Union leaders in North Dakota said 1,300 workers at American Crystal Sugar had been locked out of their jobs in a confrontation over job protection."Instead of letting 1,300 people continue working while a fair contract is negotiated, American Crystal Sugar executives have instead decided to hurt our communities with an unnecessary lockout," said the president of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Local Union 167G, John Riskey, reading a statement at one of the companies five sugar processing plants, GrandForksHerald.com reported Monday.The company has said workers were offered a 17 percent raise over five years and a signing bonus of $2,000. On its Web site, the company said the average annual costs of compensation in the contract per worker is $75,000, including pay and benefits. Pay would go up 8 percent in year one of the contract and 9 percent spread out over four years.Pension fund contributions would go up, as would vacation time, the company said.But the union said the impasse concerned job security as 96 percent of union members rejected the contract with 97 percent of union members taking part in the vote."The company's offer still has major loopholes allowing non-union contractors to replace union workers and makes health insurance unaffordable," he said. "Any raise is meaningless if our healthcare costs increase even more or if management can eliminate our jobs and replace us at will," Riskey said, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Sunday.