Labor Relation Digest Case Allan Velasco Group 3
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JERRY E. ACEDERA, et al. v. INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER TERMINAL SERVICES INC. 395 SCRA 103 (2003) FACTS: 1. Ordinarily, a person whose interests are already represented will not be permitted to do the same except when there is a suggestionof fraud or collusion or that the representative will not act in good faith. 2. Jerry Acedera, et al. are employees of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) and aremembers of Associated Port Checkers & Workers Union-International Container Terminal Services, Inc.(APCWU-ICTSI), a duly registered labor organization. ICTSI entered into a five-year Collective BargainingAgreement (CBA) with APCWU which reduced the employees· work days from 304 to 250 days a year.
3. The Wage Board decreed wage increases in NCR which affected ICTSI. Upon the request of APCWU tocompute the actual monthly increase in the employee·s salary by multiplying the mandated increase by 365days and dividing by12 months, ICTSI stopped using 304 days as divisor and started using 365 days to determine the daily wage. 4. Later on, ICTSI entered into a retrenchment program which prompted APCWU to file a complaint beforethe Labor Arbiter (LA) for ICTSI·s use of 365 days, instead of 250 days, as divisor in the computation ofwages. Acedera et al. filed a Motion to Intervene which was denied by the LA. On appeal, National LaborRelations Commission (NLRC) affirmed LA·s decision. Acedera et al. filed a petition forcerti orari to the Courtof Appeals (CA) which was dismissed.
ISSUE: Whether or not Acedera et al. have no legal right to intervene in the case as their intervention was a superfluity HELD: Acedera et al. stress that they have complied with the requisites for intervention because (1) they are the ones who stand to gain or lose by the direct legal operation and effect of any judgment that may be rendered in this case, (2) no undue delay or prejudice would result from their intervention since their Complaint-in-Intervention with Motion for Intervention was filed while the Labor Arbiter was still hearing the case and before any decision thereon was rendered, and (3) it was not possible for them to file a separate case as they would be guilty of forum shopping because the only forum available for them was the Labor Arbiter.
Acedera et al., however, failed to consider, in addition to the rule on intervention, the rule on representation. A labor union is one such party authorized to represent its members under Article 242(a) of the Labor Code which provides that a union may act as the representative of its members for the purpose of CBA. This authority includes the power to represent its members for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of the CBA. That APCWU acted in a representative capacity "for and in behalf of its Union members and other employees similarly situated, the title of the case filed by it at the Labor Arbiters Office so expressly states. While a party acting in a representative capacity, such as a union, may be permitted to intervene in a case, ordinarily, a person whose interests are already represented will not be permitted to do the same except when there is a suggestion of fraud or collusion or that the representative will not act in good faith for the protection of all interests represented by him. Acedera et al. cite the dismissal of the case filed by ICTSI, first by the Labor Arbiter, and later by the Court of Appeals. The dismissal of the case does not, however, by itself show the existence of fraud or collusion or a lack of good faith on the part of APCWU. There must be clear and convincing evidence of fraud or collusion or lack of good faith independently of the dismissal. This, Acedera et al. failed to proffer. Acedera et al. likewise express their fear that APCWU would not prosecute the case diligently because of its “sweetheart relationship" with ICTSI. There is nothing on record, however, to support this alleged relationship which allegation surfaces as a mere afterthought because it was never raised early on. It was raised only in petitionersappellants· reply to ICTSI·s comment in the petition at bar, the last pleading submitted to this Court, which was filed on June 20, 2001 or more than 42 months after petitionersAppellants filed their Complaint-in-Intervention with Motion to Intervene with the Labor Arbiter. To reiterate, for a member of a class to be permitted to intervene in a representative action, fraud or collusion or lack of good faith on the part of the representative must be proven. It must be based on facts borne on record. Mere assertions, as what petitioners-appellants proffer, do not suffice.
Petition is denied.
DOLORES VILLAR 1983GUERRERO
Facts: Petitioners were members of the Amigo Employees Union-PAFLU, a duly registered labor organization which, was the existing bargaining agent of the employees in private respondent Amigo Manufacturing, Inc. (Company). The Company and the Amigo Employees Union-PAFLU had a CBA governing their labor relations, which agreement was then about to expire on February 28, 1977. Within the last 60 days of the CBA, upon written authority of at least 30% of the employees in the company, including the petitioners, the Federation of Unions of Rizal (FUR) filed a petition for certification election with MOLE. The petition was opposed by the Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions (PAFLU) with whom the Amigo Employees Union was at that time affiliated. The same employees who had signed the petition filed by FUR signed a joint resolution disaffiliating from PAFLU. Petitioner Dolores Villar, representing herself to be the authorized representative of the Amigo Employees Union, filed a petition for certification election in the Company. The Amigo Employees Union-PAFLU intervened and moved for the dismissal of the petition for certification election filed by Dolores Villar, on the ground, among others that Dolores Villar had no legal personality to sign the petition since she was not an officer of the union nor is there factual or legal basis for her claim that she was the authorized representative of the local union. Med-Arbiter dismissed the petition filed by Villar, which dismissal is still pending appeal before BLR. Amigo Employees Union-PAFLU called a special meeting of its general membership. A Resolution was thereby unanimously approved which called for the investigation by the PAFLU national president, of all of the petitioners and one Felipe Manlapao, for continuously maligning the union spreading false propaganda that the union officers were merely appointees of the management; and for causing divisiveness in the union. PAFLU formed a Trial Committee to investigate the local union's charges against the petitioners for acts of disloyalty. PAFLU and the Company concluded a new CBA which also reincorporated the same provisions of the existing CBA, including the union security clause. PAFLU President rendered a decision finding the petitioners guilty of the charges. PAFLU demanded the Company to terminate the employment of the petitioners pursuant to the security clause of the CBA. Acting on PAFLU's demand, the Company informed PAFLU that it will first secure the necessary clearances to terminate petitioners. PAFLU requested the Company to put petitioners under preventive suspension pending the application for said clearances to terminate the petitioners. The Company filed the request for clearance to terminate the petitioners before DOLE which was granted. DOLE Secretary Inciong denied the appeal, hence, this petition for review. Issue: WON DOLE Secretary erred in affirming the grant of clearance of termination of petitioners. Ruling: It is true that disaffiliation from a labor union is not open to legal objection. It is implicit in the freedom of association ordained by the Constitution. But the Court has laid down the ruling that a closed shop is a valid form of union security,
