Fires Reported At ND, Minn. Sugar Plants

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Locked-out union workers at American Crystal Sugar Co. are blaming fires at plants in Drayton and in East Grand Forks, Minn., on inexperienced replacement workers hired to take over harvesting duties.

Company spokesman Jeff Schweitzer tells the Grand Forks Herald says the fires happened in pulp dryers Thursday at the plant in Drayton and on Friday at the East Grand Forks plant. No one was hurt.

East Grand Forks Fire Chief Randy Gust says a pulp dryer fire isn’t unusual and that his department responds to about one each year.

Union spokesman Mark Froemke says the company won’t share information about the fires. The union has argued that only their workers have the experience to run the plants.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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