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ALFRED MOSQUEDA ET AL. v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/30/81)

decided: June 30, 1981.

ALFRED MOSQUEDA ET AL., PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in cases of In re: Claims of Alfred Mosqueda, No. B-180309; Glenn D. Gilmore, No. B-180310; William J. Kapfer, No. B-180311; Donald J. Romano, No. B-180312; David E. Kovac, No. B-180313; Harry Kratzenberg, No. B-180314; William F. Miller, No. B-180315; John A. Wojciechowski, Jr., No. B-180316; Albert W. Vamosi, No. B-180317; Kenneth C. Kremer, No. B-180318; Stephen Petro, No. B-180319; Robert W. Noble, No. B-180320, and Eugene R. Carrozza, Jr., No. B-171690-C.

COUNSEL

Frank J. Lucchino, Grogan, Graffam, McGinley, Solomon & Lucchino, for petitioners.

Charles Hasson, Assistant Attorney General, with him Stephen B. Lipson, Assistant Attorney General, Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, and LeRoy Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 243]

This is a joint appeal by Alfred Mosqueda and others from orders of the Unemployment Compensation

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 244]

Board of Review (Board) denying them trade readjustment allowance benefits (TRA) under the Federal Trade Act of 1974, 19 U.S.C. § 2271 et seq.*fn1

Alfred Mosqueda (claimant) was last employed by United States Steel Corporation (U.S. Steel) as a welder apprentice. His last day of work was January 30, 1976, when he was laid off due to a lack of work.

The terms and conditions of claimant's employment were set forth in a Collective Bargaining Agreement. Under that Collective Bargaining Agreement, an employee who is laid off has the option of choosing whether to accept a standard lay off or an assignment under the "Apprentice Special Training Program." The "Apprentice Special Training Program", also known as apprentice retention, is a particular arrangement utilized by claimant's employer when a reduction in force amongst its employees is necessary. An employee electing to participate in that plan is placed in a special training status while remaining in the employ of U.S. Steel. Those employees choosing to partake of that program, however, forfeit their seniority rank within their respective departments. In addition, the net payment received by an employee in the apprentice retention program is somewhat less than that a laid off worker would receive if he collected unemployment compensation and supplemental unemployment benefits.

Approximately one week after claimant's lay off in January, 1976, claimant was offered apprentice retention. Claimant accepted work retention and participated

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 245]

    in such until February 23, 1976, at which time he was recalled to the department in which he had worked prior to his furlough. For close to one year, beginning in April, 1976, claimant was intermittently laid off from work and rehired as he was needed. Each time he was laid off after April 1976, claimant chose the standard lay off rather than accept the apprentice retention program. Finally, on March 7, 1977, claimant returned to his employment at U.S. Steel where he continued to work as of the time of the proceedings below. During claimant's periods of unemployment, he applied for unemployment compensation benefits. He was determined to be eligible and was paid benefits for those weeks. In addition to requesting unemployment benefits, claimant filed an application for TRA benefits. Claimant fulfilled the requirements needed to apply for TRA benefits. ...


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