Food, gifts delivered to sugar workersby Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Twin Cities union members are delivering truckloads of food and gifts this week for the families of locked-out American Crystal Sugar workers.
Workers were locked out about 18 months ago over a contract dispute. They've voted down a company contract offer four times. About 500 workers have quit or retired since the lockout started.
Erica Dalager, a union member from St. Paul, said union members raised $30,000 to buy food and gifts for locked-out workers.
"We got a request for a set of bedsheets that someone needed," Dalager said. "We have men's razors which was also asked if we could bring. And then additionally we have an entire semi truck loaded with food and we're bringing over 600 turkeys to all of these families for their holiday dinner."
Many locked-out workers desperately need the assistance, she said.
"You've got a very proud group of people who aren't wanting to necessarily take a handout and are really bashful about accepting it," she said. "But when they see who it's coming from as far as their union brothers and sisters, they get the sense we all understand what they're going through."
Dalager said the food and gifts will all be delivered this week to the five Red River Valley communities where American Crystal Sugar factories are located: Moorhead, Crookston and East Grand Forks in Minnesota and Hillsboro and Drayton in North Dakota.
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