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American Crystal Workers Can't Get Unemployment

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 5:36am

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — American Crystal Sugar workers in North Dakota who are locked out in a contract dispute have been declared ineligible for unemployment benefits.

The Forum newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/pjAsvB) that Darren Brostrom, the state's director of unemployment insurance, says North Dakota state law prohibits unemployment insurance for workers embroiled in labor disputes. Judges have ruled that locked-out workers are involved in labor disputes.

Almost 1,300 American Crystal Sugar workers in North Dakota and Minnesota have been locked out since Aug. 1 after their union rejected the cooperative's proposed contract. A federal mediator brought the two sides together Thursday, but union representatives said no new contract was offered and no more negotiations are scheduled.

Minnesota law says workers locked out by their employers during labor disputes are eligible for unemployment benefits.

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