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Published September 13, 2011, 10:38 AM

Police confirm racial incidents at sugar plant

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Police say union supporters have directed racial slurs and racist symbols at replacement workers and security personnel outside an American Crystal Sugar plant in North Dakota.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Police say union supporters have directed racial slurs and racist symbols at replacement workers and security personnel outside an American Crystal Sugar plant in North Dakota.

Traill County Sheriff Mike Crocker says there have been racial statements made to security people outside of the company's Hillsboro facility. He says he recently saw a monkey-like figure hanging from a noose attached to a large inflatable rat outside the plant. He says it was removed the next day.

The Grand Forks Herald reports that many of the replacement workers are from Southern states, and some are minorities.

Union representative Mark Froemke calls the behavior “totally unacceptable” and says the union will not tolerate racism.

About 1,300 union workers have been locked out for six weeks in a labor dispute.

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