Appeals, Nos. 283 and 284, Oct. T., 1959, by employer, from decisions of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-50947 and B-50953, in re claims of Allan T. Ross et al. Decisions reversed.
Seth McCormick Lynn, with him S. Dale Furst, Jr., and Furst, McCormick, Muir, Lynn & Reeder, for employer, appellant.
Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him Anne X. Alpern, Attorney General, for Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (hirt, J., absent).
[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 191]
These unemployment compensation cases arise out of a work stoppage which the referee and the Board of Review, in reversing the Bureau of Employment Security, found to be a lockout. If the claimants were
[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 192]
locked out by their employer, they are entitled to unemployment compensation. If they were not locked out, they are disqualified by section 402 of the Unemployment Compensation Law, as amended, 43 PS § 802(d), which provides, inter alia:
"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 lockout) at the factory, establishment or other premises at which he is or was last employed..."
Allen T. Ross and Richard E. Westover, the claimants in these two cases, were employed by the Armour Leather Company, in the beamhouse*fn1 of its tannery. The company had employed 23 men full time and one man part time in that department. Early in 1958, the company shut down its operations for a period of five weeks during which time it installed more efficient machinery in the beamhouse. When operations were resumed on May 1, only 14 men were assigned by the company to work there. These men were not able to, or at least did not, complete their assigned work during the eight hour day and worked from 1 1/2 to 3 hours a day overtime. They were paid time and half time for all overtime. Of course, it is not the intent of the Unemployment Compensation Law that an employer should operate his plant in a vacuum, without change or improvement, in order that he might keep his employes on the job. Hughes Unemployment Compensation Case, 187 Pa. Superior Ct. 252, 264, 144 A.2d 685 (1958); Vrotney Unemployment Compensation Case, 188 Pa. Superior Ct. 405, 411, 414, 146 A.2d 751 (1958).
[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 193]
A collective bargaining agreement was in effect during the entire period here involved. This agreement provided, inter alia, as follows: "Except as hereinafter provided, eight (8) hours shall constitute a normal day's work and all work performed in excess of eight (8) hours in any one day shall be paid for at the overtime rate; no employee ...