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Manila Mandarin EU vs.

NLRC & Beloncio
Facts:
Private respondent, Melba C. Beloncio, an employee of Manila Mandarin Hotel and assistant
head waitress at the hotel's coffee shop, was expelled from the petitioner Manila Mandarin Employees
Union for acts allegedly inimical to the interests of the union.
The charge of disloyalty against Beloncio arose from her emotional remark to a waitress who
happened to be a union steward, "Wala akong tiwala sa Union ninyo." The remark was made regarding
Beloncio's efforts to make a lazy and recalcitrant waiter adopt a better attitude towards his work.
The union demanded the dismissal from employment of Beloncio on the basis of the union
security clause of their collective bargaining agreement. In case of failure to accede to the demands of
the union, the latter shall file a notice of strike. The Hotel acceded by placing Beloncio on forced leave.
Issue:
Whether or not there was an illegal dismissal.
Ruling:
Yes. Under the CBA, membership in the union may be lost through expulsion only if there is nonpayment of dues or a member organizes, joins, or forms another labor organization. In the case at bar,
there was no valid ground for the expulsion of the private respondent.
The collective bargaining agreement in this case contains a union security clause — a closedshop agreement. A closed-shop agreement is an agreement whereby an employer binds himself to hire
only members of the contracting union who must continue to remain members in good standing to keep
their jobs. It is "the most prized achievement of unionism." It adds membership and compulsory dues. By
holding out to loyal members a promise of employment in the closed-shop, it welds group solidarity. It is a
very effective form of union security agreement. This Court has held that a closed-shop is a valid form of
union security
However, union security clauses cannot be used by union officials against an employer, much
less their own members, except with a high sense of responsibility, fairness, prudence, and
judiciousness.
The Court stresses that union security clauses are also governed by law and by principles of
justice, fair play, and legality. A union member may not be expelled from her union, and consequently
from her job, for personal or impetuous reasons or for causes foreign to the closed-shop agreement and
in a manner characterized by arbitrariness and whimsicality.