and such provision in a collective bargaining agreement is not a restriction of the right of freedom of association guaranteed by the Constitution. In the case at bench, the Company and the Amigo Employees Union-PAFLU entered into a CBA with a union security clause which is a reiteration of the old CBA. The quoted stipulation for closed-shop is clear and unequivocal. Petitioners’ theory that their expulsion was not valid upon the grounds is untenable. PAFLU had the authority to investigate petitioners on the charges filed by their co-employees in the local union and after finding them guilty as charged, to expel them from the roll of membership of the Amigo Employees Union-PAFLU is clear under the constitution of the PAFLU to which the local union was affiliated. And pursuant to the security clause of the new CBA, reiterating the same clause in the old CBA, PAFLU was justified in applying said security clause. Recognized and salutary is the principle that when a labor union affiliates with a mother union, it becomes bound by the laws and regulations of the parent organization. It is undisputable that oppositors were members of the Amigo Employees Union at the time that said union affiliated with PAFLU; hence, oppositors are bound by the laws and regulations of PAFLU. Inherent in every labor union, or any organization for that matter, is the right of self -preservation. When members of a labor union seek the disintegration and destruction of the very union to which they belong; they thereby forfeit their rights to remain as members of the union which they seek to destroy. Prudence and equity, as well as the dictates of law and justice, therefore, compelling mandate the adoption by the labor union of such corrective and remedial measures, in keeping with its laws and regulations, for its preservation and continued existence; lest by its folly and inaction, the labor union crumble and fall. Decision appealed from is affirmed.
Filing party- Cert. election G.R. No. 135806
August 8, 2002
TOYOTA MOTORS PHILIPPINES CORPORATION LABOR UNION, petitioner, vs. TOYOTA MOTOR PHILIPPINES CORPORATION EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS UNION, TOYOTA MOTOR PHILIPPINES CORPORATION, and THE SECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, respondents. BELLOSILLO, J.: Facts:
1. TMPCEWU filed a Petition for Certification Election before the Med-Arbitration Unit of the DOLE-National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) seeking to represent the rank-and-file employees of the manufacturing division from Levels 1 to 4 of Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMPC) 2. While the case was pending hearing, petitioner TMPCLU claiming to be the legitimate labor organization, filed a Motion to Intervene with Opposition to the Certification Election praying that it be allowed to intervene and, thereafter, the petition by TMPCEWU be denied for lack of merit. 3. At the time respondent TMPCEWU filed its Petition for Certification Election, the decision of the Supreme Court had not ripened into a final and executory judgment 4. TMPC also filed a similar comment. Hence, the Med-Arbiter ordered the provisional dismissal of TMPCEWU's Petition for Certification Election pending a final ruling by the Supreme Court on the Petition for Certification Election. 5. The decision of the Supreme Court became final and executory. 6. In view of respondent TMPCEWU's revival of its Petition for Certification Election, petitioner also filed on its Petition-in-Intervention 7. The Med-Arbiter rendered a decision dismissing for lack of merit TMPCEWU's Petition for Certification Election, since it failed to include all rank-and-file employees from Levels 1 to 4 in other departments of TMPC 8. Dissatisfied with the unfavorable decision, petitioner appealed to the Secretary of Labor contending that contrary to the finding of the Med-Arbiter it had the legal personality to intervene in the certification election proceedings. 9. The Secretary of Labor justified his affirmance of the Med-Arbiter's decision. 10. The Secretary issued an Order denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration; hence, petitioner assails Resolution and Order of the Secretary of Labor.
11. TMPCEWU decries the decision of the Secretary of Labor affirming that of the MedArbiter. 12. TMPCEWU claimed that it was erroneous for the Secretary to assume that inasmuch as petitioner failed to purge itself of its supervisory employee-members when it filed its previous Petition for Certification Election, it could not have possessed the appropriate legal personality when it filed its Petition-in-Intervention. 13. The truth of the matter is that with the purging completed, absent any finding of the Supreme Court or any other court or tribunal declaring the invalidity of the certificate of registration, petitioner possessed the legal personality when it filed its Petition-inIntervention.
ISSUE: Whether TMPCEWU had legal personality when it filed its Petition-in-Intervention. RULING: SC cannot also accede to petitioner's submission that the issuance of a certificate of registration in its favor is an adequate and unassailable proof that it possesses the requisite legal personality to file a Petition for Certification Election. Not necessarily. As we emphasized in Progressive Development Corp. - Pizza Hut v. Laguesma,13 if a labor organization’s application for registration is vitiated by falsification and serious irregularities, a labor organization should be denied recognition as a legitimate labor organization. And if a certificate of registration has been issued, the propriety of its registration could be assailed directly through cancellation of registration proceedings in accordance with Arts. 238 and 239 of the Labor Code, or indirectly, by challenging its petition for the issuance of an order for certification election. There is no reason to belabor the primordial importance of strictly complying with the registration requirements of the Labor Code. As we have explained in a long line of cases, the activities of labor organizations, associations and unions are impressed with public interest, hence, must be protected. Petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
G.R. No. 152094
July 22, 2004
DHL PHILIPPINES CORPORATION UNITED RANK AND FILE ASSOCIATIONFEDERATION OF FREE WORKERS (DHL-URFA-FFW), petitioner, vs. BUKLOD NG MANGGAGAWA NG DHL PHILIPPINES CORPORATION, respondent.
PANGANIBAN, J.: Facts 1. A certification election was conducted among the regular rank and file employees in the main office and the regional branches of DHL Philippines Corporation. The contending choices were DHL’s and "no union." 2. On the basis of the results of the certification election, with petitioner receiving 546 votes and "no union" garnering 348 votes, the election officer certified the former as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the rank and file employees of the corporation. 3. Buklod ng Manggagawa ng DHL Philippines Corporation (BUKLOD) filed with the Industrial Relations Division of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) a Petition for the nullification of the certification election. 4. This misrepresentation was supposedly the basis for their selection of petitioner in the certification election.
