MR. JUSTICE GOLDBERG delivered the opinion of the Court.
On petition of Insurance Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, and over the protest of respondent, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, as to the appropriateness of the bargaining unit, the National Labor Relations Board, in a proceeding under § 9 (c) of the National Labor Relations Act, 49 Stat. 453, as amended, 29 U. S. C. § 159 (c) (1958 ed.), certified the union as the bargaining representative of all debit insurance agents, including all canvassing regular and office account agents, at respondent's district office in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
Section 9 (b) of the National Labor Relations Act, 49 Stat. 453, as amended, 29 U. S. C. § 159 (b) (1958 ed.) provides:
This broad delegation of authority, see Pittsburgh Glass Co. v. Labor Board, supra, was limited in 1947 by the enactment of § 9 (c) (5) of the Act, 61 Stat. 144, 29 U. S. C. § 159 (c) (5) (1958 ed.), which provides that "[i]n determining whether a unit is appropriate for the purposes specified in subsection (b) of this section the extent to which the employees have organized shall not be controlling."
Although it is clear that in passing this amendment Congress intended to overrule Board decisions where the unit determined could only be supported on the basis of the extent of organization, both the language and legislative
The Court of Appeals here properly recognized this effect of § 9 (c) (5), but held, in light of the unarticulated bases of decision, and what appeared to it to be inconsistent determinations approving units requested by the union, that the only conclusion that it could reach was that the Board has made the extent of organization the controlling factor, in violation of the congressional mandate. We agree with the Court of Appeals that the enforcing court should not overlook or ignore an evasion of the § 9 (c) (5) command. We further agree that in determining whether or not there has been such an evasion, the results in other recent decisions of the Board are relevant. We cannot, however, agree that the only possible conclusion here is that the Board has violated § 9 (c) (5). Cf. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Labor Board (Cleveland), supra; Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Labor Board (Delaware), supra.
On the other hand, due to the Board's lack of articulated reasons for the decisions in and distinctions among these cases,
Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is vacated and the case remanded to that court with instructions to remand it to the Board for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, dissenting.
A reading of the Court's opinion reveals the fallacies on which the Board proceeded. The employer sought review of the Board's order, asking that it be set aside. Concededly it should be. But we need not act as amicus for the Board, telling it what to do. The Board is powerful and resourceful and can start over again should it wish. How stale this record may be we do not know. Neither of the parties asks for a remand. They are willing to stand or fall on the present record; and we should resolve the controversy in that posture.
"The Employer has eight district offices and two detached offices in Rhode Island, and has only one district office in Woonsocket. The nearest district office is located 12 miles away in Pawtucket. In the prior proceeding in Case No. 4-RC-4865, based on the same record incorporated by reference herein, we found that each of Employer's individual district offices was in effect a separate administrative entity through which the Employer conducted its business operations, and therefore was inherently appropriate for purposes of collective bargaining. See Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 138 NLRB . . . . . Applying the tests set forth therein, we find that, since there is no recent history of collective bargaining, no union seeking a larger unit, and the district office sought is located in a separate and distinct geographical area, the employees located at the Woonsocket district office constitute an appropriate unit. See also Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, . . .  NLRB . . . ."
The cases cited are the Board's decisions in the Delaware and Sioux City cases discussed supra. They do not appear, because of their variant factual circumstances, to be direct authority for decision in this case. Moreover, the Board made no attempt to distinguish other cases, particularly the Chicago and Cleveland cases discussed supra, in which it certified different types of units. The unfair labor practice proceeding added nothing to the analysis, as the trial examiner did not review the issue, as he felt "bound by the Board's ruling in the representation proceeding," 142 N. L. R. B., at 492, and the Board affirmed the trial examiner's ruling without discussion, id., at 491.