Allied Chemical v. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co
In Allied Chemical v. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., 404 U.S. 157 (1971), the United States Supreme Court rejected a similar argument that retirees were employees such that they were members of the union's bargaining unit.
In concluding that retirees cannot be classified as employees included in the bargaining unit, the Supreme Court stressed the obvious conflicting interests between current employees and retirees:
"even if....active and retired employees have a common concern in assuring that the latter's benefits remain adequate, they plainly do not share a community of interests broad enough to justify inclusion of the retirees in the bargaining unit. Pensioners' interests extend only to retirement benefits, to the exclusion of wage rates, hours, working conditions, and all other terms of active employment. Incorporation of such a limited-purpose constituency in the bargaining unit would create the potential for severe internal conflicts that would impair the unit's ability to function and would disrupt the processes of collective bargaining. Moreover, the risk cannot be overlooked that union representatives on occasion might see fit to bargain for improved wages or other conditions favoring active employees at the expense of retirees' benefits." Id. at 173.
Based on the distinction between retirees and employees, the Court held that a union has no statutory duty to bargain for retirees; therefore, retirees cannot be forcibly subjected to union representation with respect to determination of pension rights. Id.