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.”

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (8)
  1. Poor union workers says:

    I really hope the union workers and their families suffer this holiday. There is no free lunch and union workers receiving more than is appropriate for their labor has finally caught up to them. Dayton go back to work for the people and stay out of private business affairs.

  2. ipmutt says:

    ipmutt urges Crystal to ignore Dayton and his union crazy palls. Let these workers come to work or go away.

  3. John says:


    This is none of your business. Go find ways to help people by reducing the size and burden of government. That’s right, government is a burden.

  4. Jay says:

    Totally agree,Gov stay out of it! What gives him the right to ask Crystal and the union to interfere in the process when our own representatives all the way up the golden ladder have the best benefits and salaries. In these difficult times, we arent seeing any of them volunteering to give back any of their bennies or taking cuts in their wages! Quite the contrary. If the union is being this damned greedy, let them suffer and pay the consequences of being unemployed!

  5. bpk says:

    They should take a few busloads of residents to Austin, MN. and tell them this will be there community in 5 years if they dont come to agreement. That would put the pressure on. No I am not union, but I have worked / lived in both areas.

  6. Steve McBat says:

    Unions are a joke! And this Gov is a joke! The plants are running just fine with fill in workers! If the union workers want there jobs back….they can take some cuts like the rest of the country has had to! I have been through 3 jobs within the past 8 years due to the economy! I have seen a loss of all bennifits, pay freezes, reduction of pay, and extended layoffs! Deal with it and move on….

  7. Obv. says:

    Union I mean seriously, teamsters comical, we almost went union 10 years ago thankfully we rejected it or i’d been replaced by lower paid replacements.

  8. b says:

    worthless republicans you worthless guys who wear a suit and tie the middle class people make you money give them what they deserve

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