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American Crystal Sugar Co. Executive Stepping Down

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(credit: American Crystal Sugar Co.)

(credit: American Crystal Sugar Co.)

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FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The American Crystal Sugar Co. executive who led company negotiations in the first labor dispute with union workers in 30 years is resigning, company officials said Tuesday.

The last day for Chief Operating Officer Joe Talley will be Jan. 17, company spokesman Jeff Schweitzer said.

“Joe Talley has served American Crystal extremely well for the nearly 20 years that he has worked for the company,” Schweitzer said in a statement. “American Crystal wishes him well in his future pursuits.”

Schweitzer said the company would have no further comment.

Talley was the company’s representative at the table during a lockout of union employees that lasted 20 months. It affected about 1,300 workers at five sugar-processing plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa. Many of those employees either quit or retired.

Union spokesman John Riskey declined to talk about Talley’s departure, which was first reported Tuesday by KFGO radio.

Talley’s resignation follows a year when payments to sugar growers in the cooperative have fallen from $68 per ton to $38 per ton. Company officials say the drop largely stems from depressed domestic sugar prices caused by imports from Mexico.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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