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THOMAS K. LOFTUS ET AL. v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/15/80)

decided: October 15, 1980.

THOMAS K. LOFTUS ET AL., PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW AND CANADA DRY BOTTLING CO., RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Thomas K. Loftus, Edward Jones, John Golaszewski, Joseph F. Artone, Joseph Langan, Jr., William D. Ash, Americus A. Viloani, Joseph F. Coleman, Frederick Gorton, Jr., Ernest J. Mayer, Brian J. Vanston and Chester Brezinski, No. B-174074.

COUNSEL

John J. Dunn, Sr., with him Robert D. Mariani, Dunn & Byrne, for petitioners.

William Kennedy, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent Board.

Robert Ufberg, Rosenberg & Ufberg, for respondent employer.

Judges Mencer, Craig and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 272]

This appeal requires us to determine whether the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) correctly concluded that appellants, members of Teamsters' Local 229 and employed by Canada Dry Bottling Company, were ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits, under the provisions of Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law,*fn1 because their unemployment was due to a work stoppage caused by a strike.

Section 402(d) provides, in pertinent part, that "[a]n employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week . . . (d) [i]n 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. . . ."

Since we conclude that the work stoppage being considered in this appeal was the result of a strike by appellants, and not an employer lock-out, we hold that

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 273]

    the Board did not err as a matter of law in affirming the referee's denial of benefits to appellants.

Our Supreme Court, in the case of Philco Corp. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 430 Pa. 101, 103-04, 242 A.2d 454, 455 (1968), stated:

Since the purpose of our unemployment compensation system is to compensate an individual when work has been denied him through no fault of his own, logically the test of whether a work stoppage resulted from a strike or a lock-out requires us to determine which side, union or management, first refused to continue operations under the status quo after the contract had technically expired, but while negotiations were continuing. As this Court stated in Vrotney Unemployment Compensation Case, 400 Pa. 440, 444-45, 163 A.2d 91, 93-94 (1960), the question we must answer to decide on whose shoulders lay the responsibility for the work stoppage is the following: 'Have the employees offered to continue working for a reasonable time under the pre-existing terms and conditions of employment so as to avert a work stoppage pending the final ...


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