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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. Christian Wait says:

    After what the Longshoremen did, my first thought was arson by union members.

  2. Mr. Mustache says:

    More Obamanomics for you at work.

  3. bpk says:

    Who here has actually worked at ANY industrial plant in ANY position to know that no replacement workers can replace the knowledge of the lockouts. You just dont jump in, there are high pressure boilers, co generation, and tons of other hazards these people dont know about (much more than an office job). I wouldnt be suprised to see a large scale accident and osha shut them all down. And no I am not union, and yes I have a college degree.

  4. Sue says:

    Art majors don’t count

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