James Rueter says, "I needed to leave for my own safety and the safety of my family."
James Rueter and Michael Wynne were American Crystal replacement workers until they quit this weekend. James at the Drayton plant and Michael at the Crookston one. Now, they say they are filing complaints.
Rueter says, "There are so many safety violations, and that plant, that the whole plant, should be condemned."
The pair told us about a number of issues they believe makes the plant unsafe. What's more, they say, is that their concerns were ignored when they brought them to the plant managers' attentions.
Rueter says, "American crystal tells me to mind my own business and go about my own job."
We checked with OHSA. A Minnesota OSHA spokesperson said they have gotten no complaints on the Minnesota plants. But North Dakota plants have had three complaints since the lockout of fall and fire explosion hazards. This is a large amount, considering OSHA says they've only gotten 10 complaints about the North Dakota plants since 1990.
Michael Wynne says, "I've never felt this unnerved going to work not knowing whether I'm going home on the bus or in a body bag."
North Dakota OSHA says it is not uncommon during a lockout to have an increased number of complaints. American Crystal was asked about these complaints, but turned down the offer to give an explanation.
Since August 1st, 1300 American Crystal union members have been locked out of their jobs due to a contract dispute. As it stands, no plans for future negotiations have been made between the union and company.