Some 570 striking members of United Steelworkers Local 5668 applied for unemployment benefits last week through WorkForce West Virginia.
Workforce West Virginia hosted four meetings at the new Armed Forces Reserve Center at Millwood last Tuesday for striking Constellium Rolled Products workers to apply for unemployment benefits.
Local 5668 workers went on strike against Constellium August 5, after contract talks aimed at a new five-year contract broke down with health care benefit changes as the main sticking point.
West Virginia state law allows workers in labor disputes to file claims for unemployment benefits. Claims are then reviewed by a Labor Dispute Tribunal, which consists of an independent three-member panel (administrative law judges) appointed by the state Board of Review. The panel will determine if the striking employees are eligible for benefits.
Attorneys representing Constellium and USW Local 5668 will be consulted to select a date for the hearing prior to the panel being appointed. The decision of the Labor Dispute Tribunal may be appealed to a three-member Board of Review. The board’s decision could also be appealed in Kanawha Circuit Court.