Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in cases of In Re: Claim of S. Lawrence Woodhouse et al., No. B-152369.
Ira Silverstein, for petitioners.
James Crawford, with him J. B. Millard Tyson and Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, for respondents.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., DiSalle and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
Twelve claimants, members of the International Association of Machinists Local No. 724, have filed a mass appeal to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review's (UCBR) denial of benefits under the disqualifying provision of Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Act),*fn1 43 P.S. § 802(d).
Because Lawrence Woodhouse's claim was erroneously considered a "test case" in these circumstances, claimants have not been accorded a full and fair determination of their appeals. We vacate UCBR's denial and remand.
Claimants are journeymen maintenance mechanics, porters and carwashers who are employed by United
Parcel Service (UPS) and who worked at five different UPS locations in Pennsylvania: Philadelphia (15 E. Oregon Avenue), Norristown, Jenkintown, West Chester and Doylestown. On September 15, 1976, UPS drivers, members of the Teamsters Local No. 623, struck and established picket lines at each of the sites. During the ensuing 13-week strike, claimants were unemployed.
Section 402(d) provides that all persons who are unemployed because of a labor dispute are ineligible for benefits unless they can requalify themselves for compensation by showing they meet three requirements set forth in the proviso to Section 402(d): (1) they neither participated in nor became directly interested in the dispute, (2) they did not belong to an organization which either participated in or became directly involved in the dispute, and (3) they are a different grade or class of workers than those participating in or directly interested in the dispute.
The only obstacle left to claimants' requalification, because they are a different class or grade from the striking drivers and were not members or affiliates of the striking union, is to prove that they were not statutory participants in the strike. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review v. Tickle, 19 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 550, 339 A.2d 864 (1975).
At the referee's hearing, claimants testified to distinctly different reasons for their unemployment which varied from site to site. At two of the sites, claimant testified that their refusal to cross the picket lines was involuntary because of a real and ...