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Published November 07, 2011, 05:17 PM

ND Senate Committee Votes to Deny Locked-out Workers Jobless Benefits

(AP) — A proposal to allow North Dakota American Crystal Sugar Co. workers collect unemployment benefits has been rebuffed by a state Senate committee.

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

(AP) — A proposal to allow North Dakota American Crystal Sugar Co. workers collect unemployment benefits has been rebuffed by a state Senate committee.

The workers have been locked out of their jobs since Aug. 1 in a contract dispute. The Minnesota-based company has about 1,300 workers, including about 400 in North Dakota.

The locked-out Minnesota workers can collect unemployment benefits but the North Dakotans cannot.

The North Dakota Legislature is holding a special session this week, and Portland state Sen. Philip Murphy tried to introduce a bill to make the North Dakota workers eligible for jobless benefits.

The committee refused to accept the bill on a party-line vote, with Republicans voting no and Democrats supporting it.

Backers of the proposal could try to attach it later to another bill.

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