LABOR DISPUTE, Same establishment
CITE AS: Park v ESC, 355 Mich 103 (1959).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Alexander Park, et al
Employer: Ford Motor Co
Docket No: B53 2548 (1) 16396
SUPREME COURT HOLDING: Functional integration, general unity and physical proximity of an employer's plants do not, standing alone, make them a single "establishment" within the meaning of Section 29(8) of the MES Act.
FACTS: Claimants were employed at three Ford plants in the Detroit area. A strike at Ford's Canton, Ohio forge plant resulted in a shortage of necessary parts, and, as a consequence, claimants were laid off. There was no strike vote, walkout or picketing at the three affected plants, and other employees, not affected by the shortage of parts, continued to work.
DECISION: Claimants are not disqualified under Section 29(8).
RATIONALE: At the time, Section 29(8) provided for disqualification if a labor dispute was in "the establishment" where claimants worked. The court concluded the terms "employing unit" and "establishment", are not synonymous, with "employing unit" being the broader, more inclusive term. The court reviewed decisions from other states and quoted the following with approval:
"... the test of functional integrality, general unity, and physical proximity should not be adopted as an absolute test in all cases of this type. No doubt, these factors are elements that should be taken into consideration in determining the ultimate question of whether a factory, plant, or unit of a larger industry is a separate establishment within the meaning of our employment and security law. However, there are other factors which must also be taken into consideration." Nordling v Ford Motor Co., 231 Minn 68 (1950).
(Note: Section 29(8) was amended in 1963. The amendment did not change the definition of "establishment", but did provide for disqualification in cases of a labor dispute in any other establishment within the United States functionally integrated with the subject establishment and operated by the same employing unit.)