Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of Frank Pagel et al., No. B-169133.
Warren M. Laddon, with him Michael Hacker and Robert R. LeGros, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and Alfred J. D'Angelo, Jr., Cunniff, Bray & McAleese, for petitioners.
William Kennedy, Assistant Attorney General, with him James K. Bradley, Associate Counsel, Richard Wagner, Counsel, and Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.
No appearance for intervenors.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Rogers and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 646]
This is an appeal by Acme Markets, Incorporated (employer) from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board).*fn1 The Board's
[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 647]
order reversed a referee's decision that the employer's meat cutters (claimants) were ineligible for benefits under Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn2 Claimants sought benefits for a three week period during which they were not permitted to work by the employer, during a labor dispute. At issue is whether the employer's refusal to allow the claimants to work constituted a lockout for purposes of Section 402(d) which denies benefits to claimants whose unemployment is due to a work stoppage during a labor dispute, other than a lockout.
[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 648]
The employer is a member of a multi-employer bargaining unit, the Philadelphia Food Store Employers Labor Council (Council),*fn3 intervenor in the instant appeal on the employer's behalf. The claimants are members of Local 198 of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of America (Union). In March, 1977, a labor dispute ensued between the Council and the Union upon the expiration on March 5, 1977, of a collective bargaining agreement between them. Although negotiations for a new agreement had been ongoing since January, 1977, the parties failed to resolve their differences and the old agreement expired at midnight on March 5, 1977.
Immediately thereafter, negotiators for the Council requested the Union negotiators to propose an extension of the expired agreement at a membership meeting on the morning of March 6, 1977. The proposal was put before the Union members, but they voted not to extend the agreement; and the Council was informed of their vote by the Union on March 6. The membership voted at the same meeting to strike the meat departments of the Food Fair chain. The Union advised the Council of the strike vote against Food Fair, and that the meat cutters at the instant employer's store would continue to work.
The claimants were directed by the Union to report to work at the employer's stores as scheduled. However, due to confusion within the Union, sporadic picketing occurred at several of the employer's stores on March 6. The Union took prompt action and ended the picketing, which in no instance lasted more than one hour. The ...