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Striking West Virginia Constellium workers to get unemployment benefits

Dec. 17, 2012 @ 11:25 PM

CHARLESTON -- Hundreds of workers at the Constellium aluminum plant workers in Ravenswood who went on strike for nearly seven weeks earlier this year will receive unemployment compensation benefits, a review panel ruled Monday.

The three-member state Labor Dispute Tribunal ruled that the striking workers could receive the benefits because there was not a work stoppage at the plant during the standoff, Courtney Sisk, a state government spokeswoman, told The Charleston Daily Mail reports.

The strike began Aug. 5 and ended the following month when United Steelworkers Local 5668 members ratified a five-year contract. Under the new contract, workers will receive annual 2.5 percent pay raises, along with a $7,500 ratification bonus. Workers also will have to pay 5 percent of their health care premiums, beginning in 2017.

The union represents about 700 of 1,000 employees at the Jackson County plant.