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Anderson v Top O'Michigan Rural Electric 13.14

Section 29(1)(e), 29(6)

REFUSAL OF WORK, Refusal to cross picket line, Fine imposed by union, Interim employment, Labor dispute, Recall during strike, Suitable work, Termination of disqualification

CITE AS: Anderson v Top O'Michigan Rural Electric, 118 Mich App 275 (1982).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Noah E. Anderson, et al

Employer: Top O'Michigan Rural Electric

Docket No: B79 12197 RO1 70219

COURT OF APPEAL HOLDING ... Refusal to accept an offer of work from an employer who is involved in a labor dispute will not work a Section 29(1)(e) disqualification.

FACTS: The claimants were each employed as line trade employees or as field technician employees. A third bargaining unit made up of office workers was also a member of the union. The office workers went on strike. Claimants refused to cross the office workers' picket line.

When the claimants initially applied for benefits under the Michigan Employment Security Act they were found to be disqualified under Section 29(8)(iv) because they were involved in a labor dispute in progress.

Claimants thereafter obtained employment with employers other than Top O'Michigan. When claimants were laid off from those jobs they applied for benefits. At that time the MESC determined that under Section 29(8) the prior disqualification had been terminated.

Top O'Michigan wrote to claimants stating that their jobs were available to them. Claimants refused that offer of work. The labor dispute was still in progress.

DECISION: The work offered was not suitable work under Section 29(7) and the disqualification of Section 29(1)(e) of the MES Act does not apply.

RATIONALE: To read the Act as the employer has done would render wholly ineffective the provision contained in Section 29(8) for terminating a labor dispute disqualification.

The Court used the language of Great Lakes Steel Corp. v Employment Security Commission, 6 Mich App 656 at 662; 150 NW2d 547 (1967) that striking workers who are laid off after obtaining interim employment are entitled to receive unemployment benefits.


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