[326 U.S. 446, 447] Mr. Robert L. Stern, of Washington, D.C., for Railroad Retirement board.
Mr. Willard H. McEwen, of Toledo, Ohio, for Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks, etc.
Mr. John Dickinson, of Philadelphia, Pa., for Duquesne Warehouse Co.
Mr. Justice DOUGLAS delivered the opinion of the Court.
The Railroad Retirement Act of 1937, 50 Stat. 307, 45 U.S.C. 228a et seq., 45 U.S.C.A. 228a et seq., established a system of annuity, pension, and death benefits for employees of designated classes of employers. The Railroad Retirement Board adjudicates claims of eligible employees for the various types of benefits created by the Act. 10(b). The eligibility of an employee for such benefits is based on service to those included in the Act's definition of 'employer.' 1(a). [326 U.S. 446, 448] The question arose whether the Duquesne Warehouse Co. was such an 'employer.' The Board after a hearing found in No. 95 that it was. Duquesne, pursuant to the provisions of 11 of the Act, brought suit in a district court to compel the Board to set aside its order. 1 That court rendered judgment for Duquesne. 56 F.Supp. 87. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, by a divided vote. 148 F.2d 473.
The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act of 1938, 52 Stat. 1094, 45 U. S.C. 351 et seq., 45 U.S.C.A. 351 et seq., established a system of unemployment insurance for employees of designated classes of employers. The Railroad Retirement Board adjudicates claims of eligible employees for unemployment insurance payments. 5(b). The eligibility of an employee for such payments is based on service to those included in the Act's definition of 'employer.' 1(a). The question arose whether Duquesne was such an 'employer.' The Board after a hearing found in No. 103 that it was. The findings were identical to those which the Board made in No. 95 and were based on the same record. Duquesne, pursuant to 5(f) brought suit in the district court for the District of Columbia to set aside that order. That court gave judgment for Duquesne. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed. 149 F.2d 507. Since the definition of 'employer' under both Acts was the same, there was presented a conflict in decisions which led us to grant the petitions for writs of certiorari.
The material part of the definition of 'employer' contained in each Act is as follows:
Duquesne meets the requirements of the first part of the definition. For it is a corporation, all of whose stock is owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, a carrier by railroad. The question is whether Duquesne 'performs any service' (1) 'in connection with the transportation of ... property by railroad' or (2) 'in connection with ... the receipt, delivery ... storage, or handling of property transported by railroad.'
Duquesne operates two warehouses owned and leased to it by the Pennsylvania, one in Pittsburgh and the other in East Liberty, within the Pittsburgh city limits. Each warehouse is on a rail siding of the Pennsylvania. At East Liberty, Duquesne handles and stores carload sugar, all of which comes in and goes out over the Pennsylvania. The sugar is handled by Duquesne under so-called storage-in-transit privileges covered by tariffs filed by the Pennsylvania with the Interstate Commerce Commission. 2 Duquesne unloads the sugar from the Pennsylvania's cars on arrival and reloads the sugar into Pennsylvania cars on their departure. By the tariff the owners are required to do the loading and unloading. The work of unloading and loading is performed for the owner by Duquesne, who [326 U.S. 446, 450] bills the owner for that service as well as for storage and other services rendered. At its Pittsburgh warehouse Duquesne handles freight which has come in, or is destined to movement, over the Pennsylvania, or which has both come in and is going out over the Pennsylvania. The commodities handled at that place are hauled in both carload and less-than-carload lots. Duquesne loads and unloads the carload shipments as they arrive at and depart from its platform, stores the goods, and performs other handling services in connection with their receipt and delivery. Duquesne charges the owner for these services. In the case of incoming less-than- carload shipments the freight is unloaded by the Pennsylvania from the cars to its platform and is delivered to and received by Duquesne there. In the case of outgoing less-than-carload shipments, Duquesne delivers the freight on the Pennsylvania's platform. Pennsylvania then issues its bill of lading, loads the freight into cars, and moves them out. During a part of the period relevant here,3 Duquesne also performed unloading, storing and reloading services and certain other transit services at Erie, Pennsylvania, in connection with carload shipments of newsprint paper which were entitled to storage-in-transit privileges under the tariffs. These services were similar to those performed by Duquesne at East Liberty.