Locked-out sugar workers holding 4th contract vote - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Locked-out sugar workers holding 4th contract vote

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FARGO, N.D. (AP) - American Crystal Sugar Co. workers are voting Saturday on whether to accept a contract they've rejected three times before.

The workers have been locked out of their jobs for 16 months. If they approve the contract, the lockout will end. It originally affected about 1,300 workers, but more than 500 have left since then.

Contract opponents say the proposal cuts health care benefits and weakens job security. The company says the offer would raise worker pay by 17% over five years.

Last year, more than 90% of the workers rejected the contract. In June, it was turned down with a 63% vote.

American Crystal runs five sugar beet processing plants in North Dakota and Minnesota. It is the nation's largest sugar beet processor.

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