LABOR DISPUTE, Disguised lay off, Impasse, Lockout, Strategy, Substantial contributing cause
CITE AS: Alti v Whirlpool Corporation, No. 83-2598 AE-Z, Berrien Circuit Court (May 20, 1985); lv den Mich App March 6, 1986; lv den 425 Mich 881 (1986).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Toni Alti, et al
Employer: Whirlpool Corporation
Docket No: B77 1217(1) 62081, et al
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: "The lockout by Appellee was not a 'disguised layoff' and the labor dispute was a substantial, contributing cause of appellant's unemployment, (even though it may not have been the only cause)." Claimants disqualified.
FACTS: The collective bargaining agreement expired and subsequent negotiation reached an impasse. The employer locked out the employees. All assembly was transferred to another plant where a third shift was added, plus overtime. Prior to lockout, 10,200 units were produced. After the lockout, 8,600 units were produced.
DECISION: The reduced production during the lockout could have been the result of the conditions from the lockout as well as changing market conditions. To speculate on what effect market conditions had would be just speculation in light of the testimony presented.
RATIONALE: In Smith v MESC, 410 Mich 231 (1981) the Supreme Court held that a lockout was one form of a "labor dispute." The lockout was a strategy to win concessions in the labor dispute.