INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 30, 2011, 10:03 PM

American Crystal Sugar Union Workers Vote to Reject Offer

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - The votes are in. It seems come Monday, a lockout at American Crystal Sugar is Imminent.

The votes are in. It seems come Monday, a lockout at American Crystal Sugar is Imminent. The turnout...97-percent of the union members employed by American Crystal Sugar. 96-percent of them voted to reject the offer. For many union members, the news was expected. For the company, it was a shock.

Brian Ingulsrud – American Crystal Sugar Company: “We're both surprised and disappointed that we provided a very attractive offer to our employees, 17 percent increase in pay, and I would've suspected they said that's a good deal.”

Come Monday, the 13 hundred union employees will be without a job. They say the wage increases are offset by a much more costly health care plan and loss of job security.

John Riskey – BCTGM Local 167G President: “It clearly showed that they are very upset in how the company has made changes in the contract.”

In talking with union representatives, they maintain they did not give a voting recommendation either way. Both sides are prepared for Monday.

John Riskey – BCTGM Local 167G President: “Everyone is told to report to work, show up at the entrances of the factories and until they tell us no, we're coming to work.”

American Crystal will meet with a federal mediator, but Ingulsrud said there are no plans to negotiate any further.

Brian Ingulsrud – American Crystal Sugar Company: “The contingency plan involves bring replacement workers in starting on August 1st, on Monday, to be able to do what we need to do. To ship sugar and make sure that we get sugar to our customers as we've committed to.”

American Crystal Sugar says this contingency plan has been in place for a while. They have already been training replacement employees to ensure safety and the quality of sugar.

Tags: