American Crystal Talks - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Expectations Low in Sugar Talks

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  It appears another round of negotiations between American Crystal and locked out union employees faces the same challenges as earlier talks -- both sides are entrenched in their current positions.

  1,300 union employees have been locked out of the jobs since August over a contract dispute. 

  A federal mediator has scheduled another round of negotiations for June 8th.

  However, it doesn't appear Crystal is willing to move from their final offer. And the Union says if they'd accept  Crystal's offer, it would gut them of any power, making the Union useless.

Brian Ingulsrud, American Crystal Sugar: "We've always said our final offer is our final offer. It has been that for 10 months."

Reporter: "You don't expect any change on that?"

Ingulsrud: "Again, we said it's our final offer."

Roger Del age, Union Representative: "So, he's still maintaining that huh?"

Reporter: "My question is… is this thing dead in the water before it starts?"

Roger Del age: "Well, if that's the position they're holding I guess it is."

  Ingulsrud says they've already hired 800 workers to replace the 1,300 union employees. And they're training those replacement workers for next fall's sugar beet campaign.


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