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The Associated Press reports that the California State Senate has passed a bill that would allow workers locked out by their employers to receive unemployment benefits. The bill has been sent to the State Assembly.

The issue became important during the recent four-month grocery strike/lockout in Southern California, during which the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) called a strike against Safeway’s Vons – and then Albertsons and Kroger’s Ralphs chain locked out their unionized employees pending a negotiated settlement. The state ruled that none of the employees were eligible for unemployment benefits, though the UFCW is appealing, saying that the locked out workers ought to be.

With the labor contract between the grocery chains and the UFCW in Northern California scheduled to expire later this year, the current effort is aimed at clarifying the benefits issue before any strike/lockout takes place.
KC's View:
Seems fair. “Locked out” is different from “striking.”