Med-Arbiter nullified the certification election and ordered the holding of another one with the following contending choices: petitioner, respondent, and "no choice."
6. Setting aside the Decision of Med-Arbiter, DOLE Undersecretary held on appeal that the issue of representation had already been settled with finality in favor of petitioner, and that no petitions for certification election would be entertained within one year from the time the election officer had issued the Certification Order.
CA held that the withdrawal of a great majority of the members of petitioner -- 704 out of 894 of them -- provided a compelling reason to conduct a certification election anew in order to determine, once and for all, which union reflected their choice.
8. According to the appellate court, broader considerations should be accorded the disaffiliating member-employees and a new election held to finally ascertain their will, consistent with the constitutional and labor law policy of according full protection to labor’s right to self-organization. The CA added that the best forum to determine the veracity of the withdrawal or retraction of petitioner’s former members was another certification election.
9. The appellate court also held that the election officer’s issuance of a Certification Order was precipitate because, prior thereto, BUKLOD had filed with the med-arbiter a Petition for nullification of the election. Furthermore, the Certification was not in accordance with Department Order No. 9 (DO 9), Series of 1997.
10. The charges of fraud and deceit, lodged immediately after the election by petitioner’s former members against their officers, should have been treated as protests or issues of eligibility within the meaning of Section 13 of DO 9, hence, this Petition. Issues Whether or not the BUKLOD failed to follow strictly the procedural technicalities regarding the period for filing their protest. Ruling The Petition lacks merit. DHL argues that the CA gravely erred in rendering its assailed Decision, considering that no protest or challenge had been formalized within five days, or raised during the election proceedings and entered in the minutes thereof. DHL adds that BUKLOD did not file any protest, either, against the alleged fraud and misrepresentation by the former’s officers during the election. We disagree. When the med-arbiter admitted and gave due course to BUKLOD’s Petition for nullification of the election proceedings, the election officer should have deferred issuing the Certification of the results thereof. Section 13 of the Implementing Rules cannot strictly be applied to the present case. BUKLOD’s contention is that a number of employees were lured by their officers into believing that DHL was an independent union. Since the employees had long desired to have an independent union that would represent them in collective bargaining, they voted "yes" in favor of DHL. Having been misled, a majority of them eventually disaffiliated themselves from it and formed an independent union, BUKLOD herein, which thereafter protested the conduct of the election. Having been formed just after such exercise by the defrauded employees who were former members of DHL, BUKLOD could not have reasonably filed its protest within five days from the close of the election proceedings. Notably, after it had applied for registration with the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR), BUKLOD filed its Petition to nullify the certification election. DHL insistently opposed the Petition, as BUKLOD had not yet been issued a certificate of registration at the time. Because such certificate was issued in favor of the latter four days after the filing of the Petition, the misgivings of the former were brushed aside by the med-arbiter. Indeed, the fact that BUKLOD was not yet a duly registered labor organization when the Petition was filed is of no moment, absent any fatal defect in its application for registration. The circumstances in the present case show that the employees did not sleep on their rights. Hence, their failure to follow strictly the procedural technicalities regarding the period for filing their protest should not be taken against them. Mere technicalities should not be allowed to prevail over the welfare of the workers. 15 What is essential is that they be accorded an opportunity to determine freely and intelligently which labor organization shall act on their behalf.16 Having been denied this opportunity by the betrayal committed by
DHL’s officers in the present case, the employees were prevented from making an intelligent and independent choice. Petition is DENIED, and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.
UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES BY EMPLOYERS Non-Membership or Withdrawal from Union VISAYAN STEVEDORE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY (VISTRANCO) andRAFAEL XAUDARO, petitioners, vs. CIR, UNITED WORKERS' & FARMERS' ASSN. (UWFA) VENANCIO DANO-OG,BUENAVENTURA AGARCIO and 137 others, respondents.G.R. No. L-21696; February 25, 1967; CONCEPCION, C.J. Facts: VISTRANCO is engaged in the loading and unloading of vessels, with a branch office inH i n i g a r a n , N e g r o s O c c i d e n t a l , u n d e r t h e m a n a g e m e n t o f R a f a e l X a u d a r o . I t s w o r k e r s a r e supplied by the United Workers and Farmers Association (UWFA) whose men (affiliated tovarious labor unions) have regularly worked as laborers of the Company during every millingseason since immediately after World War II up to the milling season immediately precedingNovember 11, 1955, when the Company refused to engage the services of Venancio Danoog,Buenaventura, Agarcio and 137 other persons. At the behest of the UWFA and theComplainants, a complaint for unfair labor practice was, accordingly, filed against the Companyand Xaudaro with the CIR which ruled that the company is guilty of unfair labor practice henceordered the company to ceases and desist from such unfair labor practice and to reinstate thecomplainants with back wages. The said order was affirmed by CIR en banc. Issue: Whether or not VISTRANCO is guilty of unfair labor practice.
Ruling: Yes. The said charge is substantially borne out by the evidence of record, it appearingthat the workers not admitted to work beginning from November, 1955, were precisely thosebelonging to the UWFA and the Mr. Xaudaro, the Company Branch Manager, had told thempoint-blank that severance of their connection with the UWFA was the remedy, if they wanted tocontinue working with the Company.The order and resolution appealed from are hereby affirmed
G.R. No. L-39040 June 6, 1990 ROYAL UNDERGARMENT CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, ROYAL UNDERGARMENT WORKERS UNION (PTGWO) and ANTONIO CRUZ, respondents. Tanada, Vivo & Tan for petitioner. Carlos E. Santiago for Antonio Cruz.
MEDIALDEA, J.: FACTS; 1. Antonio Cruz (Cruz) was employed by Royal Undergarment Corporation (RUC) as an electrician. 2. He was elected president of the Royal Undergarment Workers Union (RUWU for brevity), a legitimate labor organization which became affiliated with the Philippine Transport and General Workers Organization (PTGWO for brevity).
the RUWU-PTGWO, represented by the National Secretary of PTGWO and Cruz as RUWU President, sent proposals to RUC for the purpose of collective bargaining.
