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GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY v. UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW. (SHADOWENS UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE.) (12/27/54)

December 27, 1954

GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
v.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW. (SHADOWENS UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE.)



Appeals, Nos. 26 to 30, inclusive, April T., 1954, by employer, from decisions of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Decisions Nos. B-35202, B-35203, B-35204, B-35201 and B-35195, in re claims of Shadowens et al. Decisions reversed; reargument refused January 14, 1955.

COUNSEL

John E. Britton, with him Gifford, Graham, MacDonald & Illig, for employer, Erie, for appellant.

William L. Hammond, Special Deputy Attorney General, with him Frank F. Truscott, Attorney General, for Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, appellee.

Benjamin C. Sigal and Bert Diamond submitted a brief for International Union of Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers, C.I.O. et al., amici curiae.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside and Ervin, JJ.

Author: Wright

[ 177 Pa. Super. Page 50]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.,

These are appeals by the General Electric Company, hereinafter referred to as the Company, from decisions of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review allowing benefits to employes ineligible for vacation pay during a plant shutdown for vacation purposes. The facts are undisputed. Claimants were employed by the Company either at the Erie Works (Appeals Nos. 26, 27, and 28), or at the Philadelphia Works (Appeals Nos. 29 and 30). The Erie claimants were represented for collective bargaining purposes by the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), and the Philadelphia claimants by the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (CIO). A collective bargaining agreement

[ 177 Pa. Super. Page 51]

    was entered into by the Company with each of said Unions, by virtue of which it was provided: "Those Works shutting down annually for vacation purposes shall consider the vacation season to run concurrently with the shutdown period". Subsequent to the execution of these agreements, the Company fixed dates for the year 1952 during which the Erie Works and the Philadelphia Works would be shut down for vacation purposes. The period for the Erie Works was from August 9 to August 24, and for the Philadelphia Works was from August 4 to August 17. Under the vacation clause in the respective agreements, employes were granted one week of vacation with pay after completion of one year of continuous service, two weeks after five years, and three weeks after fifteen years. We are here concerned only with those in the first two classes.

As stated by the able counsel for the Board, the question involved is: "... can those employes who did not receive any vacation pay or were paid for only one week of the shutdown be considered eligible for unemployment compensation benefits during the unremunerated portion of the shutdown?" In our view, the controlling issue is whether the temporary idleness of the claimants was the type of economic insecurity due to involuntary unemployment without fault which was within the contemplation of the legislature in the enactment of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn1

The ground upon which the Board predicated the allowance of benefits was that the contracts here under consideration do not fix specific dates for the vacation ...


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