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Published November 08, 2011, 06:19 PM

American Crystal Sugar Workers Denied Unemployment Pay

EAST GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Although locked-out American Crystal workers in Minnesota are collecting unemployment pay, North Dakota workers are not. Locked-out workers in North Dakota aren't happy with state legislators after they denied workers unemployment benefits.

EAST GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Although locked-out American Crystal workers in Minnesota are collecting unemployment pay, North Dakota workers are not. Locked-out workers in North Dakota aren't happy with state legislators after they denied workers unemployment benefits.

Richard Larson, a locked-out worker said, "You were living on a fixed income before the lockout and you were hoping to get unemployment and because of a few word changes in the legislature they can't get it."

Disappointment is common on the faces of many locked-out Crystal workers in North Dakota today. After being denied unemployment compensation, hopes are low.

Bruce Schantzen, a locked-out worker said, "I don't know I think the North Dakota legislature, to me those peoples lives and well-being are just as important as anything else they're talking about this week, so I really think they should've gotten something in there."

Many workers say it's unfair... And workers in Minnesota say they don't understand why those just across the river wouldn't receive the same benefits.

Mark Froemke, president of the Union said, "They were locked out, by no fault of their own. They were locked out by American Crystal Sugar and so we feel very strongly that it's only fair and equable that they would be allowed to collect unemployment benefits in North Dakota."

Now North Dakota families who rely on income from locked-out workers must find other ways to get by. Some who's loyalty is still with the company remain outside the factory and in the cold.

We did not ask for this, we're locked out, we'd still be in there working, said Schantzen.

Workers are hopeful they can come to an agreement with the company sometime in the near future. For now many who have worked for the company for more than thirty years are not receiving compensation.

All workers who are locked out, today or in the future should be eligible," said Froemke.

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