4. RUC, thru its personnel manager, terminated the services of respondent Cruz allegedly on the basis of the latter's "record and after careful analysis and deliberation." 5. Respondent's wife, Felicidad Cruz, who was also an employee of RUC, was likewise terminated. Thus, RUWU called a strike. 6. RUWU-PTGWO and petitioner corporation entered into a Return-to-Work Agreement thru the conciliation efforts of the Department of Labor. 7. The records do not disclose the results of the consent election. Subsequently however, Cruz and his wife were both re-employed and reinstated by RUC, thereby indicating the victory of RUWU-PTGWO in the consent election. 8. RUWU-PTGWO and RUC entered into a collective bargaining agreement which contained a grievance procedure for the settlement of disputes. Such grievance procedure was applied on several occasions involving suspensions of union members-employees through the help and active participation of respondent Cruz as union president. 9. The PTGWO urged its member-unions to stage a nationwide strike. Thus, respondent Cruz campaigned among the members of RUWU to join the strike. 10. The general manager of RUC placed Cruz on preventive suspension for threatening "the lives of four (4) employees" and for having 'been reported under the influence of liquor," both acts being "contrary to rules and regulations."
11. Upon the request of Cruz and PTGWO, RUC conducted a conference which was in the nature of an investigation of the incident. 12. RUC dismissed Cruz for being under the influence of liquor and for having threatened the lives of four of his co-employees. 13. Cruz filed a complaint for unfair labor practice against RUC with the Court of Industrial Relations. The respondent industrial court, while affirming the findings of the healing examiner, rendered a decision, 14. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari with the RUC. ISSUE:
ASSUMING ARGUENDO THAT PETITIONER IS GUILTY OF UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE, RESPONDENT CIR ERRED IN AWARDING RESPONDENT CRUZ FULL BACKWAGES WITHOUT DEDUCTING THEREFROM THE INCOME HE EARNED DURING SAID PERIOD. (pp. 9-10, Rollo) RULING:
Anent the first and second assigned errors, petitioner submits that the records of the case, particularly the testimonies of respondent Cruz himself and his witnesses, show that petitioner corporation did not interfere with or prevent the union activities of its employees; that the former has even allowed or abetted active unionism within the company; that the dismissal of respondent Cruz was not impelled by reason of union participation of respondent Cruz but solely by his infraction of company rules and regulations, specifically, serious threats against the lives of three co-employees, challenging another to a fight and intoxication while on duty, all of which clearly amounted to a dismissal for cause under the Termination Pay Law, Rep. Act No. 1052, as amended. On the other hand, the Court of Industrial Relations found from the surrounding circumstances of the case, a valid and sufficient basis for the charge of unfair labor practice against RUC. Said the respondent court: We accord respect to the findings of the industrial court. Section 3 of Republic Act No. 875, known as the The Industrial Peace Act, as amended, provides that employees shall have the right to self-organization and to form, join or assist labor organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of collective bargaining through representatives of their own choosing and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining and other mutual aid or protection. Hence, it shall be unfair labor practice for an employer to discriminate in regard to tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization (Section 4 (a) (4), R.A. No. 875). We have perused the record and found that the totality of evidence as found by respondent court supports the conclusion that respondent Cruz has been unjustly dismissed by reason of his union activities. The charge by petitioner against respondent Cruz for being under the influence of liquor on a certain date and for having threatened the lives of his coemployees is too flimsy to merit serious consideration. We have on record the undisputed facts that private respondent, as president of RUWU, was known for his aggressive and militant union activities; that he and his wife had been previously dismissed on the ground
of active participation in union affairs; that they were reemployed only pursuant to the express terms of the Return-to-Work Agreement executed by petitioner corporation and RUWU when the latter won in the consent election; that respondent Cruz was dismissed again for the second time in the course of his campaign among RUWU members to join the nationwide strike of PTGWO in which RUWU is a member union. It has previously been indicated that an employer may treat freely with an employee and is not obliged to support his actions with a reason or purpose. However, where the attendant circumstances, the history of the employer's past conduct and like considerations, coupled with an intimate connection between the employer's action and the union affiliations or activities of the particular employee or employees taken as a whole raise a suspicion as to the motivation for the employer's action, the failure of the employer to ascribe a valid reason therefor may justify an inference that his unexplained conduct in respect of the particular employee or employees was inspired by the latter's union membership or activities (Rothenbergon Labor Relations, pp. 401-402, cited in San Miguel Brewery, Inc., et al. v. Santos, et al., No. L-12682, August 31, 1961, 2 SCRA 1081). Further, factual findings of the Court of Industrial Relations are conclusive in the absence of a showing that the same have no support in the evidence on record. This Court will not review said court's factual findings as long as the same are supported by evidence. This is so because the industrial court is governed by the rule of substantial evidence rather than by the rule of preponderance of evidence as in ordinary civil cases (Sanchez v. Court of Industrial Relations, L-19000, July 31, 1963, 8 SCRA 654; Industrial Commercial Agricultural Workers Organization v. Bautista, L-15639, April 30, 1963, 7 SCRA 907). Anent the third assigned error, it is the judicial trend to fix a reasonable period for the payment of backwages to avoid protracted delay in post judgment hearings to prove earnings of the worker elsewhere during the period that he had not been reinstated to his employment. In consonance with the rulings in many cases, and in view of the circumstances and equity of the instant case, Cruz should be reinstated and granted backwages corresponding to a period of three (3) years from the time he was dismissed on December 13, 1962, without deduction for his earnings elsewhere during his lay-off and without qualification of his backwages as thus fixed, that is, unqualified by any wage increases (Bachrach Motor Co., Inc. v. Court of Industrial Relations, L-26136, October 30, 1978, 86 SCRA 27; L.R. Aguinaldo & Co., Inc. v. Court of Industrial Relations, No. L-31909, April 5, 1978, 82 SCRA 309; Davao Free Workers Front v. Court of Industrial Relations, L29356, October 27, 1975, 67 SCRA 418). Petition is hereby DENIED and the decision of the Court of Industrial Relations is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that RUC is directed to reinstate Antonio Cruz without loss of seniority rights and with backwages for three (3) years from the time of dismissal, without deduction and qualification. If reinstatement is no longer possible Antonio Cruz should be awarded separation pay of one (1) month for every year of service. With costs against RUC.
