– The Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. – Locked-out union employees at American Crystal Sugar Co. rejected the company’s contract proposal a third time Saturday.

The union announced that 63 percent of voters opted against the latest offer. It also said that 82 percent of the 1,300 union members who have been out of work for nearly a year took part in the vote.

“We know that give-and-take negotiations are the only way to get this cooperative back on track to productivity and profitability,” the union statement said. “That cooperation has produced record profits in recent years, and, only through cooperating, will we be successful again.”

A message left with American Crystal vice president Brian Ingulsrud was not immediately returned Saturday evening.

The company has said it will continue to operate with replacement workers.