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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No.

L-25094 April 29, 1969

PAN AMERICAN WORLD AIRWAYS INC., petitioner, vs. PAN AMERICAN EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION, COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, respondents. Ross, Selph, Salcedo, Del Rosario, Bito and Misa for petitioner. Jose C. Espinas and Associates for respondent Pan American Employees Association. FERNANDO, J.: The failure of the respondent Court of Industrial Relations to indulge petitioner Pan American World Airways, Inc. in its plea to exclude from a return-to-work order five union officials of respondent Pan American Employees Association on the ground of having led an illegal strike, in itself, according to petitioner, a sufficient cause for dismissal thus resulting in their losing their incentive and motivation for doing their jobs properly with the consequent fear that they could cause grave injury to it, is challenged in this special civil action for certiorari as constituting a grave abuse of discretion. Whatever may be said against such order complained of respondent Court of Industrial Relations, the refusal to grant the prayer for such exclusion cannot be characterized as an abuse of discretion, much less as one that possesses an element of gravity. So it must be unless we are prepared to restrict the broad scope of authority possessed by respondent Court of Industrial Relations in discharging its power of compulsory arbitration in cases certified to it by the President, and what is worse, unless an undeserved reflection on the quality of leadership in the labor movement, indicative of

Judge Bugayong issued an order requiring petitioner to accept the five union officers pending resolution on the merits of the dispute involved in the strike. the parties being called to a conference on September 20. Consequently. Nonetheless. the President of the Philippines certified the strike to the respondent Court of Industrial Relations as being an industrial dispute affecting the national interest. however. It cannot hope to succeed. 1965. It alleged that the strike was illegal. on September 17. is countenanced. Petitioner was of a different mind. It was agreeable to having the workers return to work but not the five officials of respondent Union." 3Management did offer. the same respondent union declared and maintained a strike against the herein petitioner. 21. 24 and 25. respondent union filed a notice of strike with the Department of Labor and on August 28. 1965. that on August 25. it was not agreeable to their being allowed to return to the positions held by them prior to the strike as they would not be only lacking in "incentive and motivation for doing their work properly" but would likewise have the opportunity to cause "grave and irreparable injury to petitioner. being offensive to a no-strike clause of an existing collective bargaining agreement the result being that the officials could. as the responsible parties. 1965. 1965. It was the position of the Union that its members would not resume the performance of their duties unless its officers were likewise included in the return-to-work order. 4 There . Bugayong. to deposit their salaries even if they would not be working. 2 Several conferences were held between petitioner and respondent Union before the Honorable Amando C. It was set forth in the petition. 1965. on September 28. 1965. The petition thus carries on its face the seeds of its own infirmity. 23. with the further promise that they would not even be required to refund any amount should the right to remain in their positions be considered as legally terminated by their calling the alleged illegal strike. 1 Then. after the usual allegation as to the personality of the parties. Associate Judge of respondent Court on September 20. be liable for dismissal.management refusal to accord to it the presumption of responsibility.

The law is anything but that. this Court. 5 Hence. Lastly. this petition." 6 . As already noted. 1965. it certainly can order the return of the workers with or without backpay as a term or condition of the employment. the case comes under the operation of Commonwealth Act 103. As far back as 1957. Considering that this is a case certified by the President. categorically stated: "We agree with counsel for the Philippine Marine Radio Officers' Association that upon certification by the President under Section 10 of Republic Act 875. 1. And of what use is its power of conciliation and arbitration if it does not have the power and jurisdiction to carry into effect the solution it has adopted. if the said court has the power to fix the terms and conditions of employment. If the Court of Industrial Relations is granted authority to find a solution in an industrial dispute and such solution consists in ordering of employees to return back to work. not only in the manner prescribed under Commonwealth Act 103. alleging a grave abuse of discretion. with respondent Court exercising its broad authority of compulsory arbitration. the inherent weakness of the petition cannot escape attention. speaking through Justice Labrador.was a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the court on October 8. The evident intention of the law is to empower the Court of Industrial Relations to act in such cases. which enforces compulsory arbitration in cases of labor disputes in industries indispensable to the national interest when the President certifies the case to the Court of Industrial Relations. it cannot be contended that the Court of Industrial Relations does not have the power or jurisdiction to carry that solution into effect. but with the same broad powers and jurisdiction granted by that Act. consisting in the failure to grant petitioner's rather unorthodox demand. the discretion it possesses cannot be so restricted and emasculated that the mere failure to grant a plea to exclude from the return-to-work order the union officials could be considered as tantamount to a grave abuse thereof.

