Court: Locked-out sugar workers are eligible for jobless benefits

Author:
Updated:
Original:

North Dakota’s Supreme Court has ruled that more than 400 locked-out workers at American Crystal Sugar are eligible for unemployment benefits, Forum Communications reports.

The justices found a law prohibiting payments during work stoppages applies only if employees initiated the labor dispute. The reversed decision means workers could receive a total of up to $4 million.

The Associated Press notes workers at plants in Minnesota and Iowa already qualified for unemployment benefits.

Union members have been locked out since August 2011. They rejected American Crystal’s contract offer for the fourth time in December.

Brian Ingulsrud, vice president of American Crystal Sugar, told WDAY that the company has moved on with hiring new employees and is continuing with normal business.

Next Up

Related

Locked-out Crystal Sugar workers set to vote on third contract offer

Locked-out union workers from American Crystal Sugar will try once more to resolve its differences with company owners when it votes on a contract proposal Saturday. The workers, locked out of plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa for nearly a year, have overwhelmingly rejected two previous contract offers.

Locked-out Crystal sugar workers, union reps remain deadlocked

Contract talks between American Crystal Sugar's leaders and union representatives once again ended Friday with no resolution. The meeting marked the fourth time the parties have tried to resolve their dispute with a federal mediator. More than 1,300 union workers have been locked-out of plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa for the past 10 months.

Crystal Sugar workers pressure board members

Union members are demonstrating at the homes of American Crystal Sugar's directors as the labor dispute drags on. An AFL-CIO spokesman tells the Fargo Forum the demonstrations will continue indefinitely. Roughly 1,300 workers have been locked out from plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa for more than a year.