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Locked-Out Union Workers Voting On Crystal’s Offer

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(credit: American Crystal Sugar Co.)

(credit: American Crystal Sugar Co.)

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FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Union workers locked out for nearly a year at American Crystal Sugar Co. are taking another poll on the company’s contract offer.

Workers from plants in three states are voting Saturday on the five-year contract. They overwhelmingly rejected the pact on two previous occasions.

The union has focused its complaints on provisions regarding seniority and job security. The company says it’s a good contract with substantial increases in wages and other benefits.

About 1,300 workers have been locked out of plants in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa since Aug. 1. It’s the company’s first labor impasse in 30 years.

American Crystal is the largest sugar beet processor in the country. It accounts for 38 percent of the nation’s sugar from beets and 15 percent of overall sugar production.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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