal Sugar Co. responded by locking out its union-represented workforce on Aug. 1.
American Crystal management said its last offer included a 17 percent pay increase over five years, but workers rejected it over job security provisions, health care costs and language in the contract they say will hurt workers in future years.
Crystal management has maintained since the lockout began that its last “final offer” that union members rejected by a 96 percent margin before the lockout began is still on the table, although a $2,000 signing bonus offered workers if they accepted the contract by Aug. 1 is no longer part of the offer.
The article includes material from The Associated Press.