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      Roquette sends open letter to community

      More than two months after Roquette's union employees were locked out of their jobs, contract negotiations don't seem to be moving much.

      Roquette put a second "letter to the community" in Friday, December 3rd's Daily Gate City outlining its goals in the contract proposal.

      You can read that full release below.

      Roquette says the letter is intended to help employees and community members better understand why these six core goals are critical to their future success.

      We talked to BCTGM Local 48G Vice President Tommy Buckert Friday afternoon to get the union's take on the company's latest comments.

      "It's a little bit confusing to me having been through the negotiations, because I don't feel that the questions were answered totally. I think there were some statements made in regards to the questions asked in the paper, but I think those questions still need to be answered," Buckert said.

      There have been 18 meetings between the union and the company.

      Tommy Buckert told KHQA he wishes he could see some light at the end of the tunnel, but at this point he says he does not.

      Roquette America president and CEO Dominique Taret today sent an open letter entitled, "Let's move forward together" regarding the ongoing dispute between Roquette and more than 200 of its union employees, who have been locked out since late September.

      The letter reads as follows:

      Negotiations for a new labor contract between Roquette America and Local 48G union leadership began on August 19, 2010, and since then the parties have conducted a total of 18 meetings. Roquette continues to negotiate in good faith with the union to reach a new contract.

      Roquette TMs approach in these contract negotiations has been to focus on preparing for the future. Today TMs business environment is significantly different than four years ago when our last labor contract was negotiated. Uncertain economic conditions, increasing regional and international competition, changing market demands and more strict governmental regulations require businesses to adapt quickly and perform better in order to be competitive.

      The Company TMs contract proposal focuses on six core goals to improve plant operations; achieve greater workforce stability; improve competency development; enhance job performance and accountability; increase workforce flexibility; and compensation system stability. These labor proposals attempt to balance the needs of our employees and protect their interests while seeking changes that will allow us to accomplish these six critical goals.

      Although there has been progress bringing the positions of both parties closer, there are still a number of key issues which need to be resolved. The following discussion is intended to help our employees and community members better understand why these six core goals are critical to our future success.

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