American Crystal Sugar, locked-out factory workers should return to bargaining table as impasse has hurt region's economy, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says

GRAND FORKS, North Dakota , November 25, 2011 () – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is urging American Crystal Sugar Co. and its locked-out factory workers to get back to the bargaining table.

Dayton says in a statement posted on his website that the lockout that has dragged on for four months has devastated families and hurt the region's economy.

The lockout of 1,300 workers began Aug. 1 when the company and the union couldn't come to agreement on a new contract. American Crystal has been using replacement workers at its processing plants in eastern North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota and Iowa.

It isn't the first time Dayton has waded into the dispute. In July, he met with Crystal executives and union leaders and urged a resolution before the contract expired on Aug. 1.

© 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.