Building & Constr. Trades Council v. Associated Builders & Contractors of Mass./R. I., Inc., 507 U.S. 218, 2 (1993)

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Cite as: 507 U. S. 218 (1993)


prehire collective-bargaining agreement negotiated by private parties. This Court has articulated two distinct NLRA pre-emption principles: "Garmon pre-emption" forbids state and local regulation of activities that are protected by 7 of the NLRA or constitute an unfair labor practice under 8, while "Machinists pre-emption" prohibits state and municipal regulation of areas that have been left to be controlled by the free play of economic forces. These pre-emption doctrines apply only to state labor regulation, see, e. g., Machinists, 427 U. S., at 144. A State may act without offending them when it acts as a proprietor and its acts therefore are not tantamount to regulation or policymaking. Permitting States to participate freely in the marketplace is not only consistent with NLRA pre-emption principles generally but also, in this case, promotes the legislative goals that animated the passage of the NLRA's 8(e) and (f) exceptions regarding prehire agreements in the construction industry. It is undisputed that the agreement between Kaiser and BCTC is a valid labor contract under 8(e) and (f). In enacting the exceptions, Congress intended to accommodate conditions specific to the construction industry, and there is no reason to expect the industry's defining features to depend upon the public or private nature of the entity purchasing contracting services. Absent any express or implied indication by Congress that a State may not manage its own property when pursuing a purely proprietary interest such as MWRA's interest here, and where analogous private conduct would be permitted, this Court will not infer such a restriction. Pp. 224-233.

935 F. 2d 345, reversed and remanded.

Blackmun, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Charles Fried argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the briefs were David L. Shapiro, John M. Stevens, Arthur G. Telegen, H. Reed Witherby, Mary R. Jeka, Steven H. Goldberg, William J. Curtin, E. Carl Uehlein, Jr., Laurence J. Cohen, Victoria L. Bor, Walter Kamiat, and Laurence Gold.

Deputy Solicitor General Mahoney argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae urging reversal. With her on the briefs were Solicitor General Starr, Edwin S. Kneedler, Jerry M. Hunter, Nicholas E. Karatinos, Norton J. Come, Linda Sher, and John Emad Arbab.


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