Azucena, Cesario Alvero Jr. (2007).
THE LABOR CODE WITH COMMENTS AND CASES
Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.
BOOK FIVELABOR RELATIONSTitle IPOLICY AND DEFINITIONSChapter IPOLICYArt. 211. Declaration of Policy.
A. It is the policy of the State:a. To promote and emphasize the primacy of free collective bargaining and negotiations,including voluntary arbitration, mediation andconciliation, as modes of settling labor orindustrial disputes;b. To promote free trade unionism as aninstrument for the enhancement of democracyand the promotion of social justice anddevelopment;c. To foster the free and voluntary organizationof a strong and united labor movement;d. To promote the enlightenment of workersconcerning their rights and obligations as unionmembers and as employees;e. To provide an adequate administrativemachinery for the expeditious settlement of labor or industrial disputes;f. To ensure a stable but dynamic and justindustrial peace; andg. To ensure the participation of workers indecision and policy-making processes affectingtheir rights, duties and welfare.B. To encourage a truly democratic method of regulatingthe relations between the employers and employees bymeans of agreements freely entered into throughcollective bargaining, no court or administrative agencyor official shall have the power to set or fix wages, ratesof pay, hours of work or other terms and conditions of employment, except as otherwise provided under thisCode. (As amended by Section 3, Republic Act No. 6715,March 21, 1989) ________
1. OVERVIEW AND VIEWPOINT
“Labor Standards” refers to the minimum terms and
conditions of employment which employees are legallyentitled to and employers must comply with.
“Labor Relations” refers
to the interactions betweenemployer and employees or their representatives andthe mechanism by which the standards and other termsand conditions of employment are negotiated, adjustedand enforced.The government labor relations policy is declared in Art.211 which is a focused elaboration of the basic laborpolicy announced in Art.3 which, in turn, echoes theconstitutional mandates. The policy intends to attainsocial justice through industrial peace and progress. Thelatter is founded on employee participation andcollective interactions between employer andemployees. In Management parlance, the input is the
parties’ rights and duties, the process is worker’s
organization and collective bargaining, and the output isindustrial peace and progress towards social justice asthe end goal.Work stoppage
—known as “strike” by employees or“lockout” by the employer—
is not favoured in law. It isrecognized as a legal right but regulated as to thepurpose and manner of doing it. Deviation from themandatory requirements has adverse consequences tothe violators. Work stoppage, because it is counter-productive, is and has to be considered a measure of lastresort.The principle behind labor unionism in private industry isthat industrial peace cannot be secured throughcompulsion by law. Relations between private employersand their employees rest on an essentially voluntarybasis. Subject to the minimum requirements of wagelaws and other labor and welfare legislation, the termsand conditions of employment in the unionized privatesector are settled through the process of collectivebargaining.
Because labor relations are primarily “domestic,” third
parties, even the Government, shy away from meddling,as much as it can be helped. This is why an in-houseproblem solving structure, called grievance machinery, isa requirement in CBAs. If this machinery fails, the partiesthemselves are free to select any third party, calledvoluntary arbitrator, to resolve their differences.The laws, as a force that balan
ces the parties’ rights and
obligations, are admittedly necessary in the industrialsetting.
Art. 1700. The relations between capital and labor are not merelycontractual. They are so impressed with public interest that laborcontracts must yield to the common good.