American Crystal Sugar Company has rejected a proposal to end the cooperative’s lengthy lockout of its union employees. The company posted a statement Monday calling the union’s proposal a “publicity stunt” by its leadership. The company has locked out its 1,300 union-represented employees since August as part of a contract dispute. In the statement, the company says they and union representatives met informally with a federal mediator last week, after which the union followed up with a proposal. American Crystal says the proposal ignored the company’s suggestions for ending the lockout.