Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of John E. Quinn (Lead Test Case), No. B-233565.
Martha F. Lindner, Brady, Lindner & Cullen, for petitioners.
Charles Hasson, Acting Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Richard E. Geschke, Jr., with him, Karl A. Fritton, Sprecher, Felix, Visco, Hutchison & Young, for intervenor, Purex Corporation.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 93 Pa. Commw. Page 629]
A referee denied test claimant John E. Quinn*fn1 benefits because the work stoppage in which he participated was found to be a strike and not a lockout.*fn2 The Unemployment Compensation Board of Review affirmed this determination. Quinn appeals; we affirm.
[ 93 Pa. Commw. Page 630]
Quinn, a pipefitter, is a member of the Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers International Union, Local 8-373. Its three-year contract with Purex Corporation expired on March 31, 1984, at which time the Union established picket lines. The referee found that the Union rejected Purex's offer of continued employment under the pre-existing terms and conditions while negotiations proceeded.
The question of whether a work stoppage is the result of a strike or lockout is a mixed question of law and fact subject to this Court's review. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review v. Borger Steel Co., 30 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 75, 78, 372 A.2d 969, 971 (1977). In determining eligibility, the claimant bears the burden of proving that the stoppage resulted from a lockout by the employer.
The Board having found that the Union failed to sustain its burden, our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether the Board's findings of fact can be sustained without a capricious disregard of competent evidence or whether an error of law was made by the Board. Dennis v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 55 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 215, 423 A.2d 458 (1980).
When analyzing work stoppage situations, the test to be applied is as follows:
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 settlement of the contract negotiations; and has the employer agreed to permit work to continue for a reasonable time under the pre-existing terms and conditions of employment pending ...