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Vickers v. Western Elec. Co.

Supreme Court of Arizona

May 27, 1959

E. F. VICKERS, Sr., Gene Bogard and W. P. Mahoney, as Chairman and members respectively of, and constituting the Employment Security Commission of Arizona, Communication Workers of America Local 8490, Dale Ripley, Arizona Representative of Communications Workers of America, Local 8490, W. M. Demarest, T. D. Carver, R. K. Brooks, Theodore R. Gray and Ten Other Claimants for Unemployment Compensation, Appellants,
v.
WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY, Incorporated, a corporation, Appellee.

Rehearing Denied July 7, 1959.

Robert Morrison, Atty. Gen., Morris K. Udall, Robert R. Steward, Special Asst. Attys. Gen., for appellants.

Cunningham, Carson & Messinger, and William H. Rehnquist, Phoenix, for appellee.

[86 Ariz. 8] CHARLES P. ELMER, Judge of Superior Court.

The employees of Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, represented by Communication Workers of America, Local 8519, became involved in a labor dispute with their employer on March 7, 1956. Hereafter we will refer to Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company as the Telephone Company, and its employees concerned with that labor dispute as the striking employees. These striking employees then stopped work, and that evening and the next morning they set up picket lines around the various premises of the Telephone Company in said Metropolitan area, including the main building at 242 West Adams Street in Phoenix.

The work locations and offices of appellee, Western Electric Company, in this Metropolitan area are on the premises of the Telephone Company. The installers of appellee in this area are represented by the appellant Communication Workers of

Page 1034

America, Local 8490. Such installers refrained from working from March 7, 1956, until the strike of the Telephone Company employees ended on May 11, 1956. During such time they refused to cross the picket lines maintained by the striking employees of the Telephone Company. The picket lines were orderly and peaceful. Supervisory employees of appellee are not represented by the union, and they continued to work. Installers of appellee, so unemployed because of refraining from work and refusing to cross such picket lines, filed claims for unemployment compensation.

The hearing of the claimants herein was reached on April 6, 1956. On April 13, 1956, the special deputy before whom the hearing was held released his decision in which he found, among other things:

'2. All of the employer's work locations and offices in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area are on premises of the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company.

'3. Local 8490, Communication Workers of America, hereinafter called the union, represents in bargaining the installers of the employer.

'4. The workers represented by the union refrained from working after March 7, 1956 because there is a labor dispute at the premises in which they work. The dispute is between the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company and certain of its employees. The workers represented by the union refused and are refusing to cross the picket lines which announce the existence of the dispute.

* * *

* * *

[86 Ariz. 9] '7. An official of the employer testified that the work and job positions of all the workers who refrained from work have been available to them and are now available and that no one has been removed from the payroll or discharged.'

The special deputy then decided that the claimants were disqualified for unemployment benefits 'for the week in which they left work voluntarily without good cause in connection with their work and for the four weeks which immediately follow such week * * *.' This decision apparently was based on A.R.S. § 23-775.

Both appellee and claimants made timely appeals from the decision of the special deputy to the entire Employment Security Commission of Arizona, which will be herein referred to as the Commission. Appellee contended in its appeal that the claimants should have been found ineligible for benefits for the duration of the strike, because claimants had failed to establish they were 'available for work' within the meaning of A.R.S. § 23-771. In the alternative, appellee contended that even if claimants were eligible, they were disqualified for the duration of the strike because of their participation in a labor dispute (A.R.S. § 23-777) rather than disqualified only for four weeks for voluntary quitting (A.R.S. § 23-775) as was held by the deputy.

The hearing before the entire Commission was held on May 17, 1956, at which time appellee endeavored to put in further proof, and when that was denied made certain avowals. On May 21, 1956, the Commission made ...


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