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Published July 31, 2011, 09:52 PM

American Crystal Workers Rally Against Lockout

East Grand Forks, MN (WDAY TV) - Union workers at American Crystal will likely be out of work in a matter of hours. Some protested the planned lockout, forcing the company to step up security.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAY

Union workers at American Crystal will likely be out of work in a matter of hours. Some protested the planned lockout, forcing the company to step up security.

Workers in East Grand Forks continue to rally against a lockout starting tomorrow. They overwhelming turned down American Crystal's final contract offer. Now union members want to continue negotiating with the company.

The company is planning for the lockout. Workers rallying outside plant were heavily watched by unidentified security.

Mark Froemke – Union Representative: "we're good citizens of this community and with the kind of actions that American Crystal sugar has done, their management team, it make us appear like we're some kind of undesirables."

American Crystal employees received this letter signed by Mr. Ingulsrud in their paychecks before yesterday's vote. The letter highlights the company's final offer and urges employees to accept it. Employees I spoke with today say it was a slap to the face.

Mark Froemke – Union Representative: "basically he complained that the union is telling its members how to vote. First off that's such a blatant lie, its pathetic. Because our members are vastly intelligent people they will hear the pros and cons about the contract, which they did, and they voted 96% to vote no."

The current contract expires at midnight. With no new contract, and no negotiations scheduled, employees face an uncertain future.

Mark Froemke – Union Representative: "It’s very disturbing; it makes us feel very sad. We are the workers that have been at that plant out whole lives. It’s our plant too and I want to make that very clear, it’s our plant too."

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