Appeals, Nos. 2 and 3, March T., 1960, by employer, from decision of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-48873B, in re claims of Robert C. Lerch et al. Decision reversed.
Samuel A. Schreckengaust, Jr., with him Francis B. Haas, Jr., and McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for employer, appellant.
Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him Anne X. Alpern, Attorney General, for Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, appellee.
Bernard N. Katz, with him Keranze, Katz and Spear, for claimants, intervening appellees.
Before Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., and Hirt, J., absent).
[ 191 Pa. Super. Page 160]
In this unemployment case, the claimants were employed by the Hershey Estates, consisting of approximately 31 various divisions of the chocolate plant and other enterprises located at Hershey, Pennsylvania. Claimants were represented for collective bargaining by Local 464 of the Bakery and Confectionery Workers' International Union of America, AFL-CIO. For a year preceding September 16, 1957, the employer and the union had entered into a collective bargaining agreement which provided that either party could terminate the contract by giving the other party sixty days' advance written notice.
On July 15, 1957, the employer sent a registered letter to the office of the union, informing it that the employer intended to terminate the existing contract at midnight, September 16, 1957 but stating that it was ready and willing to meet for the purpose of negotiating new contracts. Based upon this letter, the union and the employer met on a number of occasions, both sides submitted proposals and counter proposals,
[ 191 Pa. Super. Page 161]
but no agreement was reached. On September 13, 1957, the employer placed the following notice on the bulletin boards of all divisions in its operation: "This division will be open for any of its employees who cares to come to work - Regardless of what happens Monday - midnight."
At the last meeting held in the early evening of September 16, 1957, the union suggested that the contract be extended on a day to day basis to permit more time for negotiations. This suggestion was rejected by the employer and the meeting finally terminated. Later that evening, the union then submitted the employer's proposals to its membership which voted to reject the offer and, when the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight, pickets were posted at the various operations of the employer.
On September 17, 1957, the employer sent a registered letter to the union in which it stated that "all divisions of the Hershey Estates are and have been open and operating and that work is available for all employees." The next day, a similar notice was printed in the Lebanon Daily News and the Lebanon Daily Times. On September 27, 1957, this same notice was again published in the Hershey News and in other newspapers of general circulation in and around Hershey, Pa. The union, on the other hand, openly stated that it was on ...