Appeal, No. 4, March T., 1959, by employer, from decision of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-45761-B, in re claim of Stewart S. Oliver et al. Decision reversed.
William H. Wood, with him Roy J. Keefer, and Hull, Leiby and Metzger, for appellant.
Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him Anne X. Alpern, Attorney General, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.
[ 189 Pa. Super. Page 363]
We are here concerned with the eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits of thirty-five claimants who were employed at the Clairton works of the United States Steel Corporation. The Bureau of Employment Security and the Referee held that claimants were disqualified under Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law. Act of December 5, 1936, P.L.0 (1937) 2897, Section 402(d), 43 P.S.0 802(D). The Board of Review reversed the Referee and allowed benefits. The employer has appealed.
There is no material dispute as to the facts. Claimants were employed rolling steel in the employer's twenty-one and twenty-two inch finishing mills. The work done in these mills is a continuous integrated production process analogous to that of an assembly line. The unemployment forming the basis for the claims in question resulted when a group of employes engaged as pilers in stacking the finished product stopped work because of a contention over the revision of an existing incentive plan. This cessation of work caused a shutdown of the entire department. The last day of work was May 4, 1956. The period of unemployment continued until May 14, 1956 as to some of the claimants, and until May 16, 1956 as to the remainder. Local No. 1557, United Steel Workers of America, C.I.O. was the bargaining agent for all the employes of the company, but it did not condone the work stoppage in question nor encourage participation therein. Claimants did not personally participate in the labor dispute
[ 189 Pa. Super. Page 364]
which caused the stoppage of work. The pivotal question is whether claimants belong to the same grade or class of workers as the pilers. The issue presented is one of law rather than of fact, and involves a question of statutory interpretation on which this court has already spoken.
Section 402 of the Unemployment Compensation Law provides in pertinent part as follows: "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: Provided, That this subsection shall not apply if it is shown that (1) he is not participating in, or directly interested in, the labor dispute which caused the stoppage of work, and (2) he is not a member of an organization which is participating in, or directly interested in, the labor dispute which caused the stoppage of work, and (3) he does not belong to a grade or class of workers of which, immediately before the commencement of the stoppage, there were members employed at the premises at which the stoppage occurs, any of whom are participating in, or directly interested in, the dispute".
It is apparent that the legislature has established three requirements for removing the ineligibility of claimants whose employment is due to a stoppage of work. Claimants to whom Section 402(d) is applicable must show that all three of these requirements have been met.*fn1 This was firmly settled by the decision of this ...