LABOR DISPUTE, Permanent replacements, Termination of labor dispute disqualification
CITE AS: Plymouth Stamping, Div of Eltec Corp. v Lipshu, 436 Mich 1 (1990).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Mike Lipshu, et al
Employer: Plymouth Stamping Div of Eltec Corp.
Docket No: B81 84901 84830 et al
SUPREME COURT HOLDING: "[A]ny striker who is permanently replaced is entitled to benefits from that time forward unless and until some succeeding event again renders the labor dispute a substantial contributing cause of the unemployment."
FACTS: Claimants began striking after the labor contract expired. The employer began hiring replacement workers and notified the union that the strikers had been permanently replaced. Later, it notified the union that there were seven positions that the sixteen strikers could immediately fill if the union accepted the employer's last contract offer. The union advised that the strikers would return only as a group and only after the employer fired or laid off all replacement workers.
DECISION: The labor dispute disqualifications terminated when the employer notified the strikers that they had been permanently replaced.
RATIONALE: When the employer notified the claimants that they had been permanently replaced, the labor dispute ceased to be a substantial contributing cause of their unemployment. Baker v General Motors Corp, 409 Mich 369 (1980). However, the claimant's refusal of a subsequent offer of employment could again cause the labor dispute to become a substantial contributing cause of their unemployment. The matter was remanded to the Commission for further factual development regarding the availability of specific positions after the replacement workers became permanent employees, the claimant's eligibility to fill any such positions, and what notification, if any, was given to the union, and to consider any other bases on which the claimants may or may not be eligible for benefits.