TERRY, President Judge.
This case arises by way of an appeal from an amended decision of the Unemployment Compensation Commission (Appeal Docket No. 9048-A). Such an appeal is made pursuant to the provisions of Title 19, Delaware Code, Section 3323, by Section 2 thereof:
The Commission has made a finding of the following facts; the appellant is a union electrician who has resided in the Wilmington area since 1947. Formerly, he lived in New York City, where he acquired membership in Local Number 3 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He has retained his New York membership and has never become a member of Wilmington Local Number 313 I.B.E.W. It is the practice of the I.B.E.W. to permit a paid up member of any one of its various Locals to work-out of any other I.B.E.W. Local throughout the Nation. Under this policy the appellant had found no difficulty in getting employment through the Wilmington Local.
However, the Commission also found that the above noted union policy is complemented by a companion practice. This latter practice was found to be pursuant to an intra-union regulation which provided that the Union Local for a particular area (in this case Local 313, I.B.E.W. for Wilmington area) could require a union member from another Local (in this case the appellant from Local Number 3, I.B.E.W. New York City) who had been working out of its Union Hall, to surrender his employment, if such should be necessary, in order to provide a job for one of the members of the host Local (No. 313) who happened to be unemployed at that time.
These two union practices are quite relevant, since the Commission found that on
Being unemployed, the appellant applied for unemployment compensation on the theory that he had lost his employment pursuant to Article 2 Section 3 of the collective bargaining agreement in force between Local 313 and Light and Power Construction Company. Said Section provides:
To bring himself under this section the appellant would read the phrase "in good standing of the union" to mean "in good standing of I.B.E.W. Local 313." This is the crux of the case, for the Commission has adopted an antithetical construction, whereby it has interpreted the word "union" to mean the overall organization of the I.B.E.W. By way of amplification, the Commission ruled:
Thus, the Commission held that Article 2 Section 3 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement had no application to the appellant's unemployment, and that he had not been bumped pursuant to its provisions. Rather, they found that he had voluntarily surrendered his job as a result of a strictly intra-union bumping agreement. They held this to be a personal reason and not a "good cause attributable to (his) work." Therefore, he was ineligible for unemployment benefits under the provisions of Title 19, Delaware Code, Section 3315 (1), which provides, inter alia, that "an individual shall be disqualified for benefits (1) for the period of unemployment next ensuing after he has left his work voluntarily without good cause attributable to such work * * *."
In support of its opinion the Commission has relied heavily upon Bigger v. Unemployment Compensation Commission, 4 Terry 553, 53 A.2d 761.
In reviewing the record in this case, I must conclude that there is evidence in the record to support the Commission's factual determination. The primary point of contention centers around the ruling that appellant was bumped because of an intra-union agreement and not because of Article 2, Section 3 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This ruling involved a finding of fact as to the existence of the intra-union agreement as well as an interpretation of the import of said Article 2, Section 3.
Without setting forth a belabored factual analysis, I find upon the record that the Commission was justified in finding the existence of an intra-union bumping agreement, in determining that said agreement was not embraced within the provisions of Article 2, Section 3 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and in construing Article 2, Section 3 in the manner above quoted.
The Commission having reached the above determination, it did not err in relying on the law as expressed in Bigger v. Unemployment Compensation Commission, supra. Admittedly the fact situation in Bigger was somewhat different than in the case at bar, nevertheless, the Court in that case dealt squarely with the issue of whether or not an intra-union agreement could afford a reason (recognizable under the Unemployment Compensation Act) by which a union member could refuse employment and still be entitled to benefits under the Act. Its reasoning relative to a refusal of employment must be said to be equally applicable to a surrender of employment, as in this case. At page 766 of 53 A.2d in the Bigger opinion the Court said:
With this language in mind, we must refer to the applicable statutory requirement as expressed in Title 19, Delaware Code, Section 3315(1) which renders appellant ineligible if he left his work "voluntarily without good cause attributable to such work." Had he left work as a result of the bumping clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement there would seem to be no doubt that he had left because of a good cause attributable to his work, for he would have left due to a contractual provision by which he (through the Union) and his employer were legally bound. But he left as a result of a strictly intra-union bumping regulation and such, in logic, cannot be attributable to his work within the meaning of the Act and the Bigger construction.
The voluntariness of appellant's surrender of employment is derived from the voluntariness by which he joined the union and agreed to be bound by its internal regulations. That he may feel that he had no choice but to leave under the circumstances, cannot be taken to be determinative of involuntariness within the meaning of the Act as construed. His reason was a personal one, attributable to the voluntary acceptance of a union regulation; it was not a good cause attributable to his work. Therefore, he is rendered ineligible for benefits
The decision of the Commission must be affirmed in all respects.
An order will be entered upon motion.