Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claims of John A. Frei, Joseph Moore and David F. Buskey, No. B-108399.
Bernard N. Katz, with him Warren J. Borish and Meranze, Katz, Spear & Bielitsky, for appellants.
Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him J. Shane Creamer, Attorney General, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson. President Judge Bowman and Judge Mencer dissented.
This is an appeal from the Decision and Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, affirming the decision of the Referee who had sustained the determination of the Bureau that appellants were separated from their employment for reasons it considered willful misconduct within the provisions of Section 402(e) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Act, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. 2897 (1937), as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(e). We must reverse.
The issue here is a very narrow one. The facts are not in dispute. A local union of the same international union to which the appellants belong was on strike in a plant owned and operated by appellants' employer in Maryland. The appellants' local union had a contract
with the employer that contained the following no-strike clause:
"28. No Strikes or Lockouts -- There shall be no strike, interruption of work, partial or complete stoppage of or refusal to work, boycott or temporary walkout on the part of the employees or the Union, and there shall be no lock-out on the part of the Company during the term of this agreement."
Appellants' local and the employer were informed that pickets from the Maryland plant might appear at the Harrisburg plant. The employer was notified that the local union would abide by its contract and would not strike. In a letter of July 7, 1970, the local informed the employer as follows:
". . . We have advised our membership that in the event pickets do appear, that our local union is in no way directly connected to the pickets, nor involved in the dispute at the struck plant. I have further advised our membership that our local union intends to abide by the 'no strike' clause. However, we are also certain that you are aware that to some members of the labor movement, crossing a picket line is morally offensive and repugnant.
"Accordingly, it may fairly be anticipated that some of our members will, in all probability, refuse to cross a picket line because of ...