Appeal from order of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1963, No. 136, opening judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Dec. T., 1960, No. 1384, in case of Warren E. Taylor et al. v. Southern Pennsylvania Bus Company.
Cornelius C. O'Brien, Jr., with him Matthew J. Ryan, III, and Joseph W. deFuria, for appellants.
Charles E. Thomas, with him Edward F. Cantlin, and Hull, Leiby and Metzger, and Hinkson and Cantlin, for appellee.
Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Jones. Mr. Justice Musmanno dissents. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Cohen. Mr. Justice Eagen joins in this dissent.
On March 21, 1958, Southern Pennsylvania Bus Company (Bus Company), and the Union representing the bus operators (operators), employed by the Bus Company entered into a collective bargaining agreement the term of which expired on March 21, 1960. This agreement expired without renewal on March 21, 1960, and the operators went on strike. The strike was never settled, the operators performed no services after March 21, 1960 and later on the Bus Company went out of business.
In December 1959 the operators, under the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement and in anticipation of continued employment throughout 1960, on a seniority basis had selected the dates on which they elected to take their vacations in the year 1960. Eighty-three operators, who had selected vacation dates subsequent to March 21, 1960, and claimed compensation in lieu of "vacation pay", instituted assumpsit actions in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County. The operators and the Bus Company then agreed and stipulated that the matter be submitted to the court as a "Case Stated". Three questions were thus presented for determination:
(a) Upon termination of the collective bargaining agreement on March 21, 1960, did the operators become entitled to the vacation pay they would have received had they continued in the Bus Company's employment through their selected vacation periods later in 1960?
(b) Upon termination of the collective bargaining agreement on March 21, 1960, did the operators become entitled to vacation pay prorated upon the basis
of their employment during the period January 1, 1960 to March 21, 1960?
(c) Upon termination of the collective bargaining agreement on March 21, 1960, were those operators who had not theretofore taken a day off with pay entitled to a day's pay in lieu thereof? The Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County answered questions (a) and (b) affirmatively, i.e., in favor of the operators, and entered judgments accordingly in favor of the operators and answered question (c) negatively, i.e., in favor of the Bus Company. Neither the operators nor the Bus Company challenged by appeal the court's decision on questions (b) and (c)*fn1 but the Bus Company appealed to the Superior Court the determination of question (a).
The Superior Court, speaking through Judge Woodside, opened the judgments entered in the court ...