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Published August 18, 2012, 10:09 PM

Key members were missing in an American Crystal Family meeting

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- More than 200 people showed up for an American Crystal Family meeting in East Grand Forks. The goal was to share ideas on how to end the lockout.

By: Christine Boggy, WDAZ, WDAY

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- More than 200 people showed up for an American Crystal Family meeting in East Grand Forks. The goal was to share ideas on how to end the lockout.

However Some key pieces to the family were not there tonight.

Lavonne Froemke/ACSC Storeroom Foreman: "Dave Berg has always told us we're family so we're here to try and get our family differences worked out."

It's been over a year since workers were locked out of American Crystal Sugar and though it's been said before, enough is enough.

Nathan Rham/Local Union Delegate Hilsboro, ND: "All we want to do is get the company to cooperate and give a little and lets move forward."

The goal of tonights meeting was to open the lines of communication between workers, growers, shareholders and the American Crystal Sugar Management.

Nathan Rham/Local Union Delegate Hilsboro, ND: "We feel this is a good way to get out what the union's done to let the shareholders and the growers know so that we can try to come to some sort of resolution."

A seat was saved for CEO Dave Berg but it remained empty. The reason for that may have been because the Union has said it has compromised numerous times with negotiations but American Crystal refuses to budge.

Nathan Rham/Local Union Delegate Hilsboro, ND: "The company has really been stead fast on what they've given us in July is what they're giving us today and what the union had last July is lightyears away from what we offered them in recent negotiating sessions."

John Riskey/President of BCTGM Local 167G: "You have such a big crop coming up out there and you have all workers inexperienced workers in there, why not get your experience workers back in there making Crystal Sugar the number one company that they were prior to the lockout.

With no Crystal Sugar representatives at the meeting, things didn't go quite as planned but questions were developed to send to Berg. In the meantime State representative Lonny Winrich left those in attendance with one final thought.

Lonny Winrich/ North Dakota State Representative District 18: "You're not just fighting for your jobs, your're fighting for middle class America and please don't give up.">

There were growers and shareholders at the meeting but they declined to do interviews.

The questions and possible solutions developed will be be mailed out to execs this week.

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