Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Eugene Heydt, et al., No. B-129590.
Susan Carroll, with her James D. Crawford, J B. Millard Tyson, and Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, for appellant.
Daniel R. Schuckers, Assistant Attorney General, with him Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.
Joseph Lurie, with him Galfand, Berger, Senesky, Lurie & March, for intervening appellees.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.
[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 298]
This appeal arises from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) granting 43 employes and former employes (claimants) unemployment compensation benefits because they were out of work due to a lockout by their employer. We reverse.
In this case, claimants, members of Local 6622 of the United Steel Workers of America, were employed by the Morysville Body Works. The collective bargaining agreement between the parties expired on February 28, 1974, and each side agreed to work under the terms of the old written contract until March 4. On March 4 what the parties then regarded as an oral agreement was reached and work was to continue under its terms while management drafted a new written contract not merely reducing the oral contract to writing but including necessary revisions in the old
[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 299]
written contract to accommodate the new terms which had been discussed and settled. Work continued until March 27 when a written contract, with changes from the old contract not discussed or agreed to on March 4, was presented to and rejected by the union. The union offered to continue working under its concept of the oral agreement which, according to claimants, had never been put into effect for complaints arose at the first pay period. The Company refused the offer and on March 28, 1974, picket lines were established. After a hearing a referee refused to award benefits, but was reversed by the Board which characterized the work stoppage as a lockout.
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) provides, inter alia :
An employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week --
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 ...