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GLASS INDUSTRY MACHINE WORKERS UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASES (10 CASES) (01/02/73)

decided: January 2, 1973.

GLASS INDUSTRY MACHINE WORKERS UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CASES (10 CASES)


Appeals from the Orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in cases of Frank J. Grill v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-105986; Robert J. Blake v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review and Brockway Glass Company, Inc., Intervenor, No. B-105991; John J. Moeller v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-105988; Frank Romano v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-105994; Richard W. Wagner v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-105987-A; Homer D. Amos v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review and Brockway Glass Company, Inc., Intervenor, No. B-105992-A; Emery B. Lint v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review and Anchor Hocking Corporation, Intervenor, No. B-105998; Joseph W. Wheeler v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review and Brockway Glass Company, Inc., Intervenor, No. B-105989; Nicholas P. Verno v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review and Brockway Glass Company, Inc., Intervenor, No. B-105990; and David H. McCullough v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-105993-A.

COUNSEL

Robert F. O'Brien, with him Howard S. Simonoff, for appellants.

Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee, Unemployment Compensation Board of Review.

John G. Wayman, with him Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for intervening glass companies.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 7 Pa. Commw. Page 387]

The above ten cases were consolidated both for briefing and for argument. While each varies somewhat from the others in its facts, the point on which we decide them all is common to all, making it unnecessary to pass upon the additional reasons that exist in some of the individual cases to sustain the Board. On the decision of these ten cases turns the disposition of the claims of some 410 claimants similarly situated. All claims were rejected by the Referee and the Board. We must affirm.

The Referee and the Board of Review, based on competent evidence, found that the claimants were not justified in refusing to cross the picket line established by other striking employees and could not, therefore, come within the exemption from disqualification provided by Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, 2nd Sess., P.L. 2897 (1937), as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 802(d).

Disregarding those facts in some individual cases which present additional reasons in those particular

[ 7 Pa. Commw. Page 388]

    cases for disqualification of the claimant therein involved, such as actual participation in the picket line or membership in the striking union, the facts common to all, briefly stated, are that claimants were employed as machine operators in glass industries in the Washington, Pennsylvania, area. Production workers in the same plants were on strike from January 31, 1968, through March 22, 1968. Claimants refused to cross the picket line, justifying it on the basis that if they had crossed the line, there would have been violence. The only rationalization of this position that was offered in evidence was that in the past, in other strikes, when attempts were made to cross picket lines, violence occurred. The Referee and the Board did not accept this position. The only case cited by appellants to support their position on this point is McGann Unemployment Compensation Case, 163 Pa. Superior Ct. 379, 62 A.2d 87 (1948). Far from supporting that position, that case is authority for just the opposite. There the decision of the Referee and the Board was affirmed when they had held that refusal to cross a picket line is unjustified in the absence of actual violence or threats of violence. Indeed, a reading of that opinion and this record would indicate that there was some violence off and away from the picket line in the McGann case, whereas there was none in the instant case. The Board found in every case and on compelling evidence that the picketing was peaceful, did not involve violence, and that there was no basis for genuine apprehension of violence.

Appellants attempt to argue that since the company directed the machines to be stopped and sent the claimants home on the day the strike occurred, this constituted the employer's refusal to make work available. ...


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