Allied Chemical Workers v. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co

In Allied Chemical Workers v. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., 404 U.S. 157, 92 S.Ct. 383, 30 L.Ed.2d 341 (1971), the Court held that the term "employee" did not encompass retirees when the question was whether the union's bargaining obligation under section 8(a)(5) encompassed the terms of ongoing benefits paid to retirees. Yet at the same time the Court approved the holding in Blassie v. Kroger Co., 345 F.2d 58, 67 (8th Cir. 1969), the "employee" as used in section 302(c)(5) did encompass "current employees and persons who were current employees but are now retired." 404 U.S. at 169, 92 S.Ct. at 392, quoting 345 F.2d at 70. The Court noted that "the union's role in the administration of the (pension) fund is of a far different order from its duties as collective-bargaining agent." Thus, other language in that opinion such as: "(T)he term 'employee' is not to be stretched beyond its plain meaning embracing only those who work for another for hire,' " 404 U.S. at 166, 92 S.Ct. at 391; Cf. H.R.Rep. No. 245, 80th Cong., 1st Sess. 18 (1947) (bill excluding independent contractors from statutory definition of employee) ("an 'employee,' according to all standard dictionaries, according to the law as the courts have stated it, and according to the understanding of almost everyone . . . means someone who works for another for hire. . . . 'Employees' work for wages or salaries under direct supervision."); and "the ordinary meaning of 'employee' does not include retired workers; retired employees have ceased to work for another for hire,' " 404 U.S. at 168, 92 S.Ct. at 392, does not mean that the word "employee" has a fixed meaning in every section of the LMRA