The dispute between American Crystal Sugar and their workers has led to a lockout that is nearly four months old. Governor Mark Dayton issued the following statement on the continuing lockout, amid recent reports that American Crystal Sugar has begun hiring more replacement workers:
"As Thanksgiving approaches, my heart goes out to the 1300 American Crystal Sugar workers in the Red River Valley, who have been locked out by their employer and are struggling to survive. After almost four months, the lockout has devastated families, communities, and the economy in Northwestern Minnesota.
It is time for American Crystal's management to reach a fair agreement with its workers, who have contributed so much to the company's current profitability. The absence of meaningful negotiations is greatly disappointing, given the terrible divide this lockout has caused among people, who have lived and worked together. I strongly urge both parties to return to negotiations and find a solution that returns those locked out workers to their jobs and restores stability to the company and the communities in which it operates," Governor Dayton said.
American Crystal Sugar is the largest sugar beet producer in the country.