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Locked out workers shown support

by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – Locked out union workers from American Crystal Sugar were shown support on Friday.

Checks for $500 were presented to some of the 25 locked out workers.  The checks were presented by the North Iowa Nine Labor Council and the Iowa Federation of Labor.

Legislators Amanda Ragan and Sharon Steckman were on hand to show support as well.  “Just here to show we care,” Ragan said.

The local workers have been locked out since August 1, 2011.

“A lockout, is a layoff,” said Charlie Wishman, a spokesman for the Iowa Federation of Labor.  Wishman led the press conference and introduced several union reps who made statements on the status of the lockout.

Tom Johanns, BCTGM Union President (Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers), said no new developments in the struggle have emerged, and negotiations are at a standstill.  He said there could be a meeting in the next few weeks, but hadn’t heard much.

“The workers are willing and able to return to work,” a union statement said. “They are waiting for the company to return to the bargaining table and be reasonable with negotiations.”

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