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MILLER v. JOHNSTOWN TRACTION CO. (07/20/50)

July 20, 1950

MILLER
v.
JOHNSTOWN TRACTION CO.



COUNSEL

Samuel R. DiFrancesco, Johnstown, for appellant.

H. C. McWilliams, McWilliams & Margolis, Johnstown, and Shettig & Swope, Ebensburg, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Reno

[ 167 Pa. Super. Page 423]

RENO, Judge.

On December 17, 1946, Johnstown Traction Company, hereafter called the company, appellee, executed a written contract with Division 1279 of the Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employes of America, hereafter called the union, of which appellant was a member. The contract, printed in a small pamphlet of 30 pages, covers the rates of wages, hours of employment, seniority rights, promotions, vacations, leaves of absences, pensions, and many other rules and conditions of employment. It became effective as of July 14, 1946; was to continue in force until July 13, 1947; and thereafter to 'remain in effect from year to year unless changed as herein provided.' (Emphasis added.)

Provision was made for arbitration 'should any questions arise between them [the company and union] which cannot be mutually adjusted', and the method of selecting arbitrators was provided. Changes in the contract were also to be submitted to arbitrators under section 48, the second paragraph of which is printed in the margin.*fn1 The present controversy revolves around

[ 167 Pa. Super. Page 424]

    the concluding sentence, providing that 'any changes * * * shall be retroactive to the date upon which this agreement, or any extension, was originally scheduled to expire.'

A dispute arose between the company and the union concerning the wage scale and other conditions of employment. In a formal written statement the union requested 'that the provisions of the existing agreement be modified and changed', enumerating them by reference to the numbered sections of the contract and setting out the proposed changes, including section 42 which contained the wage scale. The company in a similar document proposed that a number of specified sections of the agreement 'be modified and changed', including section 48, concerning which the request was: 'Eliminate the last sentence of the second paragraph and provide that any changes made in the agreement shall become effective on the date of agreement.'

The company and the union were unable to agree upon the proposed changes of the contract, and the questions raised by the proposals were submitted to arbitration as provided for in the contract. On August 25, 1948, the arbitrators*fn2 filed a decision in which they denied many of the requests. However, they allowed an increase of wages at the rate of ten cents an hour for operators, and provided that the retroactive pay of all employees shall be paid on stated dates during 1948. By a supplemental award made the same day they provided: 'All retroactive wage payments shall be made only to those employees who have been on the company's payroll as of

[ 167 Pa. Super. Page 425]

August 25, 1948.' The arbitration award was accepted ...


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