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GRINNELL CORPORATION v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/07/89)

decided: July 7, 1989.

GRINNELL CORPORATION, PETITIONER,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



PETITION FOR REVIEW (UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION)

COUNSEL

David Kresser, Charles Kelso and Ann Margaret Pointer, Fisher & Phillips, Atlanta, Georgia, and Richard P. Nuffort, Zimmerman, Pfannebecker & Nuffort, Lancaster, pro hac vice granted, for petitioner.

Quintes D. Taglioli, Markowitz & Richman, Allentown, notice of intervention, for intervenors, Beth Metzger, et al. and Samuel Huntoon, et al.

Colins and Smith, JJ., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.

Author: Colins

[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 300]

Grinnell Corporation (Grinnell) petitions for review of a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) dated May 27, 1988, which affirmed a referee's decision to award benefits to Beth E. Metzger and Samuel W. Huntoon, lead token claimants and intervenors in this appeal, and other union employees of Grinnell's Columbia, Pennsylvania plant. We affirm.

Local 376 of the International Molders and Allied Workers Union (Union) was the collective bargaining representative for claimants. Grinnell and the Union were parties to a

[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 301]

    collective bargaining agreement (agreement), which had an expiration date of midnight, October 10, 1987. The parties met at negotiating sessions prior to October 10 but were unable to agree upon the terms and conditions of a new agreement. However, Grinnell and the Union did agree that following October 10, 1987 claimants would continue to work under the same terms and conditions of the expired agreement, which situation continued through October 17, 1987.

Grinnell informed the Union by letter dated October 14, 1987, that if its final contract proposal was rejected at the Union meeting scheduled for October 17, Grinnell would unilaterally implement its proposal and would only allow claimants to return to work under those new conditions. Claimants rejected Grinnell's proposal on October 17 and offered in writing to continue working under the terms of the expired agreement while negotiations continued. Grinnell rejected this offer and unilaterally implemented its final proposal on October 17, 1987.*fn1 A work stoppage began on the premises on October 17, 1987 at 12:00 p.m. and work remained available only on the terms and conditions of Grinnell's last offer.

Claimants applied for unemployment compensation benefits and on November 5, 1987, the Office of Employment Security (OES) awarded benefits pursuant to Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law),*fn2 Employer timely appealed to the referee on November 18, 1987. The referee issued a decision on February 22, 1988, affirming the OES' award of benefits. The referee concluded that the

[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 302]

    work stoppage was a lockout within the meaning of ...


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