American Crystal Sugar workers reject 17% raise over 4 years

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — Workers at the largest sugar beet processor in the U.S. have rejected a contract offer that includes a 17% pay increase over four years.

Union president John Riskey said the offer from American Crystal Sugar was recently rejected by an overwhelming margin, but he did not provide details on how many members voted or the margin of rejection. The Moorhead-based cooperative said that it negotiated for 10 days with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union.

Riskey says workers felt they deserved a bigger pay increase after helping the company weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Both sides agreed to continue talks.