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Published November 25, 2011, 10:48 AM

Minnesota governor urges Crystal, union to resume talks

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is urging American Crystal Sugar Co. and its locked-out factory workers to get back to the bargaining table.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is urging American Crystal Sugar Co. and its locked-out factory workers to get back to the bargaining table.

Dayton said in a statement posted on his website this week that the lockout that has dragged on for four months "has devastated families, communities, and the (Red River Valley) economy."

The lockout of 1,300 workers began Aug. 1 when the company and the union could not come to agreement on a new contract. American Crystal has been using replacement workers at its sugar beet processing plants in eastern North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota and Iowa.

Dayton's statement is not the first time he has waded into the dispute. In July, he met with Crystal executives and union leaders and urged a resolution before the contract expired on Aug. 1.

A spokesman for North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, when asked for comment by the Grand Forks Herald following Dayton's website post, said Dalrymple also hopes the two sides in the contract dispute will resume talks "because the dispute is hurting both sides."

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