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Workers laid off for jaywalking

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DETROIT, March 2 (UPI) -- Some of the more than 40 workers given termination papers from a Detroit construction site said they were fired as a consequence of jaywalking.

The workers, who asked not to be identified, said they were contractors at the Marathon Oil Refinery site until bosses handed down termination notices for crossing a public street in front of the site without using the crosswalk, WDIV-TV, Detroit, reported Tuesday.

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"I was floored. I was in awe. I couldn't believe I got terminated over it," one worker said.

Marathon officials said the workers had recently been specifically instructed to use the crosswalk during a recent safety meeting.

"The workers were well aware of the need to follow the rules and procedures. Some, of reasons unknown, decided to take their lives in their own hands," spokeswoman Chris Fox said.

The company said the workers were suspended for 90 days, but the contractors said they were terminated and their papers specify they are "not eligible for rehire."

"It could possibly be a way to cut down the workforce and not want to pay unemployment. That would be the best way," one of the workers theorized.

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