Caputo & Caputo, E. A. Caputo, Ambridge, for appellant.
William L. Hammond, Sp. Deputy Atty. Gen., Robert E. Woodside, Atty. Gen., for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.
[ 171 Pa. Super. Page 635]
The various claimants here were denied unemployment compensation and took this appeal.*fn1 They were
[ 171 Pa. Super. Page 636]
employes of the American Bridge Company at its Ambridge plant, and the employer gave notice on January 11, 1950, that the plant would be closed from July 10 through July 23, 1950, for the purpose of taking inventory. As the result of this the claimants were unemployed during the periods of time set forth herein. They registered with the bureau and were prima facie entitled to unemployment compensation.*fn2 Their unemployment was the result of a shutdown by the Bridge Company for its own purposes.
The claimants are members of United Steelworkers of America, and their union had a contract with the Bridge Company which provided, inter alia, for vacations as follows: 'To be eligible for a vacation * * * the employee must * * * have one year or more of continuous service * * * [those with one to five years shall receive one week's vacation and those with five to twenty-five years shall receive two weeks' vacation.] Promptly after January 1 of each calendar year each eligible employee shall be requested to specify the vacation period he desires * * * but the final right to allot vacation periods * * * is exclusively reserved to the Company. * * *' (Italics supplied.) It was further provided that 'a period of temporary shutdown in any department for any reason between May 1 and October 1, * * * may be designated as * * * the vacation period for any employees * * * who are eligible for vacations. ' (Italics supplied.)
After the notice that the plant would be shut down for the taking of inventory, the company and the union agreed in part that: (1) employes with less than one year's service be considered to be on a layoff status for that period; (2) employes with one to five years service 'be given a 1-week vacation with pay and considered
[ 171 Pa. Super. Page 637]
to be on lay-off status for 1 week.' (Italics supplied.)
At this point it is apparent that 'layoff status' meant the same thing as a shutdown, i. e. an uncompensated layoff; that is to say, if an employe was entitled to a two weeks vacation with pay, he lost nothing; and if eligible for a one week vacation ...