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American Crystal extends union contract to September, negotiations to continue

American Crystal Sugar has agreed to extend its current contract with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers local unions to Sept. 15, with additional negotiations to take place after Labor Day.

American Crystal Sugar.jpg
American Crystal Sugar and its union will continue under an existing contract while pushing negotiations for a new one to September 2022.
Trevor Peterson / Agweek file photo
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MOORHEAD, Minn. — American Crystal Sugar has agreed to extend its current contract with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers local unions to Sept. 15, with additional negotiations to take place after Labor Day.

The current contract had been slated to expire on July 31, but the company agreed to the request from the unions to extend the contract on July 27, according to a release from American Crystal.

The statement from American Crystal said the union had not been interested in mediation during 10 days of earlier negotiations but in a letter requesting an extension of the current contract noted they no longer are opposed to the involvement of a mediator.

American Crystal said the final offer proposed to the union included 17% wage increases over four years with additional wage increases to meet market demand, enhanced vacation, additional time off, and increases to pension payout. The offer also included a $1,000 ratification bonus signing bonus, expiring July 31. Union members voted to reject the offer on July 26.

American Crystal has indicated it has no plans to lock out workers, as it did after contracts failed in 2011 . Workers in the spring of 2013 accepted the contract on the fifth vote. The 2017 talks ended amicably.

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The statement from American Crystal noted that a local union president had written in a letter posted to a union bulletin board, "We are not interested in voting for a strike, nor do we feel it is in the best interests of our members." American Crystal said it also would not like to see a strike but if prepared if the union makes that decision.

Related Topics: SUGARBEETSAGRIBUSINESS
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