HOLY CROSS OF DAVAO COLLEGE v. HOLY CROSS OF DAVAO FACULTY UNIONKAMAPI (June 27 2005) Facts 1) (1997) Petitioner and Holy Cross of Davao College Faculty Union-KAMAPI entered into a CBA providing for a faculty development scholarship for academic teaching personnel. 2) (1998) Petitioner was invited for the 1999 Monbusho scholarship grant (In-Service Training for Teachers) which was offered and sponsored by the Japanese Government through the Japan Information and Cultural Center (JICC). Jean Legaspi, one of the English teachers, applied for the scholarship. 3) According to Section 1, Article XIII of the CBA, the college would grant their employees on a study leave with grant-in-aid, equivalent to an 18 months salary and allowance. However, petitioner refused to grant her the grant-in-aid pursuant to their ‘Policy Statement and Guidelines for Trips Abroad for Professional Growth’ issued in 1999. 4) Jean Legaspi left for Japan without receiving her grant-in-aid. She asked the union to help her file a complaint against the college.Thus, the respondent union filed with the NCMB a complaint for the payment of the grant-in-aid against the college. The latter was ordered to pay Legaspi her grant-in-aid benefit equivalent to her salary, COLA and other benefits under the law and CBA during the period of her scholarship grant. 5) On appeal, petitioner claimed that it was only following their CBA insofar as it stated ‘for availment of the benefit, to wit: the course must be related to her functions... and that it must be in pursuit of a higher degree.’ The Monbusho scholarship would conduct its training in a foreign language- Japanese and thus, would only lead to a certificate of completion and not a masters or higher degree. Issue Does the petitioner’s argument stand? Ruling: No. 1) Legaspi’s foreign training is related to her work despite the fact that it would be conducted in the Japanese language. The program focuses on areas such as Educational Management, Methods of Education, Study of Special Subjects and Observation Study, all of which are relevant to Legaspi’s work. Availing of the training would lead to professional advancement of its faculty members and also to the overall development of the quality of education in the school. 2) The CBA merely states ‘higher studies’ and did not specify what trainings the grant-in-aid benefit would apply. If the college wanted to confine the training to specific areas, then the CBA should have stated so. The term ‘higher studies’ was so broad as to include programs that would grant certificates and not degrees.
3) Jean Legaspi’s scholarship was endorsed by their office head. This is pursuant to the provision in the CBA that states ‘that the employee is the official representative of the school upon recommendation of the office head. As such, he/she receives regular salary.’ There is no need for any interpretation for the provisions are clear. Contract not ambiguous are to be interpreted according to their literal meaning and not beyond their obvious intendment. 4) The terms and conditions of a collective bargaining contract constitute the law between the parties. Those who are entitled to its benefits can invoke its provisions. In the event that obligation imposed is not fulfilled, the aggrieved party has the right to go to Court for redress.
GRIEVANCE MACHINERY/VOLUNTARY ARBITRATION Grievance Machinery and Voluntary Arbitration
[G.R. No. 142244. November 18, 2002] ATLAS FARMS, INC., petitioner, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, JAIME O. DELA PEÑA and MARCIAL I. ABION, respondents.
Facts: 5. Jaime O. dela Peña was employed as a veterinary aide by petitioner in December 1975. He was among several employees terminated in July 1989. On July 8, 1989, he was re-hired by petitioner and given the additional job of feedmill operator. He was instructed to train selected workers to operate the feedmill.
6. Peña was allegedly caught urinating and defecating on company premises not intended for the purpose. 7. From the start of his employment on July 8, 1989, until his termination on March 20, 1993, Peña had worked for seven days a week, including holidays, without overtime, holiday, rest day pay and service incentive leave.
8. At the time of his dismissal from employment, he was receiving P180 pesos daily wage, or an average monthly salary of P5,402.
9. Co-respondent Marcial I. Abion1 was a carpenter/mason and a maintenance man whose employment by petitioner commenced on October 8, 1990.
10. Like Peña, Abion worked seven days a week, including holidays, without holiday pay, rest day pay, service incentive leave pay and night shift differential pay. When terminated on October 27, 1992, Abion was receiving a monthly salary of P4,500. 11. Peña and Abion filed separate complaints for illegal dismissal that were later consolidated
12. The labor arbiter dismissed their complaints on the ground that the grievance machinery in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) had not yet been exhausted. 13. Their cases were consolidated in the NLRC. At the initial mandatory conference, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss, on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, alleging private respondents themselves admitted that they were members of the employees’ union with which petitioner had an existing CBA.
