ND Supreme Court: Sugar workers can get benefits

5:32 PM, Feb 26, 2013   |    comments
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BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that more than 400 American Crystal Sugars workers in North Dakota who are locked out in a contract dispute are eligible for unemployment benefits.

The decision reverses a lower court's ruling that said the workers were not eligible for benefits because North Dakota law prohibits unemployment insurance for workers involved in labor disputes.

Nearly 1,300 American Crystal Sugar workers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa have been locked out since Aug. 1, 2011, after their union rejected the cooperative's proposed contract.

Locked-out workers in Minnesota and Iowa were eligible for unemployment benefits.

Union spokesman John Riskey says "justice has been served" for the 420 workers affected in North Dakota.

North Dakota's director of unemployment insurance did not immediately return a message for comment.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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