Labor Board SideS with Sugar Owners - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Labor Board SideS with Sugar Owners

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For a second time the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has rejected claims of unfair bargaining practices against American Crystal Sugar.

American Crystal issued a news release Monday that it had received word that the NLRB had  denied an appeal made by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 167G of an earlier dismissal of their claim that the Company failed to bargain in good faith.

"As we have stated many times throughout this process, American Crystal has remained committed to bargaining in good faith and to a respectful process to achieve a fair agreement with our employees," said Brian Ingulsrud, Vice President for Administration at American Crystal Sugar Company in the news release.

"The NLRB's ruling in September and today's denial of the BCTGM's appeal affirms our position and that commitment."


 One of the key issues for the union is the use of subcontractors.  American Crystal says in its last offer to union employees, it gave a clear guarantee that if the company uses subcontractors, it cannot result in layoffs or job eliminations.

 Union president John Riskey says he believes the use of subcontractors by Crystal for some jobs… would result in job eliminations.

"It's not a give and take this negotiation process. It should be. What we got going on here is the Company that's giving us an offer and saying here it is… take it. There is no negotiation and we're asking the Company to sit down and we're ready to sit down at the table anytime. Let's start the negotiating process. Let's negotiate," Riskey told Valley News Live's Neil Carlson.

 Riskey decline to explain exactly why the union is rejecting Crystal's offer regarding job security.

 However, he does say they're trying to get back to the bargaining table.

John Riskey: "We're in the process of trying to contact the negotiator… mediator and see if we can get an agreement setup with the Company, so that when we get to the table, lets stay at the table. Let's get this resolved once and for all."

Ingulsrud said, "If requested by the mediator and if the union is serious about addressing the Company's proposals, the Company is prepared to return to the negotiations table."

The letter from the National Labor Relations Board is available on the company website.

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