Appeals from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in cases of In Re: Claim of Leroy B. Taylor, Sr. et al., No. B-144967; Claim of Costanza Policino et al., No. B-144969; and Claim of Wallis J. Wright, No. B-144973.
Michael H. Katz, with him Warren J. Borish, and Meranze, Katz, Spear & Wilderman, for petitioners.
Reese F. Couch, Assistant Attorney General, with him Gerald Gornish, Acting Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Blatt and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 578]
Leroy B. Taylor, Sr., Costanza Policino, and Wallis J. Wright (claimants) have appealed to this Court from orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board), which affirmed a referee's denial of their claims for benefits. Because these appeals stem from the same labor dispute, each of them representing a test case by the employees of three separate employers, they have been combined for the purposes of these proceedings.
On May 16, 1974, members of Teamsters Union Locals 470, 312 and 384 struck and established picket lines at the premises of Robert Hawthorne, Inc., James D. Morrissey, Inc., and Quick-Way, Inc. The claimants, each of whom was employed by one of these companies, but were not members of the striking union, refused to cross the picket lines asserting that their consequent failure to report for work was because of their fear of violence to themselves and their property. The referee, however, made the following findings in each case:
[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 5793]
. Although some verbal threats were made, the picket lines were orderly, and no acts of violence were reported.
4. Claimant was a Member of the Automatic [ sic ] and Body Builders Local Union No. 724, International Ass'n. of Machinists.
5. Claimant did not cross the picket lines and did not report for work during the period of the work stoppage, although work was available for Members of the Automotive and Body Builders Local Union Number 724, and the claimant could have worked had he desired to do so.
Accordingly, she concluded that the claimants had voluntarily honored the picket lines and were therefore disqualified from receiving benefits under Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law,*fn1 43 P.S. § 802(d), which precludes benefits when the unemployment is the result of participation in a labor dispute. On its review, the Board concluded that the referee's determination was proper. Before this Court the claimants argue that their refusal to cross the picket line was justifiable because they had a bona fide fear of violence and injury as a result of the conduct of the pickets.
On an appeal from an adjudication of a Commonwealth agency, we must affirm unless constitutional rights have been violated, an error of law has been made, the rules of agency procedure have been violated or a finding of fact necessary to support the adjudication is not supported by substantial evidence. 2 Pa. C.S. § 704. No question of procedure or constitutionality is raised here, so we will confine ...