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Could the Crystal Lockout End? - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Could the Crystal Lockout End?

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  It could be 4 strikes and it's finally over for the American Crystal lockout this weekend.

  Locked out union employees are scheduled to vote for a fourth time on whether to accept Crystal's final contract offer.

  It's now been almost a year and a half since American Crystal's union employees were locked out of their jobs.

  Many of those workers have moved on to other jobs. And American Crystal plants continue to operate with replacement workers.

  Union President John Riskey says they'll hold informational meetings for employees this week and then,   let them decide the issue. Riskey won't comment on which way he believes the vote will fall.

John Riskey, Union President: "I'm not going to go down that road, because I don't want to sway the vote one way or another. The Union officials don't. It's a democratic process and we want the members to decide which way they want to go. So, I'm not going to go down that road."

   American Crystal Vice-President, Brian Ingulsrud says if employees vote to accept the contract, they'll get their jobs back. However, Ingulsrud says many of the original 13-hundred employee who were locked out have already moved on. 

Brian Ingulsrud, American Crystal Sugar: "Over 500 employees have formerly resigned or retired and we expect many others have moved on by finding other jobs. But they haven't officially resigned. So, if the vote is yes, we'll plan to combine those who are interested in returning with our current work force."

  It's a long running battle that's been tough on the Company and workers, that could finally come to an end on Saturday.

  Union employees are schedule to vote on Crystals final contract offer between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday.

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