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Salenius v Jim Cullen, Inc 15.15

Section 29(8)

LABOR DISPUTE, Controversy, Lockout, Termination of contract

CITE AS: Salenius v Jim Cullen, Inc., 33 Mich App 228 (1971).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Robert A. Salenius, et al

Employer: Jim Cullen, Inc.

Docket No: B68 3343 36845

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Where union members terminate their contract upon its expiration but continue to work, and the employer agrees to adopt whatever contract terms result from negotiations between the union and other employers, a subsequent lockout is not a labor dispute.

FACTS: The employer was a Wisconsin-based construction firm which had one Michigan work site but no ties to the Michigan Chapter of the Associated General Contractors, whose member companies had been struck by the General Laborers' Union. The Union's contract with the employer had been terminated, but its members stayed on the job. The employer agreed to accept the terms of the contract being negotiated with the M.A.G.C. After three weeks without a contact the employer locked out its workers.

DECISION: The lockout was not due to a labor dispute.

RATIONALE: "Clearly there was the requisite controversy between MAGC and the Laborers' Union. However, since Cullen was in no way affiliated with the MAGC and did not participate in any capacity in the negotiations between the Union and MAGC, the latters' dispute cannot be transposed to Cullen and those of its employees who were members of the Laborers' Union."

"Competent, material and substantial evidence must establish that the employer and at least one group of his employees expressed, prior to or during the lockout, differing view on wages, and the like. After Cullen informed the Union that it would accept the terms of a contract negotiated by MAGC, there were no negotiations between Cullen and its employees."

"The termination by the Laborers' Union of its contract with Cullen did not constitute a labor dispute."



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