ND Legislature may take up lockout benefit dispute

BISMARCK, N.D. -- A lawmaker says he's expecting the North Dakota Legislature to take up the issue of whether workers who are locked out of their jobs should get unemployment benefits.

The North Dakota Supreme Court is considering whether state law provides jobless benefits for about 400 locked-out workers at American Crystal Sugar Co.

Job Service North Dakota says the law doesn't allow benefits for the Crystal workers, and they're appealing that decision.

Democratic Rep. Lee Kaldor represents a number of the workers, and American Crystal's Hillsboro sugar beet processing plant is in his district.

He says the law should be more explicit about whether locked-out workers should get unemployment payments.

Kaldor says state policy is favoring management by denying benefits to the sugar workers.