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12.

RIGHT TO SELF-ORGANIZATION
A. Scope and Nature
- granted to all kinds of EE of all kinds of ER public or private, profit or
nonprofit, commercial or religious
- USUAL FORM: union; USUAL PURPOSE: collective bargaining with ER
- EXCEPTIONS: (1) managerial EE (Art. 245)
- the right to self-organization is the right of every worker, free of any interference
from the employer or from government, to form or join any legitimate worker's
organization, association or union of his or her own choice. Except those
classified as managerial or confidential, all employees may form or join unions
for purposes of collective bargaining and other legitimate concerted activities. An
employee is eligible for membership in an appropriate union on the first day of his
or her employment.
B. Constitutional Basis
The right of the people, including those employed in the public and private
sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law
shall not be abridged (Section 8, Article III, Bill of Rights).
The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and
unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment
opportunities to all.
It shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective
bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities, including the right
to strike in accordance with law. They shall be entitled to security of tenure,
humane conditions of work, and a living wage. They shall also participate in
policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be
provided by law.
The State shall promote the principle of shared responsibility between workers
and employers and the preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes,
including conciliation, and shall enforce their mutual compliance therewith to
foster industrial peace.
The State shall regulate the relations between workers and employers, recognizing
the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of
enterprises to reasonable returns on investments, and to expansion and growth
(Section 3, Article XIII, Social Justice and Human Rights).
C. Statutory Basis
Art. 243: COVERAGE AND EMPLOYEES RIGHT TO SELFORGANIZATION. All persons employed in commercial, industrial and
agricultural enterprises and in religious, charitable, medical or educational
institutions whether operating for profit or not, shall have the right to self-

organization and to form, join, or assist labor organizations of their own choosing
for purposes of collective bargaining. Ambulant, intermittent and itinerant
workers, self-employed people, rural workers and those without any definite
employers may form labor organizations for their mutual aid and protection.
Art. 244: RIGHT OF EMPLOYEES IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE. Employees of
government corporations established under the Corporation Code shall have the
right to organize and to bargain collectively with their respective employers. All
other employees in the civil service shall have the right to form associations for
purposes not contrary to law.
***Q: Can there be several unions in one enterprise?
A: Yes. There can be several bargaining units in one employer unit, and at least one
legitimate labor organization per bargaining unit. Also, there can be several union within
one bargaining unit, since there is no law precluding such a situation.
***Q: Can an employee refuse to join a labor organization?
A: Yes. It is the employees prerogative to join or not to join a labor organization. But
the law does recognize provision in a collective bargaining agreement which require
membership in a recognized collective bargaining agent as a condition for employment,
except those employees who are already members of another union at the time of the
signing of the collective bargaining agreement. This clause in the CBA is called a
closed-shop agreement or union security clause (considered as the greatest
achievement of unionism), covered under Art. 248(e), LC.
***Q: Can an employee refuse to join a labor organization on account of religion?
A: Yes, members of religious sects which prohibit their members from joining a labor
union cannot be compelled to join a union. Their right to self-organization will prevail on
religious grounds because contractual rights must yield to the constitutional guarantee of
freedom of religion. But this does not prevent members of such religious sects to form a
legitimate labor organization of their own.
D. Purpose of Exercise of Right
(1) Collective bargaining
(2) Mutual aid and protection
The result of collective bargaining is a contract called collective bargaining
agreement (CBA). A CBA generally has a term of five years. The provisions of a
CBA may be classified as political or economic. Political provisions refer to those
refer to those which define the coverage of the CBA and recognize the collective
bargaining agent as the exclusive representative of the employees for the term of
the CBA. Economic provisions refer to all terms and conditions of employment
with a monetary value. Economic provisions have a term of five years but may be
renegotiated before the end of the third year of affectivity for the CBA.
PARTIES TO A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT:

(1) representative of ER
(2) a union duly authorized by the majority of the EE within a bargaining unit,
called exclusive bargaining agent
E. Non-abridgment of Right to Self-Organization
Art. 246: NON-ABRIDGMENT OF RIGHT TO SELF-ORGANIZATION. It
shall be unlawful for any person to restrain, coerce, discriminate against or unduly
interfere with employees and workers in their exercise of the right to selforganization. Such right shall include the right to form, join, or assist labor
organizations for the purpose of collective bargaining through representatives of
their own choosing and to engage in lawful concerted activities for the same
purpose or for their mutual aid and protection, subject to the provisions of Article
264 of this Code.
F. Union Membership and Formation of Union
***Independent Union a labor organization operating at the enterprise level
that acquired legal personality through independent registration under the Rules.
***Labor Organization any union or association of employees in the private
sector which exists in or in part for the purpose of collective bargaining or to deal
with employers concerning the terms and conditions of employment
***Chartered Local (local/charter under RA 9481); any labor organization in
the private sector operating at the enterprise level that acquired legal personality
through the issuance of a charter certificate by a duly registered federation or
national union and reported to the Regional Office.
***Legitimate Labor Organization any labor organization duly registered with
or reported to the Department
***Affiliate an independent union affiliated with a federation, national union or
a chartered local which was subsequently granted independent registration by did
not disaffiliate from its federation, reported to the Regional Office and the Bureau

