The Maine Bureau of Unemployment Compensation has awarded unemployment benefits to FairPoint employees who were involved in a lengthy four-month labor dispute in 2014-15. By decision dated June 5, following a two-day hearing, an unemployment hearing officer concluded that employees represented by IBEW, Local 2327 and CWA, Local 1400, were entitled to the benefits. FairPoint employees were to begin receiving the benefits as early as the week of June 12, according to a news release from Augusta attorney Jeff Young, who represents the employees.

The hearing officer found that there had been no “stoppage of work” at FairPoint’s Maine facilities during the dispute, which lasted from October 2014 until it was resolved by a federal mediator in February 2015. Maine’s unemployment statute disqualifies employees from receipt of unemployment benefits in the event of a “stoppage of work” due to a labor dispute.

FairPoint has 15 days to appeal the decision.