as the 'employer' in applying § 302(c) (5).
Welfare and pension funds are desirable. See United Marine Division, I.L.A., Local 333, A.F. of L. v. Essex Transportation Co., 216 F.2d 410 at 411 (C.A. 3, 1954). See also Upholsterers' Inter. Union v. Leathercraft Furn. Co., D.C., 82 F.Supp. 570. No court can escape recognizing the beneficial nature of the trust fund here in question. This is an agreement to provide for those who for a number of years have had fairly regular employment on the waterfront and whose services have become less in demand because of technological changes. The stevedores have agreed to compensate these longshoremen by maintaining their eligibility in pension funds or welfare funds or providing supplemental unemployment benefits if their eligibility for these benefits has been threatened by a decline in hours of employment.
This court is not blind to the evils possible when large amounts of money are paid to a union trust fund. (In another part of this opinion we have recognized the necessity of those safeguards required by the Act and ordered that those safeguards be instituted). But neither can we help noticing the obviously hopeless position into which the ILA and PMTA would be thrust if the court were bound to agree with plaintiffs' literal reading of § 302(c). Such a literal reading would preclude the stevedores from setting up any fund effectively providing for the amelioration of the harmful effects of technological unemployment unless all stevedores participating agreed to contribute to the fund, despite the fact that only one had instituted technological advancements. To expect the others to contribute would be unrealistic.
In Sorrells v. United States, 287 U.S. 435, at pages 446-447, 53 S. Ct. 210, at pages 214-215, 77 L. Ed. 413 (1932) Chief Justice Hughes said:
'* * * Literal interpretation of statutes at the expense of the reason of the law and producing absurd consequences or flagrant injustice has frequently been condemned. * * * In United States v. Kirby, 7 Wall. 482 [19 L. Ed. 278], * * * [the] Court said: 'All laws should receive a sensible construction. General terms should be so limited in their application as not to lead to injustice, oppression, or an absurd consequence. It will always, therefore, be presumed that the legislature intended exceptions to its language which would avoid results of this character. The reason of the law in such cases should prevail over its letter.' * * *'
Furthermore, a less than literal interpretation of § 302 does no violence to Congressional aims and frustrates no Congressional policy. A reading of the legislative history of § 302 compels the conclusion that the restriction of 'employees of such employer' was inserted in the Act to serve a limited function. Congress' attention had been focused upon the situation in which a union attempted to extract from an employer a promise to make payments to a union that represented employes of one or perhaps more than one employer. Congress considered these payments as substitutes for wages or salaries normally paid directly to the worker. 93 Cong.Rec. 4746(2-3) and 4747(1). I Legislative History of the Labor-Management Relations Act 1947, 458. Theoretically, an employer is willing to pay a certain amount of money for a given unit of work. If an employer agreed to give five cents to a union trust fund for every hour of work by an employe, the hourly wage paid directly to the employe would be five cents less. It is only just, said Congress, that the employe whose hour's work required the employer to make a payment of five cents to the trust fund be assured of reaping the benefit of that payment. See Senator Ball, II Legislative History of the Labor-Management Relations Act, 1322 and 1498.
Congress did not want the union to use these funds for non-union or even general union purposes. 92 Cong.Rec. 5181(1) and 5345(1-2).
Nor, presumably, did it want a union representing employes of more than one employer to use the funds provided by only one employer for the benefit of all the employes represented by the union without regard to which of the union members had earned the right to this payment. These are the evils that Congress sought to avert and no others have been advanced in explanation of the provision in question.
In the instant case, the employer-stevedore will make a payment of twenty-eight cents for every 2240 lbs. of sugar unloaded. This payment is not a substitute for a wage. It is not being made for labor that has been performed by any of the longshoremen who unloaded the 2240 lbs. It is instead payment to the longshoremen whose labor, because of a change in the technique of unloading sugar, is rendered unnecessary and it is not always the man who yesterday unloaded sugar by the old technique who has lost the opportunity of working. That man can go to the next pier and get a work ticket with another gang and perhaps a different employer. It is because of this interchangeability of longshore employment noted previously in this opinion that the man ultimately affected by one stevedore's change in modus operandi is not always the employe of that stevedore. There is, therefore, no evil that Congress intended to provide against inherent in the Trust Agreement's providing that those other than former sugarworkers may benefit.
This court is reluctant to construe an ambiguous provision of a statute so as to extend its prohibition beyond the evil that Congress intended to cure. As Judge Medina in Gilbert v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 248 F.2d 399, at page 404 (C.A. 2, 1957): '* * * statutory terms are not to be interpreted independent of their context and underlying policy. 'Legislative words are not inert, and derive vitality from the obvious purposes at which they are aimed * * *."
Parenthetically, we note that § 302(c)(5)(C) provides:
'[Such] payments as are intended to be used for the purpose of providing pensions or annuities for employees are made to a separate trust which provides that the funds held therein cannot be used for any purpose other than paying such pensions or annuities. * * *'
Of course, if the Agreement is reframed with the specificity required by the Act, and if the use to be made of the moneys is the maintenance of pension rights, then the Agreement itself will provide the 'separate trust' required by the Act.
We therefore hold that in light of the peculiar demands of the stevedoring industry, the Trust Agreement does not violate § 302 in permitting payments to or for the benefit of other than Jarka employes.
The facts and legal conclusions stated in this opinion may be deemed the court's findings of fact and conclusions of law.
And now, November 21, 1963, upon consideration of the pleadings and proof, IT IS ORDERED that defendants are enjoined from paying out any moneys from the PMTA-ILA Royalty Fund under the Trust Agreement of July 19, 1962, unless and until the defendants exhibit to the court a Trust Agreement drawn in accordance with this Opinion.