MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — American Crystal Sugar Co. has rejected a proposal to end the cooperative’s lengthy lockout of its union employees.

The company posted a statement Monday calling the union’s proposal a “publicity stunt” by its leadership.

American Crystal has locked out its 1,300 union-represented employees since August as part of a contract dispute.

The company’s statement says negotiators for the union and American Crystal met informally with a federal mediator last week. The union followed up with a 16-page proposal.

Crystal said Monday it was rejecting the proposal. It says the union’s offer ignored company’s suggestions for ending the lockout.

American Crystal is advertising for “long-term temporary workers” to complete the year’s sugar beet processing work.

A company financial filing says its profits fell 28 percent during last September, October and November.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (17)
  1. Jack Anderson says:

    Next to no details here re what the union proposed or why the company felt it was a “stunt”. I have personal feelings about what is going on in this whole situation, but find it impossible to to sort out new developments either way based on this “no new information” report. I really expect better from what was once regarded as the premire regional news source! Every experience like this reinforces why I can’t feel that way any more.

  2. Andrew Kutnink says:

    Sorry to hear that Jack. It could be that the information is not being allowed to be released to the public due to privacy with union negotiations. I dont care whos right or wrong but I stand by any company that has unions. Unions bleed companies to act like they are helping the worker when they are only filling their wallets. Companies being forced to pay outrageous health, reitrement, and other benefits are hurting alot of small time companies. With the economy as bad as it is, how are companies suppose to stay afloat. Granted, companies that say their in bad shape than give out multi-million dollars in bonuses to execs should be fined, the average comapny is not able to do that. I used to work for a food distribution company that delivered to hospitals and schools and such, some tried to get union involved but glad it failed, they are just not good for buisness, the Government has laws in effect that I feel are good enough to keep most buisneeses in check.

    1. waht again? says:

      another completely ill-informed part of the electorate

  3. The Crux of the Buscuit says:

    Until they settle with the union, I won’t buy their sugar products.
    The three top execs sure ain’t hurtin…..

    David A. Berg
    Chief Executive Officer and President, American Crystal Sugar Co.
    Total Calculated Compensation
    As of Fiscal Year 2011

    Thomas S. Astrup
    Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance, American Crystal Sugar
    Total Calculated Compensation
    As of Fiscal Year 2011

    Joseph J. Talley
    Chief Operating Officer, American Crystal Sugar Co.
    Total Calculated Compensation
    As of Fiscal Year 2011

    1. The Crux of the Buscuit says:

      Now tell me again Andy, who’s bleedin who……

    2. Clem H says:

      What’s your point? If you want the government to control salaries, move to Europe. You my and your unions thugs are the greedy ones. None of these 3 people you listed would intentionally sink a company, unions thugs on the other hand would rather see a company go out of business than give in on anything.

      1. marka$$ says:

        aldi don’t sell no crystal sugar, i lost my job in sept. (non union) of 13 years and find it almost gut wrenching that ppl are still whining about who gets the upper hand. I have no hand cuz i have no job.

  4. J says:

    Andy.. nothing is preventing you from getting an education and becoming a CEO… apply into the U of M, do the work that is needed to graduate, start out working at smaller companies to get experience and start moving up the latter. Not that difficult really, if you want to work 100 hours per week and be on call 24/7. If you have the tallent and dedication, you should get the pay.

  5. J says:

    oops, Ladder… no spell check here….lol

  6. Best3800 says:

    Typical CEO,not making enough money so let’s take it out of the workers pocket,with all the negative publicity did they expect profits to go up?

  7. Carla says:

    maybe its time for these workers to move on or is unemployment still paying out.

  8. Kevin says:

    Unemployment runs 99 weeks….and unless the company moves 100+ miles away they are stuck with the union…..morons…worse recession since the great depression… lets strike……unions are a joke…

    1. adam says:

      N.D. workers aren’t getting ant unemployment.

  9. RIII says:

    The trained apes that are on strike made on average $40,000 per year, $50,000 with overtime. They were offered a 4% raise the first year, 3% the second year and 2% per year for the last 3 years of the contract. They were also offered a $2,000 signing bonus. The problem was the health care offered was the same as the management has and would double the out of pocket expenses. Crystal also wanted to be able to contract out to non-union employees. The striking union idiots will never make back the money they have lost during the strike. Unions are forcing companies out of the US and have done little more than create a workforce that is hostile towards their employer while raising the cost of goods for all Americans.

    1. Yeah says:

      I agree. Why can’t Crystal require submission to the health plan or tell them to find their own and not offer one? Why can’t Crystal just fire the bums due to the long lock out and hire a new work force with a no union contract/formation clause? Get it over with already.

      1. bpk says:

        No matter if your pro or anti union the middle class lifestyle is declining. Nowdays a great job that most likely takes a college education to be hired consists of health coverage under 600 a month and a 50 hour work week that will leave you little left over after expenses that are increasing much faster than wages. I wont pretend I know what to do but something has to give.

        1. Yeah says:

          I get what your saying bpk but the old plan: Union workers paid no premiums, and had a maximum annual out-of-pocket cost of $650 per individual or $1,950 per family. New plan: union employees would switch to a plan where they pay 17 percent of health care premiums while the company pays 83 percent. The company says that’s what nonunion employees, including managers, now pay. These beet processing guys are making the same or more than college educated teachers! What the heck does it take to say enough is enough? There has to be a statute of limitations on strikes. I mean, this can’t go on for years! I don’t want to research union busting or the foundation of labor laws stemming from the industrial revolution. I just know something stinks and needs to be extinguished.

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