Democrats Want Benefits For Locked-Out Workers

DENVER (AP) — Workers locked-out by employers as a defensive maneuver during labor disputes would get unemployment benefits with a bill advanced by House Democrats.

The proposal given initial approval Friday is reviled by Republicans who argue the state shouldn’t finance union labor disputes. Democratic Rep. Dominick Moreno, the sponsor of the bill, says it’s about “shared economic consequences” in failed labor negotiations.

Workers who are locked-out by a company at the end of a labor contract are already eligible for unemployment benefits.

But Democrats want to extend that benefit in defensive lockouts. The last example of that was 1996, when Safeway locked-out its employees when King Soopers workers went on strike. The grocers were in joint negotiations with the workers.

The bill needs a final House vote before heading to the Senate.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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