Union turns down American Crystal offer

Nov. 2, 2011 at 7:43 PM

IOWA CITY, Iowa, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The head of the union representing workers at American Crystal Sugar in Iowa says the latest contract offer was rejected because it "puts our jobs at risk."

"Today our members sent a loud and clear message to American Crystal executives," Local 167G President John Riskey said Tuesday. "We want to work, but we will not accept a contract that puts our jobs and the entire community at risk."

In Tuesday's vote, 92 percent of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union members voted and 90 percent of those voting said no to the contract. The union has twice rejected the contract that Riskey said is a rehash of the first offer that was rejected, The Iowa Independent reported Wednesday.

"If company executives are serious about getting us back to work, they should return to the negotiating table immediately with real compromises, not just repackaged versions of a contract that has now been rejected twice," he said.

Union workers are focused on concerns about rising healthcare costs and the company's request to hire more subcontractors. The company has locked out its union workers since the beginning of August.

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