Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of John J. Wallace, et al., No. B-127248.
Peter B. Broida, with him Sol Lubin, for appellant.
Daniel R. Schuckers, Assistant Attorney General, with him Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.
Richard M. Goldberg, with him Richard S. Kempes, for intervening appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Kramer did not participate. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.
[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 232]
Following the filing with the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review of a petition for mass appeal, an agreement was executed between the interested parties that the final disposition of the appeal of John J. Wallace from the decision issued by the Bureau of Employment Security under date of January 21, 1974, would be applied to all members of Local 120 of the American Newspaper Guild (Guild) who are claimants growing out of this fact situation. The names, addresses, appeal numbers, and social security numbers of these some 122 additional claimants were attached to the agreement. By this process, the instant case has been made what is denominated "the lead case in this appeal."
[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 233]
The case grows out of claims for unemployment benefits by the members of the Guild as a result of their being unemployed for the weeks ending November 24, December 1, and December 8, 1973. The claims were disallowed by the Bureau of Employment Security, by the referee, and by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review. The basis for the disallowance is Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(d), which provides:
"An employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week --
"(d) In which his unemployment is due to a stoppage of work, which exists because of a labor dispute (other than a lock-out) at the factory, establishment or other premises at which he is or was last employed: Provided, That this subsection shall not apply if it is shown that (1) he is not participating in or directly interested in, the labor dispute which caused the stoppage of work, and (2) he is not a member of an organization which is participating in, or directly interested in, the labor dispute which caused the stoppage of work, and (3) he does not belong to a grade or class of workers of which, immediately before the commencement of the stoppage, there were members employed at the premises at which the stoppage occurs, any of whom are participating in or directly interested in, the dispute."
On November 20, 1973, the members of the International Typographical Union Local 187 initiated a strike and established picket lines at the Wilkes-Barre Publishing Company, the newspaper publisher for which claimants worked. The claimants who were on duty at the time the strike was called and picket lines established understood they could leave then or could stay until the "shift" they were working was finished. Some left and others
[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 234]
completed their shifts. A careful reading of the record makes it quite clear that management did not tell them at that time or at any time during the course of the strike to either stay away or to return.
Most of the disputed fact situations that are troublesome in these cases involving unemployment compensation claims during a labor dispute are not present here. Clearly, this was a strike, not a lock-out. The picket line was peaceful, there being no violence or threats of violence. The claimants clearly refused to cross the picket line.
The very narrow issue presented is whether the record supports the finding that claimants refused to cross the picket line because of their loyalty to the labor movement and in support of their brother union or whether they declined to do so because it was known that there was no work available. We hold that the record amply supports the findings that the claimants were participating in the labor dispute and that this caused the stoppage of work, and we must affirm.
The general law in this subject area of duty to cross the picket line has been recently thoroughly reviewed by Judge Rogers in Unemployment Compensation Board of Review v. G.C. Murphy Co., 19 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 572, 339 A.2d 167 (1975), making it unnecessary to review here. We will deal directly with the factual question of what the record reveals as to whether the ...