Can I receive unemployment if I'm unemployed because of a labor dispute?

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Unemployment benefits during a labor dispute


You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you can show:

  • You’re not participating in, financing, or directly interested in the labor dispute that caused your unemployment and you do not belong to the trade, class, or organization whose members work there and are participating in, financing, or directly interested in the dispute or strike; or
  • You’re unemployed due to a lockout. A lockout exists when an employer:
    • Announces the closing of the the business where the labor dispute is occurring or informs workers that there will be no work until the labor dispute has terminated or
    • Announces that work is available after a contract expires only under terms and conditions less favorable than the last terms and conditions of employment

In both of these situations, the affected employees’ recognized or certified bargaining agent (union)  must inform the employer that workers involved in the dispute are ready, willing, and able to work under the terms and conditions existing immediately prior to the announcement, pending negotiation of a new contract. 



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