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Politics & Government

ND Legislature: Locked-out workers should not receive unemployment benefits

The Legislature has passed a bill that will make locked-out workers ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Current state law is silent on lockouts for labor disputes. And the issue came to a head with the prolonged lockout at American Crystal Sugar. The state Supreme Court ruled the workers were eligible. But majority Republicans in the Legislature added language to a Job Service bill – making those workers ineligible.

Rep. Bill Amerman (D-Forman) fought the new language.

"When workers go on strike, they pull the trigger on that," said Amerman. "When the company locks them out, it's the company that pulls the trigger. With this bill, it doesn't matter who pulls the trigger. The only ones who get shot are the workers."

Because this was a Senate amendment – and the House went along with it – the bill will soon be on its way to Governor Dalrymple.

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