August 7, 2017 | Author: ajapanganiban | Category: Strike Action, Complaint, Employment, Virtue, Government
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Panganiban_106 Magsalin & Coca Cola Bottlers v. NOWM, et al. GR No. 148492 May 9, 2003 Facts: Coca Cola Bottlers engaged the services of respondent workers as sales route helpers for 5 months. After that, they were employed on a day to day basis. They were hired to substitute for regular sales route helpers whenever the latter would be unavailable or when there would be unexpected shortage of manpower. If hired, they will be paid wages at end of the day. Respondent workers asked petitioner to extend to them regular appointments. Petitioner refused. They filed complaint for regularization with NLRC and later on claimed that they were illegally dismissed. Parties agreed to submit the controversy for voluntary arbitration after respondents filed notice of strike. VA dismissed complaint on the ground that respondents were not regular employees. On appeal, the decision was reversed. Issue: Whether or not respondents’ nature of work is of such nature as to be deemed necessary to business that could qualify them to regular employees afforded with right to security of tenure Held: Yes, The test is the reasonable connection between particular activity performed by employee in relation to the usual business of employer, whether the work undertaken is necessary or desirable in usual business or trade of employer. It can be assessed by the nature of services rendered and its relation to general scheme under which business is pursued in usual course. However, although work to be performed is only for specific project or seasonal, if employee is engaged for at least 1 year, the law deems the repeated need for performance as sufficient indicator that work is necessary. Respondents have long been in the service of the company. They would go with route salesman on board delivery truck and undertake laborious task of loading and unloading products of petitioner. The argument that respondents’ work is merely post-production activities, one which is not indispensable in manufacture of its products, is not persuasive. If so, then only those directly involved in production of soft drinks can be considered as regular employees and there should be no need for maintaining regular truck sales route helpers. The nature of the work performed must be viewed from the entirety of business and not on a confined scope. The Court ruled that repeated hiring of respondents for at least 1 year made them regular employees. While it is true that Court recognized legality of fixed-term employment, it has done so with stern admonition that where from the circumstances it is apparent that period is imposed to preclude acquisition of tenurial security by the employee, it should be struck down for being contrary to law, morals, good customs, and public policy. The practice of petitioner of hiring respondents on a day to day basis after 5 months mocks the law. The fact that respondents agreed on such basis and to forego protection given to them on right to security of tenure demonstrate serious problem of impoverishment of so many people and the resulting unevenness between labor and capital.

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