14. The labor arbiter dismissed the complaint for lack of merit, finding that the case was one of illegal dismissal and did not involve the interpretation or implementation of any CBA provision. He stated that Article 217 (c) of the Labor Code 2 was 1 2
inapplicable to the case. Further, the labor arbiter found that although both complainants did not substantiate their claims of illegal dismissal, there was proof that private respondents voluntarily accepted their separation pay and petitioner’s financial assistance. 15. Thus, private respondents brought the case to the NLRC, which reversed the labor arbiter’s decision. Dissatisfied with the NLRC ruling, petitioner went to the Court of Appeals by way of a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 65, seeking reinstatement of the labor arbiter’s decision. The appellate court denied the petition and affirmed the NLRC resolution. ISSUES:
1. DENYING THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI AND IN EFFECT AFFIRMING THE RULINGS OF THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT NLRC THAT THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS WERE ILLEGALLY DISMISSED; 2. RULING THAT THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS ARE ENTITLED TO SEPARATION PAY AND FULL BACKWAGES; 3. RULING THAT PETITIONER IS LIABLE FOR COSTS OF SUIT
ATLAS contends that the dismissal of private respondents was for a just and valid cause, pursuant to the provisions of the company’s rules and regulations. It also alleges lack of jurisdiction on the part of the labor arbiter, claiming that the cases should have been resolved through the grievance machinery, and eventually referred to voluntary arbitration, as prescribed in the CBA. Records show, however, that private respondents sought without success to avail of the grievance procedure in their CBA.3 On this point, ATLAS maintains that by so doing, private respondents recognized that their cases still fell under the grievance machinery. According to ATLAS, without having exhausted said machinery, the private respondents filed their action before the NLRC, in a clear act of forum-shopping.4 However, it is worth pointing out that private respondents went to the NLRC only after the labor arbiter dismissed their original complaint for illegal dismissal. Under these circumstances private respondents had to find another avenue for redress. We agree with the NLRC that it was petitioner who failed to show proof that it took steps to convene the grievance machinery after the labor arbiter first dismissed the complaints for illegal dismissal and directed the parties to avail of the grievance procedure under Article VII of the existing CBA. They could not now be faulted for attempting to find an impartial forum, after petitioner failed to listen to them and after the intercession of the labor arbiter proved futile. The NLRC had aptly concluded in part that private respondents had already exhausted the remedies under the grievance procedure. 5 It erred only in finding that their cause of action was ripe for arbitration. One significant fact in the present petition also needs stressing. Pursuant to Article 260 6 of the Labor Code, the parties to a CBA shall name or designate their respective 3 4 5 6
representatives to the grievance machinery and if the grievance is unsettled in that level, it shall automatically be referred to the voluntary arbitrators designated in advance by the parties to a CBA. Consequently only disputes involving the union and the company shall be referred to the grievance machinery or voluntary arbitrators. In these termination cases of private respondents, the union had no participation, it having failed to object to the dismissal of the employees concerned by the petitioner. It is obvious that arbitration without the union’s active participation on behalf of the dismissed employees would be pointless, or even prejudicial to their cause. Coming to the merits of the petition, the NLRC found that petitioner did not comply with the requirements of a valid dismissal. For a dismissal to be valid, the employer must show that: (1) the employee was accorded due process, and (2) the dismissal must be for any of the valid causes provided for by law.7 No evidence was shown that private respondents refused, as alleged, to receive the notices requiring them to show cause why no disciplinary action should be taken against them. Without proof of notice, private respondents who were subsequently dismissed without hearing were also deprived of a chance to air their side at the level of the grievance machinery. Given the fact of dismissal, it can be said that the cases were effectively removed from the jurisdiction of the voluntary arbitrator, thus placing them within the jurisdiction of the labor arbiter. Where the dispute is just in the interpretation, implementation or enforcement stage, it may be referred to the grievance machinery set up in the CBA, or brought to voluntary arbitration. But, where there was already actual termination, with alleged violation of the employee’s rights, it is already cognizable by the labor arbiter.8 Petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The decision of the Court of Appeals AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that petitioner is ordered to pay private respondents (a) separation pay, in lieu of their reinstatement, equivalent to one month’s salary for every year of service, (b) full backwages from the date of their dismissal up to the date of the promulgation of this decision, together with (c) the costs of suit.
G.R. No. 76219 May 27, 1991 GTE DIRECTORIES CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. HON. AUGUSTO S. SANCHEZ and GTE DIRECTORIES CORPORATION EMPLOYEES UNION, respondents. Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako for petitioner. Ignacio P. Lacsina for respondent Union.
NARVASA, J.:p FACTS: 1. GTE Directories Corporation (hereafter, simply GTE) is a foreign corporation engaged in the Philippines in the business of publishing the PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company) telephone directories for Metro Manila and several provinces. 2. The practice was for its sales representatives to be given work assignments within specific territories by the so-called "draw method."
A territory was not fully released to the salesperson for handling at one time, but assigned in increments or partial releases of account.
4. This practice was observed. When GTE realized that competition among media for a share of the advertising revenue had become so keen as to require quick reaction. 5. new "Sales Evaluation and Production Policy" was thereafter drawn up. 6. It appears that the new policy did not sit well with the union. It demanded that it be given 15 days "to raise questions or objections to or to seek reconsideration of the sales and administrative practices issued by the Company. 7. GTE next formulated a new set of "Sales Administrative Practices, 8. GTE's Sales Manager sent another Memorandum to "all premise sales personnel.
9. But as before, the sales representatives did not submit the reports. Instead their union, GTE Directories Corporation Employees Union (hereafter, simply the union), sent a letter to the Sales Manager. 10. The union filed in behalf of the sales representatives, a notice of strike grounded on alleged unfair labor practices of GTE
11. In due course, the Bureau of Labor Relations undertook to conciliate the dispute. 12. GTE sent still another memorandum to sixteen (16) of its premise sales representatives. 13. GTE gave its sales representatives an ultimatum. 14. During all this time, conciliation efforts were being exerted by the Bureau of Labor Relations, including attempts to prevent the imposition of sanctions by GTE on its employees, and the strike itself. When these proved futile, Acting Labor Minister Vicente Leogardo, Jr. issued an Order assuming jurisdiction over the dispute. The Acting Secretary opined that the dispute "adversely affects the national interest 15. GTE, a "100% foreign owned" company, (was) being threatened because of the strike;" and "top officers of the union were dismissed during the conciliation process thereby compounding the dispute," 16. Reconsideration of this Order was sought by GTE 17. GTE however reiterated its previously declared "position that with or without the order now being questioned, it will accept all striking employees back to work except the fourteen (14) premise sales representatives who were dismissed for cause prior to the strike." 18. By Resolution of then Labor Minister Blas Ople, GTE's motion for reconsideration was denied. 19. In a clarificatory, Minister Ople reiterated the proposition that "promulgations of company policies and regulations are basic management prerogatives," and that "unless shown to be grossly oppressive or contrary to law," they are "generally binding and valid on the parties and must be complied with until finally revised or amended unilaterally or preferably, through negotiations or by competent authorities." 20. Adjudication of the dispute on the merits was made by Order of Minister Ople's successor, Augusto Sanchez. 21. GTE for its part, argued that the termination of the employment of its fourteen (14) premise sales representatives prior to the strike should have been upheld. It also filed an opposition to the union's motion for reconsideration. 22. The motions were resolved in a "Decision" handed down by Minister Sanchez. 23. Accordingly, he directed the Bureau of Labor Relations to hear said "other issues raised by the union and to submit its findings and recommendations thereon within 20 days from submission of the case for decision." 24. Again GTE moved for reconsideration; again it was rebuffed. The Labor Minister denied its motion .
