American Crystal union workers reject contract - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

American Crystal union workers reject contract

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FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- Locked-out union employees at American Crystal Sugar Co. on Saturday have rejected the company's contract proposal a third time.

The union announced that 63 percent of voters opted against the latest offer. The company says it will continue to operate with replacement workers.

About 1,300 workers have been out of work for nearly a year in a labor dispute that focuses on seniority and job security. Employees say Crystal was out to break the union. The company says it offered a good contract with substantial increases in wages and benefits.

The union had voted down contract offers on two previous occasions by whopping margins.

American Crystal is the largest sugar beet processor in the country, with plants in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. It's a cooperative owned by beet farmers.

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