Unemployment insurance programs are meant to help people who become jobless through no fault of their own. Nearly every state has disallowed benefits to employees who are on strike. Even New York, the most union-friendly state, pays unemployment benefits to strikers only in rare instances when they have been out of work for at least eight weeks.
That could soon change. In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy last August signed a bill making union strikers eligible for unemployment benefits after only 30 days. The measure was largely symbolic, as more than 80% of major strikes last year ended before hitting the one-month mark.
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