Lockout: American Crystal threatens to hire 1,300 new workers

American Crystal Sugar is advertising for workers to replace 1,300 union employees locked-out in August after rejecting a contract offer.

Temporary workers are running the five sugar beet factories in the Red River Valley and company Vice President Brian Ingulsrud said help wanted ads are running across the country

"The unemployment rate in this area is quite low, but it's quite high in other areas. So we want to make sure we are communicating the availability of jobs here to people in areas where the unemployment rate may be higher," he said Tuesday.

It will likely take several months to hire 1,300 replacement workers, he said. Meanwhile, union leaders are urging American Crystal to return to the bargaining table.

"We have to do what's right for our business. If this lockout is going to continue for longer than what we would like, we need to operate the business as efficiently as possible during that timeframe. It's as simple as that," Ingulsrud said.

Union leaders responded by urging the company to resume contract negotiations with the union.

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