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PARISE UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE. PUNXSUTAWNEY COMPANY v. UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW. (03/18/59)

March 18, 1959

PARISE UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASE. PUNXSUTAWNEY COMPANY, APPELLANT.
v.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW.



Appeals, Nos. 268 and 269, April T., 1958, by employer, from orders of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Nos. B-48414 and B-48439, in re claim of Frank Parise et al. Decisions reversed.

COUNSEL

Jesse P. Long, for employer, appellant.

Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him Thomas D. McBride, Attorney General, for Unemployment Compensation Board, appellee.

James Crag Kuhn, Jr., with him Arnold D. Wilner, and Wilner, Wilner and Kuhn, for claimants, intervening appellees.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (hirt, J., absent).

Author: Woodside

[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 570]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This is an appeal by The Punxsutawney Company from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review allowing compensation to the company's employes.

[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 571]

The bureau and referee denied the claimants, Frank Parise and Devere Allen Kendall, compensation on the ground they were out of employment "because of a labor dispute other than a lock-out," but the board concluded that the work stoppage was a lock-out, and allowed compensation to the claimants and their fellow employes. The Parise Case rules the claims of 17 fellow employes whose last day of employment was November 29, 1957, and the Kendall Case rules the claims of 14 employes whose last day of employment was November 7, 1957.

All of the above claimants were members of the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, A.F.L.-C.I.O. The union had a collective bargaining agreement which provided: "Duration of this contract shall remain in effect until midnight October 31, 1957, and shall continue in effect for periods of one (1) year to one (1) year unless either party gives the other party sixty (60) days written notice prior to October 31, 1957 of its intention to terminate or modify the same."

On August 1, 1957, the union notified the company of its desire to modify the agreement in respect to wages, hours, working conditions and other contractual provisions. On October 23, the union made demands for a "substantial wage increase," pension, insurance, additional holidays, night premium pay, improved vacation and supplemental unemployment benefits.

The parties not having agreed upon the terms of a new contract on October 31, the union asked for an indefinite extension of the contract then in force, with a further request that the provisions of any new contract would be retroactive to November 1, 1957. The company agreed to extend the existing contract to November 15, 1957, and to make the provisions of a

[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 572]

    new contract retroactive to November 1. Subsequently, the contract was again extended, with the retroactive agreement, to November 22, and again to November 27.

Until November 13, 1957, the company showed no signs of wanting any changes in the existing agreement, but at that time it presented a new section on grievance procedure. The company did not request its employes to take any reduction in wages, but it did insist on deleting incentive grievances from arbitration. The company's proposal concerning grievance procedure and arbitration was not satisfactory to the union.

On November 27, the employer refused to grant the request of the union for another extension of the contract.

"On the morning of November 29," testified Charles Copeland, union representative, "I went to the plant gates to tell the men the status and the position which the union was in at that particular time ... And they voted not to work with no contract." Although the employes were then at the plant gate, "They did not go to work that morning."

Sam Catanese, a claimant, testified, "There was a vote taken not to enter the plant under those conditions."

A sign was posted stating that there was a strike, but later it was replaced by another sign on which appeared, "Local 642, IUE-AFL-CIO, Locked Out."

On December 3, 1957, the employer notified the employes by mail, newspaper, and radio as follows: "Work is available at the Punxsutawney Company to all employees under the conditions existing at the time of ...


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