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Business and Economy

Some FairPoint Strikers Getting Jobless Benefits

By Alanna Durkin, The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine - Hundreds of FairPoint workers in Vermont who have been on strike for weeks are getting unemployment benefits, but officials in Maine and New Hampshire have denied requests for such assistance.

Vermont Department of Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan says her office has processed more than 250 unemployment claims for the striking workers.

But union officials in Maine and New Hampshire, who represent more than 1,400 FairPoint workers, say those states denied initial applications for jobless benefits. The workers have appealed in both states.

Workers are picking up other jobs or relying on support from outside groups to weather the impasse with the telecommunications company.

FairPoint has appealed Vermont's decision, saying it doesn't believe that striking workers who walked off the job on Oct. 17 should get jobless benefits.