25. The Minister accordingly annulled and set aside his order for the Bureau of Labor Relations to conduct hearings on said issues since he had already resolved them, and affirmed his Order
26. GTE thereupon instituted the special civil action of certiorari at bar praying for invalidation, because rendered with grave abuse of discretion, of the Labor Minister's orders. 27. GTE had cause to dismiss the fourteen (14) premise sales representatives who had repeatedly and deliberately, not to say defiantly, refused to comply with its directive for submission of individual reports on specified matters. ISSUE: Whether or not the effectivity of an employer's regulations and policies is dependent upon the acceptance and consent of the employees thereby sought to be bound; or otherwise stated, whether or not the union's objections to, or request for reconsideration of those regulations or policies automatically suspend enforcement thereof and excuse the employees' refusal to comply with the same.
RULING: In the case at bar, it must thus be conceded that its adoption of a new "Sales Evaluation and Production Policy" was within its management prerogative to regulate, according to its own discretion and judgment, all aspects of employment, including the manner, procedure and processes by which particular work activities should be done. When the strike notice was filed by the union, the chain of events which culminated in the termination of the 14 sales persons' employment was already taking place, the series of defiant refusals by said sales representatives to comply with GTE's requirement to submit individual reports was already in progress. At that time, no less than three (3) of the ultimate six (6) direct orders of the employer for the submission of the reports had already been disobeyed. The filing of the strike notice, and the commencement of conciliation activities by the Bureau of Labor Relations did not operate to make GTE's orders illegal or unenforceable so as to excuse continued non-compliance therewith. It does not follow that just because the employees or their union are unable to realize or appreciate the desirability of their employers' policies or rules, the latter were laid down to oppress the former and subvert legitimate union activities. Indeed, the overt, direct, deliberate and continued defiance and disregard by the employees of the authority of their employer left the latter with no alternative except to impose sanctions. The sanction of suspension having proved futile, termination of employment was the only option left to the employer. To repeat, it would be dangerous doctrine indeed to allow employees to refuse to comply with rules and regulations, policies and procedures laid down by their employer by the simple expedient of formally challenging their reasonableness or the motives which inspired them, or filing a strike notice with the Department of Labor and Employment, or, what amounts to the same thing, to give the employees the power to suspend compliance with company rules or policies by requesting that they be first subject of collective bargaining, It would be well nigh impossible under these circumstances for any employer to maintain discipline in its establishment. This is, of course, intolerable.
Minister Sanchez decided the dispute in the exercise of the jurisdiction assumed by his predecessor in accordance with Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code, 8 providing in part as follows: (g) When in his opinion there exists a labor dispute causing or likely to cause strikes or lockouts adversely affecting the national interest, such as may occur in but not limited to public utilities, companies engaged in the generation or distribution of energy, banks, hospitals, and export-oriented industries, including those within export processing zones, the Minister of Labor and Employment shall assume jurisdiction over the dispute and decide it or certify the same to the Commission for compulsory arbitration. . . .
Petition is GRANTED, and as prayed for, the Order dated October 1, 1986 of the public respondent is NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE.
Unfair labor practice
PHILCOM EMPLOYEES UNION VS. Promulgated:
and PHILCOM CORPORATION, G.R. No. 144315 July 17, 2006
1. Upon the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between Philcom Employees Union (PEU or union, for brevity) and Philippine Global Communications, Inc. (Philcom, Inc.), the parties started negotiations for the renewal of their CBA.
2. At a conciliation conference held at the NCMB-NCR office, the parties agreed to consolidate the two (2) Notices of Strike filed by the union and to maintain the status quo during the pendency of the proceedings.
3. While the union and the company officers and representatives were meeting, the remaining union officers and members staged a strike at the company premises, barricading the entrances and egresses thereof and setting up a stationary picket at the main entrance of the building.
4. The company immediately filed a petition for the Secretary of Labor and Employment to assume jurisdiction over the labor dispute in accordance with Article 263(g) of the Labor Code.
5. Acting Labor Secretary Cresenciano B. Trajano issued an Order assuming jurisdiction over the dispute, enjoining any strike or lockout, whether threatened or actual, directing the parties to cease and desist from committing any act that may exacerbate the situation, directing the striking workers to return to work within twenty-four (24) hours from receipt of the Secretary’s Order and for management to resume normal operations, as well as accept the workers back under the same terms and conditions prior to the strike.
6. The union filed a Motion for Reconsideration assailing, among others, the authority of then Acting Secretary Trajano to assume jurisdiction over the labor dispute.
7. The company, on the other hand, raised in its position paper the sole issue of the illegality of the strike staged by the union.
8. On the premise that Labor Secretary cannot rule on the issue of the strike since there was no petition to declare the same illegal.
9. Neither do these complaints amount to gross violations which, thus, may be treated as unfair labor practices outside of the coverage of Article 261.
10. The Union failed to convincingly show that there is flagrant and/or malicious refusal by the Company to comply with the economic provisions stipulated in the CBA.
11. With respect to the charges of contractualization and economic inducement, this Office is convinced that the acts of said company qualify as a valid exercise of management prerogative.
12. The act of the Company in contracting out work or certain services being performed by Union members should not be seen as an unfair labor practice act per se.
13. There remains the issue on bargaining deadlock. The Company has denied the existence of any impasse in its CBA negotiations with the Union and instead maintains that it has been negotiating with the latter in good faith until the strike was initiated.
14. As pointed out by the Union, there are already thirty-seven (37) items agreed upon by the parties during the CBA negotiations even before these were suspended.
