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Published July 17, 2012, 07:32 PM

Locked-out ACSC Workers: No Surprise in Lacking Quarterly Report

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some locked-out American Crystal Sugar workers say they are not surprised that a quarterly report from the company shows a decrease in profit.

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some locked-out American Crystal Sugar workers say they are not surprised that a quarterly report from the company shows a decrease in profit.

Many of them hope it will lead to negotiations.

Locked-out workers say the company's quarterly report shows profits decreasing by nearly 27 percent. They say it's time to get back to the negotiating table to end the lock-out.

Debra Kostrzewski worked for American Crystal Sugar for nearly 23 years. The locked-out worker has worked another job but still wants to get her old one back.

"The lockout affected 1,300 families not 1,300 people and right now there's a lot of them that are hurting worse than anybody could ever realize," Kostrzewski said.

Locked-out workers say the company's quarterly report shows payments to growers declining by a little over 40 percent over a nine month period compared to the same period last year. Many say they are not surprised.

"We have talked to some farmers that have heard about this report coming out and they're very upset about the amount of loss. They've heard numbers but didn't believe this amount," local BCTGM Union representative John Riskey said.

"I can't see farmers really want to go through this again, they got a great crop out there," Kostrzewski said.

Locked-out workers also say the decrease in profits has to do with replacement workers.

"We know the workers they move in there aren't the experienced ones they need to turn a profit," Riskey said.

Many workers hope this report will help them get back to the negotiating table and come to an agreement.

"This will be another reason to get back to the table, end this lockout, let's get Crystal Sugar profitable again, get our members back to work and stop the hurt in our communities," Riskey said.

Many locked-out workers have had to work other jobs and union members have been collecting food and school supplies for those workers who need them.

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