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STATE AGENCY RULES UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION FOR LOCKED OUT BAY STATE GAS WORKERS

 BOSTON, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training late today issued a determination that the 151 workers locked out by Bay State Gas Co.'s Springfield Division are approved for unemployment compensation benefits.
 According to the determination by Francisco Stork, deputy commissioner, the unemployment benefit claims by members of Local 12026, United Steelworkers of America (ASWA) have been approved commencing with the week ending Jan. 23, 1993. In his review of the case, he said Bay State Gas failed to present any basis for denial of benefits under state law.
 The lockout was imposed by Bay State Gas on Jan. 16, 1993, after members unanimously rejected a contract offer that would drastically reduce the health care insurance provisions.
 Lou Thomas, director of USWA District 14, who is in the area to visit picket lines, said: "Despite Bay State Gas' efforts to prevent its employees from receiving unemployment compensation, the union successfully challenged the accuracy of the company's claims before the state agency." Thomas added that the union was confident that any further appeal by Bay State Gas will result in the employees claims being upheld.
 -0- 3/29/93
 /CONTACT: Domenic DiPilato or Bill Irvin, both of USWA/Auburn, Mass., 508-832-2524/


CO: United Steelworkers of America ST: Michigan IN: SU:

TM -- NY112 -- 0791 03/29/93 20:09 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 29, 1993
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