15. We now come to the question of whether or not the strike staged by the Union on November 17, 1997 is illegal. The Company claims it is, having been held on grounds which are non-strikeable, during the pendency of preventive mediation proceedings in the NCMB, after this Office has assumed jurisdiction over the dispute, and with the strikers committing prohibited and illegal acts. The Company further prays for the termination of some 20 Union officers who were positively identified to have initiated the alleged illegal strike. The Union, on the other hand, refuses to submit this issue for resolution.
16. Considering the precipitous nature of the sanctions sought by the Company, i.e., declaration of illegality of the strike and the corresponding termination of the errant Union officers, this Office deems it wise to defer the summary resolution of the same until both parties have been afforded due process. The non-compliance of the strikers with the return-to-work orders, while it may warrant dismissal, is not by itself conclusive to hold the strikers liable. Moreover, the Union’s position on the alleged commission of illegal acts by the strikers during the strike is still to be heard. Only after a fullblown hearing may the respective liabilities of Union officers and members be determined. The case of Telefunken Semiconductors Employees Union-FFW v. Secretary of Labor and Employment and Temic Telefunken Micro-Electronics (Phils.), Inc. (G.R. No. 122743 and 127215, December 12, 1997) is instructive on this point:
17. Pending resolution of the issues of illegal strike and bargaining deadlock which are yet to be heard, all the striking workers are directed to return to work within twenty-four (24) hours from receipt of this Order and Philcom and/or Philcom Corporation are hereby directed to unconditionally accept back to work all striking Union officers and members under the same terms and conditions prior to the strike. The parties are directed to cease and desist from committing any acts that may aggravate the situation.
18. Atty. Lita V. Aglibut, Officer-In-Charge of the Legal Service, this Department is hereby designated as the Hearing Officer to hear and receive evidence on all matters and issues arising from the present labor dispute and, thereafter, to submit a report/recommendation within twenty (20) days from the termination of the proceedings.
19. The parties are further directed to file their respective position papers with Atty. Lita V. Aglibut within ten (10) days from receipt of this Order.
Philcom Corporation (“Philcom”) filed a motion for reconsideration.
21. Philcom also filed a Motion to Certify Labor Dispute to the National Labor Relations Commission for Compulsory Arbitration.
22. For its part, Philcom Employees Union (PEU) filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration. PEU asked the Secretary to “partially reconsider” the Order insofar as it dismissed the unfair labor practices charges against Philcom and included the illegal strike issue in the labor dispute.
23. The Secretary denied both motions for reconsideration of Philcom and PEU in its assailed Order of 27 November 1998.
24. PEU filed with this Court a petition for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assailing the Secretary’s Orders. This Court referred the case to the Court of Appeals.
The Court of Appeals DENIED the petition.
Hence, this petition.
The Honorable Court of Appeals has decided a question of substance in a way not in accord with law and jurisprudence when it affirmed the order/resolution of the Secretary of Labor dismissing the Union’s charges of unfair labor practices.
The petition must fail.
PEU also claims that Philcom has committed several unfair labor practices.
asserts that there are “factual and evidentiary bases” for the charge of unfair labor practices against Philcom.
On unfair labor practices of employers, Article 248 of the Labor Code provides:
Unfair labor practices of employers. ─ It shall be unlawful for an employer to commit any of the following unfair labor practice:
(a) To interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization;
(b) To require as a condition of employment that a person or an employee shall not join a labor organization or shall withdraw from one to which he belongs;
(c) To contract out services or functions being performed by union members when such will interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights to self-organization;
(d) To initiate, dominate, assist or otherwise interfere with the formation or administration of any labor organization, including the giving of financial or other support to it or its organizers or supporters;
(e) To discriminate in regard to wages, hours of work, and other terms and conditions of employment in order to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization. x x x
(f) To dismiss, discharge, or otherwise prejudice or discriminate against an employee for having given or being about to give testimony under this Code;
To violate the duty to bargain collectively as prescribed by this
Code; (h) To pay negotiation or attorney’s fees to the union or its officers or agents as part of the settlement of any issue in collective bargaining or any other dispute; or
(i) To violate a collective bargaining agreement.
Unfair labor practice refers to acts that violate the workers’ right to organize. The prohibited acts are related to the workers’ right to self-organization and to the observance of a CBA. Without that element, the acts, no matter how unfair, are not unfair labor practices. 9 The only exception is Article 248(f), which in any case is not one of the acts specified in PEU’s charge of unfair labor practice.
A review of the acts complained of as unfair labor practices of Philcom convinces us that they do not fall under any of the prohibited acts defined and enumerated in Article 248 of the Labor Code. The issues of misimplementation or non-implementation of employee benefits, non-payment of overtime and other monetary claims, inadequate transportation allowance, water, and other facilities, are all a matter of implementation or interpretation of the economic provisions of the CBA between Philcom and PEU subject to the grievance procedure.
Great Pacific Life Employees Union v. Great Pacific Life Assurance Corporation, G.R. No. 126717, 11 CASES 210 (5th ed. 2004) [THE LABOR CODE WITH COMMENTS AND CASES].
The Court has always respected a company’s exercise of its prerogative to devise means to improve its operations. Thus, we have held that management is free to regulate, according to its own discretion and judgment, all aspects of employment, including hiring, work assignments, supervision and transfer of employees, working methods, time, place and manner of work.10
This is so because the law on unfair labor practices is not intended to deprive employers of their fundamental right to prescribe and enforce such rules as they honestly believe to be necessary to the proper, productive and profitable operation of their business.
Even assuming arguendo that Philcom had violated some provisions in the CBA, there was no showing that the same was a flagrant or malicious refusal to comply with its economic provisions. The law mandates that such violations should not be treated as unfair labor practices.
Regardless of their motives, or the validity of their claims, the striking employees should have ceased or desisted from all acts that would undermine the authority given the Secretary under Article 263(g) of the Labor Code. They could not defy the return-to-work orders by citing Philcom’s alleged unfair labor practices to justify such defiance.11
the petition is DISMISSED and AFFIRM the Decision of the Court of Appeals, with the MODIFICATION that the Secretary of Labor is directed to determine who among the Philcom Employees Union officers participated in the illegal strike, and who among the union members committed illegal acts or defied the return-to-work orders. to costs.
No pronouncement as