Union to vote on American Crystal Sugar contract offer

American Crystal rally
Locked-out American Crystal union members gather for a rally Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in the Moorhead Center Mall parking lot across from American Crystal headquarters in Moorhead, Minn. The contract dispute has lingered for 10 months, since American Crystal last Aug. 1 locked out about 1,300 union workers at sugar beet processing plants in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. The two sides have not met since February.
AP Photo/The Forum, David Samson

About 1,300 workers locked out of their jobs at American Crystal Sugar will get another chance to vote on the company's contract proposal next week.

The workers have been locked out since they first rejected the company's proposal on July 31.

The vote will be taken June 23, said John Riskey, president of Local 167G of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union.

"After consulting with our members from all the Crysal Sugar facilities, the union officers decided to hold another vote on what company executives have called their last, best and final offer," Riskey said.

Riskey said the contract is essentially the same as the one union members rejected on Nov. 1, which the union said undermined job security. American Crystal Sugar rejected a counter-proposal from the union last week.

Union leadership is not taking a stance on the vote, which requires a majority for approval.

Representatives for the company have said they are preparing to hire new workers for the upcoming sugar-processing season.

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