Who are qualified:


(1) all employees employed in commercial, industrial and agricultural enterprises
and in religious, charitable, medical or educational institutions whether
operating for profit or not;
(2) Government employees in the civil service;
(3) Supervisory personnel;
(4) Security personnel;
(5) Aliens with valid working permit.

Who are prohibited from joining:


(1) Managerial employees
(2) Members of cooperatives
(3) Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, policemen and firemen
***Q: Are confidential employees prohibited from joining legitimate labor
organizations?
A: Generally, an employee may join a legitimate labor organization even, if she/he
has access to confidential information concerning the employers internal business
operation. But an employee with access to confidential labor relations information may
be excluded from the bargaining unit sought to be represented by a legitimate labor
organization.
G. Registration of Union
(1) INDEPENDENT LABOR UNION
a. Names of its officers, their addresses, the principal address of the labor
organization, the minutes of the organizational meetings and the list of
workers who participated in such meetings.
b. Number of employees and names of all its members comprising at least 20%
of the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate;
c. Two copies of its annual financial reports if the applicant union has been in
existence for one or more years. If it has not collected any amount from the
members, a statement to this effect shall be included in the application;
d. Four copies of its constitution and by-laws, minutes of its adoption or
ratification, and the list of the members who participated in it. However, the
list of ratifying members shall be dispensed with where the constitution and
by-laws was ratified or adopted during the organizational meeting. In such
case, the factual circumstances of the ratification shall be recorded in the
minutes of the organizational meeting.
The organization needs to fill out an Application for Registration (BLR Reg.
Form No. 1-LO, s. 1998 Annexes A and A-I).
(2) FEDERATION OR NATIONAL UNION
The application for registration of a FEDERATION OR NATIONAL UNION shall, in
addition to sub-paragraphs a, c and d of the immediately preceding paragraph, be
supported by:
a. List of member organizations and their respective presidents and, in the case
of an industry, the industry where the union seeks to operate;
b. Resolution of membership of each member organization approved by the
Board of Directors of such union;

c. Name and principal address of the applicant, the names of its officers and their
addresses, the minutes of its organizational meetings, and the list of member
organizations and their representatives who attended such meeting/s;
d. Copy of its constitution and by-laws and minutes of its ratification by a
majority of the presidents of the member organizations, provided that where
the ratification was done simultaneously with the organizational meeting, it
shall be sufficient that the fact of ratification be included in the minutes of the
organizational meeting.
The organization needs to fill out an Application for Registration (BLR Reg.
Form No. 4-FED, s. 1998 Annexes B and B-1).
(3) WORKERS ASSOCIATION
The following shall support the application for registration of WORKERS
ASSOCIATION:
a. The names of its members, their addresses, the principal office of the
applicant, the minutes of the organizational meeting/s, and the names of its
individual members who attended such meeting/s;
b. A copy of its constitution and by-laws, duly ratified by a majority of its
individual members;
c. In the case of any grouping of workers associations, the requirements for
registration of an industry or trade union shall apply.
The association needs to fill out either of the following:
a. For an association operating in one region (BLR Reg. Form No. 2-WA, s.
1998 Annexes C and C-I).
For an association operating in more than one region (BLR Reg. Form No. 3-WA,
s. 1998 Annexes D and D-I).
H. Jurisdiction
***Q: Where can the application for registration of labor organization and workers
association be filed?
A: The application for registration of any federation, national or industry union or
trade union center shall be filed with the Bureau of Labor Relations. If the application is
filed with the Regional Office, it shall be immediately forwarded to the Bureau within 48
hours from filing, together with all the documents supporting the registration.
The application for registration of an independent union shall be filed with and acted
upon by the Regional Office where the applicants principal office is located.
The application for registration of a workers association shall be filed directly and acted
upon by the Regional Office where it operates. Where the applicant intents to operate in
more than one regional jurisdiction, the application shall be filed with the Bureau.

