Case digest for nego

August 1, 2017 | Author: karenkier | Category: Strike Action, Unfair Labor Practice, Collective Bargaining, Jurisdiction, Injunction
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G.R. No. L-32891 April 29, 1971 RUSTAN SUPERVISORY UNION, MAHADI LIMBAO, LOLITO PEPITO, ARTURO SOLIS, WINSTON BALATBAT and ISIDRO BALCITA, JR., petitioners, vs. HON. MOISES DALISAY, Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Lanao del Norte, Branch II, and RUSTAN PULP AND PAPER MILLS, INC., respondents. Facts: An original action for certiorari and prohibition was filed challenging the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Lanao del Norte to issue the injunction orders complained of. Petitioner union is a legitimate labor organization and individual petitioners are the union's principal officers. The union wrote respondent company that a great number of the supervisory personnel of respondent's plant had affiliated with it and presented a set of proposals for incorporation into a collective bargaining agreement. The respondent unheeded the ultimatum letter sent for union recognition. Thus, the union declared a strike and picketed the company’s premises. Though several conferences were held at the Iligan City Labor Office between the party’s representatives, there is no good outcome as petitioner alleges that the company refused to negotiate with it whereas respondent claims in that it is the petitioners who refused to negotiate in good faith. The respondent company filed a complaint with respondent court for actual, moral and exemplary damages with preliminary injunction against the union and its principal officers as they prevent and destruct coercively, violently and intimidating the business operation of the respondent company. The respondent court issued ex parte writ enjoining the defendants from preventing the business operations of the company until further orders of the Court. The petitioners filed an urgent motion to dissolve or lift the writ of preliminary injunction, informing that they were engaged in an industrial dispute with the respondent company, which is guilty of unfair labor practice in refusing to negotiate with them as the duly selected bargaining unit, by virtue of which they had struck and picketed the company's premises and therefore impugning respondent court's jurisdiction to issue the injunction which in effect enjoined their concerted strike and picketing activities. However, the respondent court denied it on the ground that the case has not filed in the Court of Industrial Relations and neither filed a notice of strike in the Department of Labor. Issue: Whether or not the respondent court can enjoin the union strike or picketing. Whether or not notice of strike is necessary. Held: The Court finds merit in the petition. The Court stressed the exclusive jurisdiction of the industrial court as against the regular courts over unfair labor practices in Veterans Security Free Workers Union vs. Cloribel 6 thus: "(I)t has long been accepted as dogma that cases involving unfair labor practice fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations, by virtue of the explicit provisions of Section 5(a) of the Industrial Peace Act that said Court 'shall have jurisdiction over the prevention of unfair labor practices and is empowered to prevent any person from engaging in any unfair labor practice. This power shall be exclusive and shall not be affected by any other means of adjustment or prevention that has been or may be established by an agreement, code, law or otherwise.' The strike and picketing restrained by the questioned orders of respondent judge arose out of unfair labor practice of respondent company in allegedly refusing to, bargain in good faith and dismissing for union activities the union officials and members, which are the very subject-matter of the unfair labor charge filed by the union in the Industrial Court. These were facts expressly alleged by petitioner in its Urgent Motion for Reconsideration, asking respondent judge to set aside the questioned orders and raising respondent Court's lack of jurisdiction. The very complaint of respondent in the case below, for all its artful wording, was sufficient on its face to apprise respondent Court that the matter presented before it involved an unfair labor practice case falling within the Industrial Court's exclusive competence and jurisdiction ... ." Respondent court's stated reasons for denying dissolution of the injunction, to wit, that petitioner union had not filed a case in the industrial court nor a strike notice with the Labor Department constituted grave error. As emphasized by the Court in the Veterans Security Free Workers Union case, supra, "It is settled doctrine that labor disputes arising out of unfair labor practices committed by any of the parties do not present a question of concurrent jurisdiction between the Court of First Instance and the Industrial Court, but that jurisdiction over such matters is vested exclusively in the Court of Industrial Relation. As succinctly restated by Mr. Justice Sanchez in Phil. Communications Workers vs. Nolasco, supra, 'CIR's jurisdiction stays even if no unfair labor practice case has been filed with CIR. It is enough that unfair labor practice is involved.'" As to the lack of strike notice, it is equally settled doctrine that in strikes arising out of and against a company's unfair labor practice, a strike notice is not necessary in view of the strike being founded on urgent necessity and directed against practices condemned by public policy, such notice being legally required only in cases of economic strikes.



