Appeals in cases of In Re: Claim of Daniel L. Little et al., No. B-168399 and In Re: Claim of Barry L. Henderson et al., No. B-168417.
R. M. Guttshall, III, for petitioner.
John T. Kupchinsky, Assistant Attorney General, with him Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondent.
Frank J. Lucchino, Lucchino, Gaitens, Hough, McGinley & Solomon, for intervenors.
Judges Mencer, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 632]
These unemployment compensation appeals by United States Steel Corporation (employer) seek review of orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (board) which allowed unemployment compensation benefits to a group of employees,*fn1 by reversing a referee's decisions which had denied
[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 633]
compensation on the ground of non-fulfillment of the requirement of Section 401(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law*fn2 which conditions benefits upon the unemployed person being "available for suitable work." We affirm the orders of the board.
Because there is no factual dispute at all, we can suitably state the facts by drawing upon the statements in the parties' briefs.
Each claimant was employed at the employer's Irvin Works and was represented by the United Steelworkers of America (union), under a basic labor agreement and a local seniority agreement. On the basis of seniority (relative length of service) the latter agreement, as is typical, accorded employees with greater seniority the priority status of being later to be laid off and earlier to be recalled, but that seniority agreement was modified by a later memorandum of understanding, which provided that employees in skilled jobs ("above-the-pool" jobs) would come under, as the referee found it, "a system of reverse seniority" with respect to being assigned to labor pool ("group pool") assignments when no work was available to an employee in the skilled job category, but the reverse seniority concept applied only to employees who executed a "Waiver of Group Assignment," which waiver could be also revoked in writing.
Thus, as the employer's brief puts it, after adoption of the memorandum of understanding, instead of according priority of labor pool assignment to the most senior employees first, the employees who had not executed the waiver were assigned (recalled) first, with priority being given to the most senior among them; then, if labor pool positions were still available ...