***Q: What happen after an application for registration is filed with the Regional
Office or the BLR?
A: The Regional Office or the Bureau, as the case may be, shall act on all
applications for registration within 30 days from filing thereof, either by approving the
application and issuing the certificate of registration, or denying the application for
failure of the applicant to comply with the requirements for registration.
***Q: What happens if the supporting documents for registration are incomplete, or
do not contain the attestation requirements?
A: Where the documents supporting the application are not complete or do not
contain the attestation requirements, the Regional Office or the Bureau shall, within five
days from receipt of the application, notify the applicant in writing of the requirements
needed to complete the application. Where the applicant fails to complete the
requirements within 30 days from receipt of notice, the application shall be denied.
***Q: What happens if the Regional Office or BLR verbally denies or refuses to act on
an application for registration for a considerable amount of time?
A: Secure a notice of denial in order to avail of the remedy of appeal. There are notice
of denial forms for application pertaining to independent unions (BLR Form No. 1-B-LO,
s. 1998), workers association (BLR Form No. 2-B-WA, s. 1998 or BLR Form No. 3-BWA, s. 1998), federation or national unions (BLR Form No. 4-A-Fed, s. 1998 Annexes
E, F, G, H, and H-I).
After all, the decision of the Regional Office or the Bureau denying the application for
registration shall be in writing, stating in clear terms the reasons for such a denial. A
copy of the notice of denial should be furnished to the applicant union.
***Q: How may a notice of denial for registration be appealed?
A: The decision may be appealed to the Bureau if the denial is by the Regional
Director, or to the Secretary if the denial is by the Bureau, within 10 days from receipt of
notice thereof, on the ground of grave abuse of discretion or violation of the Rules
Implementing Book V of the Labor Code, as amended.
The appeal shall be filed in the Regional Office or in the Bureau, as the case may be,
which shall cause the transmittal of the records to the Bureau or to the Secretary within
five calendar days from receipt of the appeal.
The Bureau or the Secretary shall decide the appeal within 20 calendar days from receipt
of the records of the case.
I. Juridical Personality
***Q: When shall a labor organization acquire legitimate personality?
A: The labor organization or workers association shall be deemed registered or
vested with legal personality on the date of issuance of its certificate of registration.

***Q: May a unions legal personality be assailed in a petition for certification


election, intra/inter-union or NLRC case?
A: No. Such legal personality cannot thereafter be subject to collateral attack, but
may be questioned only in an independent petition for cancellation in accordance with
the Rules Implementing Book V of the Labor Code, as amended.
J. Rights of Legitimate Labor Organization
A legitimate labor organization shall have the following rights:
a. to act as representative of its members for collective bargaining;
b. to be certified as the exclusive representative of all the employees in an
appropriate collective bargaining unit for collective bargaining;
c. to be furnished by the employer, upon written request, with annual audited
financial statements within 30 calendar days from the date of receipt of the
request, or within 60 calendar days before the expiration of the existing CBA,
or during the collective bargaining negotiation;
d. to own property, real or personal, for the use and benefit of the labor
organization and its members;
e. to sue and be sued in its registered name;
f. to undertake all other activities to benefit the organization and its members,
and other projects not contrary to law.
K. Rights and Duties of Union Members and Non-union Members (art. 241)
L. Election of Union Officers (art. 241(c) )
- members shall directly elect their officers
- secret ballot
- intervals of 5 years
- no qualification requirements for candidacy other than membership in good
standing
- secretary or any other responsible officer shall furnish SOLE with list of newlyelected officers, together with the appointive officers or agents who are entrusted with the
handling of funds within 30 calendar days after election or occurrence of any change
M. Check-off Provision
Art. 113: WAGE DEDUCTION. (b) For union dues, in cases where the right of the
worker or his union to check-off has been recognized by the employer or
authorized in writing by the individual worker concerned; and
N. Disaffiliation
***Q: How can an independent union be considered an affiliate of a federation or a
national union?
A: An independent union shall be considered an affiliate of a federation or national or

industry union upon filing two copies of the following documents with the Regional
Office or Bureau:
a. verified resolution of affiliation ratified by a majority of the members of the
union; and
b. resolution of acceptance by the federation or national union.
***Q: When may a local union disaffiliate from its mother federation?
A: The right of a local union to disaffiliate from its mother federation is well settled.
This right is consistent with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of association.
In the absence of enforceable provisions in the federations constitution preventing
disaffiliation of a local union, a local may sever its relationship with its federation at
anytime, provided a majority of local/chapter member support the act of disaffiliation.