Ten months after they locked out 1,300 Bakery Workers union members and two days before their next talks with the union over a new contract, the top brass of American Crystal Sugar Co. looked and spoke Wednesday as if they are sitting in the catbird seat.
As a single mother of two and a four-year employee of American Crystal Sugar’s plant in Hillsboro, N.D., Rochelle Harley never had trouble making ends meet until the company’s lockout put her out of work 10 months ago. Harley and about 100 other workers rallied in front of American Crystal’s headquarters here Wednesday in the final stage of a 200-mile march that began last week.
FARGO, N.D. — American Crystal Sugar Co. officials deny new union claims that a labor lockout has more than doubled processing costs for 2011 beets. They acknowledge costs have increased, but say farmer-owners already know about the costs, and say the company is seeing its replacement hires as a possible permanent workforce.
Co-op members, do you really want to go through another year like this one? Or would you prefer to have skilled, experienced and hard-working people back on the jobs they loved and respected and gave their all for?
A union leader for locked-out American Crystal Sugar Co. workers says he has asked a federal mediator to lead another round of negotiations with the company. A representative for the company says it would be receptive to a mediator.
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