Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County, May T., 1966, No. 1, in case of Earl R. Aughenbaugh, W. Dean Curry, J. Vincent Ferguson et al. v. North American Refractories Company.
Carl A. Belin, Jr., with him Belin & Belin, for appellants.
David T. Quigley, with him Dan P. Arnold, for appellee.
Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen. Mr. Justice Roberts concurs in the result.
This is an appeal from a decree in equity in the court below entering judgment on the pleadings in favor of the defendant.
On a motion for judgment on the pleadings by the defendant, the complaint, answer and reply to averments of new matter in the answer are considered, and all facts plead by the plaintiff which are relevant and material must be accepted as admitted even though denied. However, inferences and conclusions drawn from a written instrument which is in the record, and asserted conclusions of law should not be considered or accepted as admitted. See Herman v. Stern, 419 Pa. 272, 213 A.2d 594 (1965), and London v. Kingsley, 368 Pa. 109, 81 A.2d 870 (1951).
These, therefore, are the relevant facts to be considered in evaluating the defendant's right to judgment on the pleadings in this case:
In 1959 the federal government condemned the land occupied by the Lumber City, Pennsylvania plant of appellee, North American Refractories Company (Narco), pursuant to a flood control project. In August 1961, written notice of the impending closing was given to each employee and, soon thereafter, the plant was officially closed. At the time of the notice, there were approximately forty-four production employees in the unit represented by the United Brick and Clay Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Local Union No. 448 (Local), who would be affected by the plant closing. Previous to the closing, Narco, in consultation with officials of Local, unilaterally promulgated a written list of procedures relating to the transfer of the affected Lumber City employees to a similar Narco plant in Curwensville, Pennsylvania. These procedures proved unsatisfactory to Local.
In an effort to solve the complex socio-economic problems triggered by the shutdown and to head off
an impending strike at Lumber City, Narco and Local initiated a series of negotiations regarding transferals, which culminated in a March 26, 1960, Agreement on the transfer issue.
Mutual consultations continued and on November 2, 1962, the first industry-wide transfer clause was negotiated, which replaced the prior 1960 Agreement. Under the terms of the 1962 Agreement, former Lumber City employees who applied for work at the Curwensville plant were to be given preferential consideration over other applicants for any job openings which might arise, with certain provisions.*fn1 ...