Reichold Chemicals, Inc.

66 Lab. Arb. Rep. 745 (1976)

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Reichold Chemicals, Inc.

Labor Arbitration
66 Lab. Arb. Rep. 745 (1976)

Facts

After collective-bargaining negotiations between a union (plaintiff) and Reichold Chemicals, Inc. (Reichold) (defendant) broke down, Reichold employees went on strike for approximately three months. After the strike ended and the employees returned to work, Reichold issued a bulletin that reduced the employees’ vacation hours by one-fourth for the year (i.e., proportional to the length of the strike). During a previous labor negotiation, the parties had expressly agreed to granting vacation credit for strike time; however, they did not do so here. Instead, under the labor agreement between the union and Reichold, employees accrued vacation hours based on the length of service. Under the provision, employees did not accrue vacation hours during time spent on layoffs. Similarly, under a different provision of the agreement, employees gained seniority based on the length of service. That provision, however, also provided that the accumulation of service for seniority could be broken only by certain conditions, none of which included a strike. The union challenged Reichold’s prorated reduction of the employees’ vacation hours for time spent on strike. According to the union, because service under the seniority provision could not be broken by a strike, it followed that service under the vacation provision could not be broken by a strike. Reichold responded that the two provisions were not the same and that vacation hours could be prorated for the strike period during which employees did not work. The parties submitted the matter to arbitration.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jackson, Arbitrator)

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