Company officials and factory labor union representatives met April 19 in Grand Forks to begin contract talks.
Both sides say the want to avoid a lockout from recurring. A labor dispute kept farmer-owned American Crystal and employees at odds for nearly two years, with union workers locked out from July 2011 to May 2013.
Lisa Borgen, vice president of administration for Moorhead-based American Crystal, posted an opening statement on the website www.acsccontracttalks.com. Officials of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union didn't immediately return phone messages or texts left Thursday.
American Crystal's online statement didn't indicate terms of a new contract, which would be designed to replace one that expires July 31, 2017. The company is offering signing bonuses to many workers if the deal is sealed by May 22.