PETITION FOR REVIEW (UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION)
Quintes D. Taglioli, Markowitz & Richman, Allentown, for petitioner.
John Herzog, Asst. Counsel, with him, James K. Bradley, Asst. Counsel, and Clifford F. Blaze, Deputy Chief Counsel, Harrisburg, for respondent.
Scott F. Zimmerman, John B. Bechtol, Reed Smith Shaw & McClay, Pittsburgh, for Intern. Paper Co.
Colins and Smith, JJ., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.
[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 371]
Ronald Grimm (petitioner) is an unemployment compensation claimant who is representative of the United Paper Workers International Union, Local 1787 (Union). The Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) issued a decision on January 15, 1988 which reversed the referee and denied benefits under Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law)*fn1 concluding that claimant's unemployment resulted from a strike rather than a lockout by International Paper Company, Inc. (employer).
The relevant facts, as found by the Board, are summarized as follows. The Union and employer were parties to a collective bargaining agreement (agreement) which expired at 3:00 p.m. on June 20, 1987. The parties met at a series of negotiating sessions in May and June of 1987, with the last session prior to the expiration of the contract being held on June 18, 1987, during which no agreement could be reached. Employer submitted its best offer to the Union on the afternoon of June 18, 1987, which offer was rejected by the Union members on the same date.*fn2 On June 19, 1987, the
[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 372]
parties met with members of the Police Departments.*fn3 At the conclusion of the meeting, employer inquired as to whether the Union intended to call a strike and the Union inquired as to whether employer intended to make work available. The Union refused to tell employer whether it intended to call a strike in support of its bargaining demands. Employer also refused to respond to the Union's query and indicated to the Union that the ball was in its court to decide whether to offer to continue to work or engage in a strike. After failing to induce employer to commit to a course of action, the Union announced that there would be a strike. The Union never made an offer to continue to work under the terms and conditions of the expiring agreement.
On June 20, 1987, at 3:00 p.m., the existing agreement expired and a work stoppage began. Work remained available for the striking union under the terms of the expired agreement. Employer continued to operate during the work stoppage and shortly after it began, notified all employees that work was available.*fn4 Approximately three to four weeks after the work stoppage began, employer began hiring replacements who, along with approximately 22 employees who crossed the picket lines returning to work, were employed under the terms of the expired agreement.
Claimant applied for unemployment compensation benefits and was declared ineligible by the Office of Employment Security (OES) on ...