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Chapter 15 LABOR DISPUTES Section 29(8)

Smith v ESC (Imerman Screw Prod. Co. et al) 15.01

Section 29(8)

LABOR DISPUTE, Burden of proof, Controversy, Disguised layoff, Expiration of contract, Lockout, Peaceful negotiations, Substantial contributing cause

CITE AS: Smith v ESC, 410 Mich 231 (1981); Doerr v ESC, 410 Mich 231 (1981).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Gary Smith, et al

Employer: Imerman Screw Products Co., et al

Docket No: B76 699 51312 et al

SUPREME COURT HOLDING: "[A] lockout may be a manifestation of a 'labor dispute in active progress' as that term is utilized in the ESA."

FACTS: "In both of these cases, the employer locked out its employees upon the expiration of their collective bargaining agreement after negotiations to arrive at a new agreement had been unsuccessful."

DECISION: (1) The claimants in Smith are disqualified under Section 29(8) of the Act. (2) Doerr is remanded to the Board of Review.

RATIONALE: "The definition of the term 'labor dispute' as set forth in Part 3A requires that there be a controversy."

"An employer may not use the failure to reach an agreement as a pretext for charging a labor dispute when it would otherwise have curtailed operations because of economic conditions."

"In conclusion, we hold that a lockout may be a manifestation of a 'labor dispute' in active progress' as that term is utilized in the ESA. If a claimant cannot work because of a lockout, 'in the establishment in which he is or was last employed', and if the substantial contributing cause of the lockout is a labor dispute, then the claimant falls within the purview of the disqualification of [S.] 29(8)."



Noblit v The Marmon Group 15.02

Section 29(8)

LABOR DISPUTE, Same establishment, Single facility, Truck drivers

CITE AS: Noblit v The Marmon Group, 386 Mich 652 (1972).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Walter G. Noblit, et al

Employer: The Marmon Group

Docket No: B66 3622 RM 35552

SUPREME COURT HOLDING: Where an employer has only one facility, truck drivers who deliver the finished product are employed at the same establishment as inside workers.

FACTS: The employer had only one location, a foundry from which the firm shipped finished products on trucks operated by company employees. The claimants were truck drivers who became unemployed because of a strike by the foundry workers. The drivers belonged to a different union, and did not honor the picket lines of the foundry workers.

DECISION: The claimants are disqualified from receiving benefits.

RATIONALE: "There is only one establishment in this case. All of the defendant's employees are employed at that one establishment. Were we to engage in fancy linguistic footwork to conclude otherwise, we would be defeating, not advancing, the declared legislative policy."

"That policy is not only to relieve from involuntary unemployment, but to do so in a manner calculated to avoid any encouragement of work stoppages arising out of labor disputes. This, the legislature has chosen to do in part by declaring a conclusive presumption that there is such a community of interest between the employees of a single establishment that it is impractical to attempt to distinguish between those employees whose unemployment is due to the vicissitudes of the market place, and those whose unemployment is due to the breakdown of internal labor management relations."



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