American Crystal, union negotiators to meet Thursdayby Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
Moorhead, Minn. — Union negotiators will sit down Thursday with officials from American Crystal Sugar for the first mediated session since workers were locked out on Aug. 1.
A union official says he doesn't expect a quick resolution, but the meeting is a first step in restarting negotiations.
About 1,300 workers have been off the job at five Crystal plants in Minnesota and North Dakota. There are also union workers at sugar shipping and storage facilities in Chaska and in Iowa.
They rejected a contract offer over concerns about health care costs and job security. Since the vote, replacement workers have been on the job, packaging and shipping sugar. Full-scale sugar beet harvest begins in early October.
The two sides will come together at the request of a federal mediator. There is no information about when or where Thursday's talks will happen.