Facts: Petitioner charged the Regal Manufacturing Employees Associations FTUP and its members, with unfair labor practice for declaring a strike and picketing the company's premises without filing a notice of strike in spite of the existence of a no strike, no lockout clause and grievance procedure in the collective bargaining agreement entered into between the petitioner and the Union. In their answer to this complaint, the Union and its members denied the charge and, as affirmative defense, alleged that the Union requested the management for a grievance conference, stating in its invitation the time and place of meeting, but the company, through its General Manager, refused and instead handed the Union's President a memorandum dismissing him from work and told the Union members not to report for work, which is in violation of the no lockout and no strike clause of the contract. Upon the other hand, petitioner Philippine Metal Foundries, Inc. and its General Manager were charged by private respondents with unfair labor practice for the dismissal of Celestino Baylon, President of the Union allegedly due to his union activities in representing and protecting the Union members in their relations with the petitioner. To this complaint, petitioner and its manager filed an answer denying the material allegations and alleged as affirmative defenses, that the company was constrained to terminate the services of Baylon by reason of the fact that he had, in spite of repeated notices and warnings from the company, frequently and repeatedly absented himself from his work as foundry worker and by reason of said dismissal he, as President of the Union as well as an officer of the FTUP encouraged and abetted the staging of a strike without prior notice to the company or any of the latter's officials, in gross violation of a stipulation provided in their Collective Bargain Agreement, establishing pickets and blocking ingress and egress to and from the company's premises, causing interruption of the work and/or business of the company to its serious damage and prejudice. After the joint trial of these two cases, the Court of Industrial Relations rendered decision, finding that Baylon, as Union President, was discharged for his union activities and that the employees declared a strike because they believed in good faith that the dismissal of their President was an unfair labor practice. The Court declared respondents Philippine Metal Foundries, Inc. and Leopoldo Relunia, guilty of unfair labor practice in dismissing complainant Celestino Baylon; ordered respondents to reinstate Celestino Baylon to his former position with all the rights and privileges formerly appertaining thereto, with one (1) year back wages; and dismissed the petitioner's complaint. The motion for reconsideration was denied by Court of industrial Relations en banc. Issue: Whether or not the strike declared by union is legal. Whether or not Celestino Baylon was dismissed due to his absences or to his union activities. Held: Petition dismissed. The question of whether an employee was discharged because of his union activities is essentially a question of fact as to which the findings of the Court of Industrial Relations are conclusive and binding if supported by substantial evidence considering the record as a whole. It is admitted by petitioner that it accepted the invitation of Baylon for a grievance conference. Yet, two hours after it accepted the letter of invitation, it dismissed Baylon without prior notice and/or investigation. Such dismissal is undoubtedly an unfair labor practice committed by the company. Under these facts and circumstances, Baylon and the members of the Union had valid reasons to ignore the schedule grievance conference and declared a strike. When the Union declared a strike in the belief that the dismissal of Baylon was due to union activities, said strike was not illegal . It is not even required that there be in fact an unfair labor practice committed by the employer. It suffices, if such a belief in good faith is entertained by labor, as the inducing factor for staging a strike. The strike declared by the Union in this case cannot be considered a violation of the "no strike" clause of the Collective Bargaining Agreement because it was due to the unfair labor practice of the employer. Moreover, a no strike clause prohibition in a Collective Bargaining Agreement is applicable only to economic strikes. The strike cannot be declared as illegal for lack of notice. In strikes arising out of and against a company's unfair labor practice, a strike notice is not necessary in view of the strike being founded on urgent necessity and directed against practices condemned by public policy, such notice being legally required only in cases of economic strikes.

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