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RICHARD A. TRONZO v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/17/87)

decided: March 17, 1987.

RICHARD A. TRONZO, THOMAS J. KEEFE, AND PAUL BOBAK, APPELLEES,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, APPELLANT



Appeals from the Orders of the Commonwealth Court at Nos. 2880, 2881, 2882, C.D. 1981 Dated November 5, 1984, Reversing the Decision and Orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review Dated November 9, 1981, Decision Nos. B-200972, B-200973 and B-200974. Nix, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson, Zappala and Papadakos, JJ. Hutchinson, J., files a dissenting opinion in which McDermott, J., joins.

Author: Nix

[ 514 Pa. Page 25]

OPINION

This is an appeal from the reversal by the Commonwealth Court of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review's (Board) denial of unemployment compensation benefits to the claimants herein.*fn1 The substantive issue in this appeal is whether claimants Richard A. Tronzo, Thomas J. Keefe and Paul Bobak, employees of a union local, were entitled to unemployment benefits under section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Exec.Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(d), when they were laid off by their local because of lack of work. The Commonwealth Court disagreed with the Board's conclusion that benefits should have been denied and determined that the claimants were entitled to benefits. Tronzo v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 86 Pa. Commw. 69, 483 A.2d 1051 (1984). For the reasons that follow, we affirm the Orders of the Commonwealth Court.

The undisputed facts in the case at bar are as follows: Claimant Tronzo*fn2 was employed by his union, the United Mine Workers of America ("Union"), Local Union 1368 ("Local"), as a mine inspector and chairman of the Mine Health and Safety Committee at the rate of Ten Dollars and

[ 514 Pa. Page 26]

Seventeen Cents ($10.17) per hour. At the same time, claimant was a full-time mine operator for the Bethlehem Mines Corporation at the rate of Ninety-six Dollars ($96.00) per day.

On expiration of a collective bargaining agreement between the Union and claimant's second employer, Bethlehem Mines, the Union called a national strike in which claimant's Local 1368 participated. The mines where claimant performed his duties as a mine inspector were closed. The Union local then laid off claimant because there was no work to be performed due to the strike against Bethlehem Mines.

Claimant applied for unemployment compensation benefits due to his lay-off by his union employer which were denied by the Bureau of Employment Security under Section 402(d) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law ("Act"), 43 P.S. § 802(d). The referee concurred with the Bureau's conclusion of claimant's ineligibility, and the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review affirmed on review. The Commonwealth Court reversed the Board granting unemployment benefits to claimant.

This appeal is concerned solely with claimant's application for unemployment benefits from his union work. There is no question as to claimant's ineligibility for benefits from his employment at Bethlehem Mines.

The parameters of our review are confined to a determination of whether any errors of law were committed and whether the Board's findings were supported by substantial evidence. Borello v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 490 Pa. 607, 417 A.2d 205 (1980). "The appellate court's duty is to examine the testimony in the light most favorable to the party in whose favor the Board has found, giving that party the benefit of all inferences that can logically and reasonably be drawn from the testimony, to see if substantial evidence for the Board's conclusion exists." LeGare v. Unemployment Board of Review, 498 Pa. 72, 76, 444 A.2d 1151, 1152-53 (1982), quoting Taylor v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review,

[ 514 Pa. Page 27474]

Pa. 351, 355, 378 A.2d 829, 831 (1977). For the reasons that follow we are constrained to conclude that the Board misapplied the applicable law in concluding ...


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