ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is traveling to Moorhead Saturday to meet with American Crystal Sugar Co. executives, and to attend a meeting organized by union workers who’ve been locked out of jobs there since Aug. 1 on a contract dispute.

Dayton’s spokeswoman says Friday that the governor will meet with officials at company headquarters at their invitation. Spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci says the Democratic governor will reiterate comments he made a week ago urging executives and locked-out factory workers to return to the bargaining table.

Dayton said the lockout has devastated families, communities and the Red River Valley economy.

On Saturday afternoon, Dayton is attending a public forum at Minnesota State University-Moorhead put on by locked-out workers. Tinucci says Dayton’s main goal is to hear their concerns.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (27)
  1. Sam I am says:

    Governor Dayton – stay the hell out of the private business union issues.

    It is NOT your responsibility. They are locked out because they refused a 13 percent increase.

    1. Dale Gribble says:

      Enough is enough. Outlaw the union and imprison the leaders. Their families should be closely watched and their property should be seized. This DFL-inspired thievery has no place in a Freedom-loving society. Communist unions must be liquidated.

  2. Rockfish says:

    Wow, a Governor trying to help two sides come to an agreement to get the company up and running efficiently again. Been a looong time since Minnesota saw that. Nice work Governor.

    1. Goober261 says:

      Who says it isn’t running efficiently? American Crystal is up and running using replacement workers since September or so. (ie Union Not Needed)

    2. Back off Gov says:

      This in no way is the business of Governor “shutdown”.

      Two sides already have an agreement, Crystal Sugar and the replacement workers. All the Governor is trying to do is put a whole bunch of people out of a job for Christmas, he should mind his own business – which he isn’t very good at either.

  3. ouch says:

    Maybe his intentions are good but I agree he has no business getting into it…

  4. dan says:

    Govenor goofy to the rescue! Good Luck!

  5. confused says:

    Lets see the NET income of the company went from 1.2 billion to 1.5 billion this year. The CEO is getting a $400k plus bonus this year and the next several people under him are getting from $200k to $300k each. The company made about $1,153k (that’s 1.153 million) in profit for each employee yet it acts like it’ll go under if each employee’s costs go up a couple of $k each. What part of this picture am I not understanding?

    1. You get it says:

      Sounds like the company’s owners decided that they wanted to cut back on labor costs and found a new group of workers that agreed to work for what they were willing to pay.

      Good for them! Crystal Sugar is in the business of making money for the owner’s, they are not in the business of providing jobs – jobs are a cost of doing business.

      They probably could afford to pay a little more for their workers but if they are happy with the production that they get out of what they are currently paying than why would they?

    2. dan says:

      Well confused, here you go………………They were offered a 13% increase. So at $35,000 per year employee that equates to an increase of $4550 per employee. So an extra $4550 per year isnt enough?

      1. travis says:

        i saw a report last night that they were asking for basically 20 dollars more per week… which equals 1000 dollars more per year

  6. Kevin says:

    Gov gooy is trying to force union membership on MN citizens….so why not go try to strong arm the private sector to fold to the union. If the workers dont like this company….they should quit and go to a better company……although my experience is that all companies suck to one extent or another.

  7. SO SAD says:

    Come on people….do you know how to read???? It is at Crystal’s invitation for Dayton to attend. AND fyi, the company not only would pay the increase in salaries, it would also pay additional unemployment for state and federal, social security (which is more than you pay out of your check), medicare, liability insurance, workers comp, etc.

    1. Back off Gov says:

      Regardless if he was invited or not, how is this business of the Governor? How does his presence benefit the state of Minnesota?

      1. SO SAD says:

        Because it is part of his job as Governor. He might assist in the reconciliation of this controversy, and get people back to work. We will have to wait to see the outcome. I’m sure Pawlenty would have done the same thing.

        1. Back off Gov says:

          Lets say he does influence a reconciliation between the company and the union,

          what happens to all of the current workers? Is the Governor going to find them new jobs now?
          what makes the former workers any better than the people currently doing the job?

          Its not like the company is packing up to move out of state and taking their products and jobs with them, which would make it his business.

          1. travis says:

            the current workers know they are temp workers. They know what they signed up for.

            1. Carl says:

              Doesnt change the fact they will be unemployed once the Union comes back

  8. Brian says:

    OMG is Mark Dayton having a stroke in that picture… wait he always looks like he is a stroke victim. Alcoholism has serious side effects Mark might want to take it easy

  9. William says:

    Every time the lame gov speaks he sounds have tanked

  10. GOP says:

    i thought we only hated government unions… What happened? I have to admit as a GOPer I am very excited about a new group of people to hate… I just midded the email… sorry everyone.

  11. travis says:

    I know every republican hates the governor because he’s a democrat. Blind hate will get in the way of any facts. Crystal sugar INVITED governor dayton. Its not as if he is just showing up to tell everyone what he thinks. “Dayton’s spokeswoman says Friday that the governor will meet with officials at company headquarters at their invitation.”

  12. G Dog says:

    Hope the Governor can find the Crystal Sugar execs. My guess is that they are busy buying a bigger Mercedes, a condo in Cabo and negotiating on a new corporate jet.

    1. Carl says:

      I hope so, as that would stimulate the economy. I am sure we can go back and pull some of your earlier posts on how big business is sitting on huge cash reserves and not spending. Please dont be jealous of the educated that have good jobs. There is nothing out there you cant achieve if you set your mind to it.

      1. confused says:

        You’re apparently jealous of any poor slunk making more than you are. Instead of wanting everyone to have a minimum wage job like yours maybe you should follow your own advice and get a better one.

  13. StraycatStrut says:

    The Pic of Gov Datyawn woke up after having sugar in his coffee….. after the trip… he’ll be at Planned Parenthood trying to figure out why he was not aborted years ago. Photo op only trip…nothing he can do. But maybe lead on the Vikes Stadium issue…… then go back to sleep.

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