Four hundred striking Spectrum Healthcare workers are eligible to collect unemployment benefits during the labor dispute.
The union issued a news release on Wednesday calling the state Department of Labor ruling a “major victory.”
State Department of Labor officials said they cannot comment on the ruling.
The release from Spectrum quotes a memo from an attorney for the DOL’s Office of Program Policy:
“…it is the conclusion of the Administrator that the claimants involved in the subject labor action have become unemployed due to a labor dispute other than a lockout. The Administrator further concludes that the employer’s decision to hire permanent replacement workers severed the employment relationship, and thus the claimants are eligible for benefits effective April 11, 2010, pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat.§31-236(a)(3)(C). Claims for benefits filed by affected employees are approved.”
An employee filed a claim at the beginning of the strike, according to union officials.
The union says the ruling covers all of the employees currently on strike at Birmingham and the other three Spectrum Healthcare facilities: Park Place Health Center in Hartford, Hilltop Health Center in Ansonia and Laurel Hill Healthcare in Winsted.