Appeal, No. 52, March T., 1958, by employer, from decision of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, August 6, 1957, No. B 45220, in re claims of Henry Hutchins et al. Decision reversed.
James K. Peck, for appellants.
Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him Thomas D. McBride, Attorney General, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (hirt and Gunther, JJ., absent).
[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 110]
Thirty-two claimants were allowed unemployment compensation by the bureau, the referee and the board of review. The employer appealed.
So far as is here pertinent, § 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, as amended by the Act of May 23, 1949, P.L. 1738, § 11, 43 P.S. § 802, provides: "An employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week - ... (d) In which his unemployment is due to a stoppage of work, which exists because of a labor dispute (other than a lock-out) at the factory, establishment or other premises at which he is or was last employed. ..." (Emphasis added)
The claimants herein involved are members of a union. The employer is a building block manufacturer. A written agreement, entered into by the union and the employer, became effective on June 20, 1955 and was to remain in force until April 30, 1956 "and remain in effect thereafter from year to year unless sixty days notice of change is given by either party of the desire to change, alter, or terminate the terms of this Agreement."
[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 111]
On February 28, 1956 the employer received a letter from the union in which it said: "... we are hereby giving you notice of our desire to terminate our present collective bargaining agreement, which by its terms will conclude and terminate on the 30th day of April, A.D. 1956. We desire to arrange a mutually convenient appointment for the purpose of commencing negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement." The parties held negotiation meetings on April 10, 27, May 3, 8, 15 and July 11, 1956. They also held a number of additional meetings after July 11, 1956. The claimants continued working from April 30 until July 11, 1956, by mutual agreement, under the same terms and conditions as contained in the expired agreement. During the negotiations both sides were endeavoring to secure more favorable terms but had not been able to reach an agreement. The referee found and the board approved, inter alia, the following findings of fact: "11.At the close of the negotiation meeting on July 11, 1956, the employes again asked to be allowed to continue working under the same terms and conditions as contained in the expired contract and in fact requested the employer to sign such an agreement. The employer refused the request of the Union.
"12. After July 11, 1956, the employes could continue working only under the terms and conditions as proposed by the employer in Finding of Fact No. 9 above; hence, a work stoppage occurred beginning at 7:30 a.m. July 12, 1956."
We have carefully reviewed the record and can find no competent and substantial evidence to support these two findings. On the contrary, the evidence is quite clear that the claimants had worked for nearly two and one-half months after the termination of the written contract under the same terms ...