Appeals from the Orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in cases of In Re: Claim of Eli F. Myers, Jr., No. B-111551 and In Re: Claim of Paul Simoncelli, No. 111552.
Jack R. Sparacino, with him Manderino and Sparacino, for appellants.
Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him J. Shane Creamer, Attorney General, for appellees.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by President Judge Bowman. Judge Kramer joins in the dissenting portion of this opinion. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Kramer. Judge Crumlish, Jr., joins in this Dissenting Opinion.
The above two cases are essentially identical on the facts, were argued together, and can be decided together.
Appellant-claimants were members of Monongahela Valley Typographical Union Local 504, employed by employer, The Valley Independent, a division of Thomson Newspaper Publishing, Inc., in Monessen, Pennsylvania. This union was a member of the Mon Valley Trades Council. Another union which represented other workers at employer's plant went on strike on August 28, 1970. Appellant-claimants crossed the picket line established by the other striking union without incident and continued to work.
On September 4, 1970, the Mon Valley Trades Council established a second picket line some distance from the one established by the striking union. There was evidence offered that threats were made against appellant-claimants
and their families if the appellant-claimants crossed the second picket line which was established by the Mon Valley Trades Council of which appellant-claimants' union was a member. The testimony was to the effect that the alleged threats were from the Mon Valley Trades Council. Appellant-claimants did not cross the picket line established by the Mon Valley Trades Council in sympathy with the striking union.
After application was made for unemployment compensation, the Bureau of Employment Security rendered a decision in favor of the appellant-claimants, awarding compensation beginning September 11, 1970. This Bureau decision was appealed by the employer. On appeal, the Referee reversed the Bureau on February 16, 1971. Appellant-claimants appealed to the Board which remanded the cases to the Referee for further testimony. After reviewing the record of both hearings, the Board adopted the findings of the Referee and affirmed his decision determining that appellant-claimants were ineligible.
Two questions are raised by this appeal, one relatively simple under the decided cases and one that is not simple and is novel indeed.
The first is as to the appellant-claimants' eligibility for unemployment compensation. The Referee and the Board found that the threats that induced appellant-claimants to refuse to cross the picket line on September 4, 1970, were threats from its own union against crossing its own union's picket line. Finding of Fact No. 10 states: "Claimant and Members of the Monongahela Valley Typographical Union Local 504, refused to cross the picket line on September 4, 1970, in deference to the AFL-CIO mandate against crossing a fellow member union picket ...