Sidney G. Handler, Douglass, Handler, Rosenberg & Ware, Harrisburg, for appellant.
William L. Hammond, Sp. Deputy Atty. Gen., Robert E. Woodside, Atty. Gen., for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Ross, Gunther and Wright, JJ.
[ 174 Pa. Super. Page 218]
During the period in question in this unemployment compensation case, Carmeda Arbechesky, the present appellant, and 34 others were employed by Larksville Fashions, Inc., a manufacturer of ladies' dresses. All of them were members of Local 249 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. This employer in October 1950 become a member of the Pennsylvania Dress Manufacturers Association, Inc., herein referred to as the Association. At that time there was a subsisting collective bargaining agreement between that Association and the Northeast Department
[ 174 Pa. Super. Page 219]
of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. As a member of the Association the above employer was bound by the terms of the agreement, made on behalf of all existing and future members of the Association.
The Association on February 1, 1951, entered into a new collective bargaining agreement with the above Northeast Department which thereafter constituted the union-management contract between Larksville Fashions and Local 249 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. The seventh section of the agreement provided: '(a) Each Employer agrees to pay to the Union at the end of each payroll period a sum equivalent to seven (7%) per cent of its total gross payroll * * * for such period of all its employees covered by this agreement * * * towards the Union's Health and Welfare Fund, a trust fund established * * * and maintained by the Union in trust for the purpose of providing its members with health, welfare, and recreation benefits and services.' The thirty-third section of the agreement provided: 'Any and all disputes, complaints, controversies, claims or grievances whatsoever between the Union or any of its members and the Association or any of its members, arising under, out of, or in connection with or in any manner relating to this agreement, shall be taken up for adjustment between the respective representatives of the Association and the Union. Should said representatives fail to agree, such disputes, complaints, controversies, claims or grievances shall be submitted to arbitration before the Impartial Chairman hereinafter named, or designated as hereinafter provided, as arbitrator, whose decision shall be final and binding.'
After becoming a member of the Association, Larksville Fashions continued its practice of paying wages to its employees during vacation periods although vacation
[ 174 Pa. Super. Page 220]
pay was not required by the terms of the above agreement between the Association and Northeast Department of the Union. The employer insisted that it was entitled to some credit for these vacation benefits against the payments into the Union's Health and Welfare Fund, stipulated in section Seventh (a) of the agreement. When the association indicated that the proposal was not acceptable to it Larksville Fashions refused to make any payments into the fund and also refused to submit the dispute to arbitration pursuant to the thirty-third section of the union-management contract, above quoted. Thereupon the district officers of the union determined to exert pressure on the employer to compel compliance with its obligation under the contract, by calling a temporary stoppage of work in the plant of the employer. Accordingly a representative of the local union on May 15, 1951, advised the employees of Larksville Fashions not to report for work on the following day. A stoppage of work resulted and continued for about 3 1/2 months and until August 30, 1951 when the union employees returned to work pending negotiations for a settlement of the dispute.
On May 24, 1951 appellant and her 34 co-workers registered for work. Their claims for benefits were declared invalid by the Bureau under Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, 43 P.S. § 802. On successive appeals ...