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MATHEWSON ET AL. v. WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION (01/21/58)

January 21, 1958

MATHEWSON ET AL.
v.
WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 90, April T., 1957, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County, Sept. T., 1955, No. 31, in case of George A. Mathewson et al. v. Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

John G. Wayman, with him Leonard L. Scheinholtz, Fred T. Fruit, and Reed, smith, Shaw & McClay, for appellant.

Albert C. Shapira, with him Chester B. Scholl, for appellees.

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

Author: Hirt

[ 185 Pa. Super. Page 285]

OPINION BY HIRT, J.

Westinghouse Electric Company operates manufacturing plants in various locations throughout the United States, among them a plant, together with adjunct administrative offices, in Sharon, Pennsylvania. During

[ 185 Pa. Super. Page 2861954]

salaried employes of Westinghouse at Sharon were represented by Sharon Westinghouse Employees Association (which we will refer to as the Association) as their bargaining agent; this local union having been so certified by the National Labor Relations Board. The five plaintiffs in this case were salaried employes of Westinghouse in the Sharon plant and all were members of the above Association. The Association was affiliated with the Federation of Westinghouse Independent Salaried Unions (referred to herein as the Federation) which on behalf of the Association and for all other union-member-affiliates was empowered to bargain with Westinghouse on a company-wide basis as to all matters affecting employe-employer relationships.

About November 1, 1950, Westinghouse and the Federation entered into a written collective bargaining agreement (hereinafter called the Contract) which, as subsequently supplemented and extended, was in full force and effect at the times with which we are concerned. The Contract by its terms governed the pay, the hours and other working conditions of the plaintiffs as salaried employes in the Sharon plant. Section XII of the Contract provided: "1(a) Holidays observed by the Company will be New Year's Day, Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas ..."; and in paragraph 2: "Basic hours on an observed holiday will be credited as time worked for salaried employes."

On September 1, 1954, the plaintiffs and about 139 other salaried employes at the Sharon plant were furloughed because of a shut-down made necessary by a strike of another group of employes at the plant whose pay as wage earners, was measured at an hourly rate. A union, other than the Association, represented these striking workmen. The furlough of the plaintiffs resulting

[ 185 Pa. Super. Page 287]

    from the strike did not end until October 5, 1954. Labor Day, one of the observed holidays under § XII, supra, occurred on September 6, 1954, within the furlough period. When they returned to work the plaintiffs through the Association requested pay for Labor Day, 1954, and upon refusal of the request by Westinghouse, this action was brought in assumpsit to recover pay for that holiday. In bringing suit the plaintiffs relied entirely on the provisions of § XII of the contract, relating to holidays, above quoted. The defendant on the other hand contended that § XII had no application and took the position that the issues were ruled by § IX of the contract applicable to "Emergency Furloughs" which in relevant part provides: "9(b) Emergency Furloughs are periods off without pay resulting from material shortages, power failure, labor disturbances or other conditions where transfer of employes to ...


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