Appeal, No. 37, April T., 1958, by employer, from decision of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Appeal Nos. B-9-H-933 and B-9-H-933A, Decision No. B-45708 in re claims of Carl Gray et al. Decision reversed; reargument refused October 9, 1958.
John G. Wayman, with him Elder W. Marshall, Leonard L. Scheinholtz, James H. Hardie, and Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for appellant.
Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him Thomas D. McBride, Attorney General, for Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, appellee.
David Cohen, for appellees-intervenors.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.
[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 427]
The Westinghouse Electric Corporation appeals from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review granting compensation to employes who ceased working at the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. The board was of the opinion that Westinghouse was responsible for the work stoppage and allowed compensation on the basis that the unemployment was due to a lockout.*fn1 The facts as found by the board do not support its conclusion. The decision will be reversed.
The claimants are employes of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation at its plant known as the South Philadelphia Works, Steam Division, Tinicum Township, Delaware County (Lester Plant). They are members of Local 107 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), which is the bargaining unit for approximately five thousand production and maintenance workers and approximately one thousand office and clerical workers employed at the South Philadelphia Works. The collective bargaining agreement in effect between the company and the union consisted of a national agreement negotiated on a company wide basis as well as a local supplement
[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 428]
negotiated by the company and Local 107. The national agreement provided for the termination of the local supplement at midnight October 14, 1955, upon sixty days' written notice by either party. In the event that neither party gave sixty days' written notice the local supplement would continue in effect until October 14, 1956. By letter dated August 12, 1955, the company notified Local 107 of its intention to terminate the local supplement effective October 14, 1955. The letter further stated that any other agreements or understandings between Local 107 and local management at any level were terminated as of October 14, 1955. On August 29, 1955, the company and the local began negotiations which continued until October 14, 1955. In the course of the negotiations the company submitted proposals to revise the working conditions in the new contract. Local 107 rejected the company's proposals and proposed that the existing terms and conditions of employment be maintained. On October 12, 1955, two days prior to the termination of the contract, the union proposed that the existing local supplement be extended for ninety days while negotiations continued. This proposal was rejected by the employer. On October 13, 1955, Local 107 announced the results of a strike vote which showed that the employes authorized a strike. When the company inquired concerning the significance of the strike vote, the union representative replied that as long as conditions in the plant remained the same negotiations would continue. On October 14, 1955, Local 107 requested that negotiations be continued over that week-end or be fixed for some time during the following week. The company rejected this request. Local 107 then requested the company to give assurance that existing terms and conditions of employment would continue beyond October 14, 1955, while the parties negotiated. The company
[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 429]
refused to give such assurance because it felt that it could unilaterally change the terms and conditions of employment if it desired. However, the board found: "... the employer stated it would not change existing conditions until it notified the local and discussed the changes. The employer further stated that if notice and discussion took place it reserved the right to make the changes desired." The local supplement expired as of midnight October 14, 1955, and the claimants did not return to work on Monday, October 17, 1955, the next ...