MR. JUSTICE CLARK delivered the opinion of the Court.
This case concerns the attempt of the petitioner, Local 11 of the Office Employes International Union, AFL-CIO, to represent for collective bargaining purposes the office-clerical workers employed at the Teamsters
We shall not deal with the merits of the unfair labor practice complaints. As to the jurisdictional question, the findings indicate that there are 23 workers employed by the various Teamster organizations at the Teamsters Building. They are paid by the Teamster group which, excluding the Security Plan Office, forms "an integral part of a multistate enterprise."
With regard to the jurisdiction of the Board the wording of § 2 (2) of the Act is clear and unambiguous. It says that the term "employer" includes any labor organization "when acting as an employer." It follows that when a labor union takes on the role of an employer the Act applies to its operations just as it would to any other employer. The Board itself recognized this fact as early
The legislative history of § 2 (2) unequivocally supports our conclusion. The Act, before its adoption in 1935, was considered by both the 73d and 74th Congresses.
The question remains whether the Board may, nevertheless, refuse to assert jurisdiction over labor unions, as a class, when acting as employers. The Board in the face of the clear expression of the Congress to the contrary has exempted labor unions when acting as employers from the provisions of the Act. We believe that such an arbitrary blanket exclusion of union employers as a class is beyond the power of the Board. While it is true that "the Board sometimes properly declines to [assert jurisdiction] stating that the policies of the Act would not be effectuated by its assertion of jurisdiction in that case" (emphasis supplied), Labor Board v. Denver Bldg. Council, 341 U.S. 675, 684 (1951), here the Board renounces jurisdiction over an entire category of employers, i. e., labor unions, a most important segment of American industrial life. It reasons that labor unions are nonprofit organizations. But until this case the Board has never recognized such a blanket rule of exclusion over all nonprofit employers. It has declined jurisdiction on an ad hoc basis over religious, educational, and eleemosynary employers such as a university library, a symphony orchestra, a research laboratory, and a church radio station.
We therefore conclude that the Board's declination of jurisdiction was contrary to the intent of Congress, was arbitrary, and was beyond its power. The judgment is therefore reversed and the case is remanded to the Court of Appeals for remand to the Board for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
I agree that labor organizations are "employers" under § 2 (2) of the Act with respect to their own employees. I dissent, however, from the Court's holding that the Board is without power to decline to assert jurisdiction over labor unions as a class. I am of the view that the Board has discretionary authority to decline to do so when the Board determines, for proper reasons, that the policies of the Act would not be effectuated by its assertion of jurisdiction. Cf. Labor Board v. Denver Bldg. Council, 341 U.S. 675, 684; Hotel Association of St. Louis, 92 N. L. R. B. 1388, aff'd, 147 F.Supp. 306; Checker Cab Co., 110 N. L. R. B. 683. However, the declination to assert jurisdiction was rested upon the same grounds relied upon by the Board in declining jurisdiction over nonprofit organizations. These grounds, in my view, are not proper reasons for declining to assert jurisdiction over labor organizations. I would, therefore, remand the case to the Court of Appeals for remand to the Board for reconsideration.
"SEC. 2. When used in this Act—
"(2) The term `employer' includes any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly, but shall not include the United States or any wholly owned Government corporation, or any Federal Reserve Bank, or any State or political subdivision thereof, or any corporation or association operating a hospital, if no part of the net earnings inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, or any person subject to the Railway Labor Act, as amended from time to time, or any labor organization (other than when acting as an employer), or anyone acting in the capacity of officer or agent of such labor organization." (Emphasis supplied.)
The Security Plan Office administers 18 trust funds and receives contributions provided for by collective bargaining agreements with some 2,000 employers located in four western States. Some of the funds are invested in health and welfare insurance policies on which over $2,000,000 per annum in premiums is paid to a California insurance carrier. The minimum "direct outflow" requirement established for jurisdictional purposes in Jonesboro, supra, is $50,000. The California insurance carrier remits 4% of the premiums to the Security Plan Office to defray the expense of maintaining an office and processing and paying claims under the health and welfare plan. The Security Plan Office employed and paid at various times from five to ten of the personnel at the Teamsters Building.
The Teamsters Building Association, Inc., is, as are the other Teamsters, a nonprofit corporation. Its stock is held by six Teamster locals including Local 206, one of the defendants charged with unfair labor practices in the complaint before the Board. The Association's sole function is the ownership and maintenance of the office building in Portland which is occupied by the various Teamster organizations.
In Checker Cab Co., 110 N. L. R. B. 683 (1954), the Board declined jurisdiction of an action involving a purely local employer operating two taxicab companies in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. See also Yellow Cab Company of California, 90 N. L. R. B. 1884 (1950); Skyview Transportation Co., 90 N. L. R. B. 1895 (1950); and Brooklyn Cab Corp., 90 N. L. R. B. 1898 (1950). In these cases the declination of jurisdiction was based on the local character of the operations. We indicate neither approval nor disapproval of these jurisdictional declinations.