Proposed unemployment benefits expansion might not help American Crystal union

A Portland, N.D., Democrat has introduced a bill that would extend unemployment benefits to workers locked out of their jobs, but is not sure if American Crystal Sugar workers would qualify.

“I just see it as a situation that doesn’t seem quite right to me,” said Sen. Phil Murphy on his proposal to add an exemption for anyone who “has been locked out by that individual’s employer and prevented from working” to the section of state law disqualifying striking workers from unemployment benefits.

Murphy said he did not know if employees from American Crystal’s North Dakota factories would qualify for payments since the lock-out is 17 months old.

“That would be up to Job Service (North Dakota),” he said.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • The Whistler

    So someone votes to not accept a contract and this clown thinks that they should get paid for while they are on strike?

    • Rob

      That’s pretty much it.

      I don’t think we ought to subsidize either side in a labor dispute. It’s between the workers and the company. Keep government out of it.