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UNION SPRING & MANUFACTURING CO. v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/12/81)

decided: November 12, 1981.

UNION SPRING & MANUFACTURING CO., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT. WILLIAM D. LOWERS AND JAMES S. FOLEY, INTERVENORS



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of William D. Lowers, No. B-188432, and Claim of James S. Foley, No. B-188433.

COUNSEL

William M. Young, Jr., McNees, Wallace & Nurick, with him, Madeline Balk, Seligman & Seligman, for petitioner.

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

No appearance for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 344]

Union Spring & Manufacturing Company (Petitioner) appeals to this Court from two orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which reversed the orders of a referee and found that William D. Lowers and James S. Foley (Claimants), "token" claimants, were not ineligible

[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 345]

    for unemployment compensation benefits pursuant to Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law)*fn1 since their unemployment was due to a "lockout." We affirm.

The following facts found by the Board are supported by substantial evidence in the record. Claimants, both of whom are members of the United Steelworkers of America, Local 1323 (Union),*fn2 were participants in a work stoppage at Petitioner's premises which commenced on December 15, 1979. The work stoppage occurred as a result of the expiration on December 14, 1979 of a three-year collective bargaining agreement between the Petitioner and the Union. Negotiation sessions aimed at reaching a new agreement were held between negotiating teams for the Petitioner and the Union beginning on October 25, 1979; however, no agreement had been reached by December 14 despite a final negotiation session which was held that day. The crucial events in this case occurred between the end of the final negotiation meeting, and approximately 12:30 A.M. on December 15, 1979. At the conclusion of the final meeting, at approximately 6:00 P.M. on December 14, the Union's chief negotiator expressed the Union's desire to extend the existing contract on a day to day basis so

[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 346]

    that the Union could examine the Petitioner's financial records.*fn3 The Petitioner's chief negotiator denied the request and the meeting adjourned.

It is undisputed that eleven out of fifteen employees scheduled to work the first shift after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement did report to Petitioner's premises shortly before their shift was to begin at 12:00 A.M. on December 15. Within minutes of the beginning of that shift, two Union members informed the working employees that Petitioner had refused to extend the existing agreement as ...


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