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Legislators revive bill to give strikers jobless benefits

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Gov. Christie vetoed legislation similar to the benefits proposed in A3861 and S1046 in 2016.
Gov. Christie vetoed legislation similar to the benefits proposed in A3861 and S1046 in 2016. - ()

Lawmakers are reviving an effort to extend unemployment benefits to striking workers.

Assembly Bill 3861 passed out of the Assembly Labor Committee on Thursday by a 6-3 vote, while the Senate Labor approved its own version, Senate Bill 1046, by a 3-1 vote with one abstention Monday during the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Workers would be allowed access to unemployment compensation during a strike if the labor dispute was caused by the employer’s non-compliance with an agreement or existing labor laws, according to the legislation.

Sen. Joe Vitale

The workers would be subject to a 30 day waiting period unless the employer hires a permanent replacement worker. If not permitted to return to work, the former employer would have to provide back pay lost during the 30-day waiting period.

“After experiencing twice in the last few years what can go wrong during major strikes, this bill provides the framework needed to protect New Jersey’s workers from financial hardship during strikes, lockouts and other work stoppages,” said the sponsor of S1046, Sen. Joe Vitale, D-19th District.

Former Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, vetoed a similar measure in 2016.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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Cc August 14, 2018 1:27 am

Peter I've paid into unemployment my entire life .If my employer decides he no longer wants to honor my contract and purposely puts a garbage retrogressive offer on table well knowing it would not be accepted and cause a stone wall strike in hopes of breaking and avoiding my union right .Why should I not be allowed to collect my paid into benefit. Unless all of a sudden paying into unemployment becomes voluntary .I know let me guess the answer you'll give is because if I don't want to be a slave I should look for another job blah blah blah

Peter June 15, 2018 1:16 pm

Why on earth would you give workers on strike jobless benefits when they are VOLUNTARILY not working? What if it is workers for something vital, like transit? They could screw the public by going on strike AND get paid tax-payer dollars for doing so??