speaking through Justice Sanchez. .R. and that in any event there was enough ground for dismissal. L-22425 promulgated August 31. Northwest Airlines. of the safety of petitioner's aircraft. is in the cargo department could underweight or overweigh cargo to the great detriment of the service or even." 8 Petitioner would attempt to remove the sting from its objection to have the union officers return to work by offering to deposit the salaries of the five officers with respondent Court to be paid to them. as was announced at to the outset of this opinion. 2.000. the apprehension entertained by petitioner was in the petition expressed by it thus: "The five officers of the union consist of three (3) Passenger Traffic Representatives and a reservation clerk who in the course of their duties could cause mix-ups in the reservation and accommodation of passengers which could result in very many suits for damages against petitioner such as the case of Nicolas Cuenca vs. there can be no legal objection to the mode of exercise of authority in such fashion by respondent Court of Industrial Relations. G. The other union officer who. 1965 in which this Honorable Court required the airline to pay P20. That should conclude the matter except for the fact that the question presented possesses an element of novelty which may require further reflection.00 as nominal damages alone. No. The allegation as to the grave abuse of discretion is clearly devoid of merit." To be more specific. there was present a factor which might make them "lose all their incentive and motivation for doing their work properly" and which would furnish them "the opportunity to cause grave and irreparable injury to petitioner.Only recently this Court. emphasized: "The overwhelming implication from the quoted text of Section 10 is that CIR is granted great breadth of discretion in its quest for a solution to a labor problem so certified. petitioner airline firm rather insistent on their being excluded arguing that since the strike called by them was illegal. The situation thus presented is the validity of the return to work order insofar as five union officers are affected." 7 Hence.

perhaps without so intending it. while they will be paid their salaries in the meanwhile they would not be considered as fit persons to perform the duties pertaining to the positions held by them. lawphi1. Necessarily. There is both a constitutional and statutory recognition that laborers have the right to form unions to take care of their interests vis-a-vis their employers. purely speculative in character. with both union and management equally deserving of public trust. much less one clear and present. labor problems could be susceptible of the just solution and industrial peace attained. Implicit in such a concept is the confidence that must be displayed by management in the sense of responsibility of union officials to assure that the two indispensable elements in industry and production could-work side by side. Their freedom organizations would be rendered nugatory if they could . more specifically to the right of self-organization.coupled with what it considered to be a generous concession that if their right to return to work be not recognized. The record is bereft of slightest indication that any danger. is to be expected from their return to work. betrayed an inexcusable lack of confidence in the responsibility of union officials and ultimately in the validity of the collective bargaining process itself. For it is the basic premise under which a regime of collective bargaining was instituted by the Industrial Peace Act that through the process of industrial democracy. then the integrity of the collective bargaining process itself is called into question. Petitioner. there would be no need for refund. the union officials have the right to feel offended by the fact that. It would have been different if there were a rational basis for such fears.nêt The moment management displays what in this case appears to be grave but unwarranted distrust in the union officials discharging their functions just because a strike was resorted to. Far from being generous such an offer could rightfully. be considered insulting. The greater offense is to the labor movement itself. attending to the problems of each without neglecting the common welfare that binds them together.

With costs against petitioner. C. devoid of any factual basis.B. would be to call into question their undeniable right to choose their leaders. the effect of which would have been to deprive effectively the rank and file of their freedom of choice as to who should represent them. That is an indictment of the gravest character. the result. It had a realistic concept of what was in store for labor if its decision were otherwise. JJ. even if not intended. J. Sanchez. Dizon. C. this petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. To that extent then.. J. Fortunately. Footnotes .. respondent Court was alive to the implication of such an unwarranted demand. to repeat.. but to respondent union equally.. Nor did it in the process disregard the rights of management. Capistrano. are on leave. and Castro. What is worse. concur. WHEREFORE. the laborers in this particular union would thus be confronted with the sad spectacle of the leaders of their choice condemned as irresponsible. Actg. to add to the infamy that would thus attach to them necessarily.not choose their own leaders to speak on their behalf and to bargain for them. Teehankee and Barredo. Apparently. J.J. according to law.J. There is no occasion then for the supervisory authority of this Court coming into play. For what use are leaders so undeserving of the minimum confidence. concurs in the result.L. Zaldivar. who must be treated as such with all the respect to which they are legitimately entitled. If petitioner were to succeed in their unprecedented demand.. Makalintal. Reyes. respondent Court was of a different mind it acted. Concepcion. possibly even constituting a menace to the operations of the enterprise. their constitutional and statutory right to freedom of association suffers an impairment hardly to be characterized as inconsequential. The fact that they would be paid but not be allowed to work is.

1027). 1027) hereinafter referred to as "TUPAS. 82914 June 20. MEAT AND CANNING DIVISION UNIVERSAL ROBINA CORPORATION and MEAT AND CANNING DIVISION NEW EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS UNITED LABOR ORGANIZATION. petitioner. Alar." seeks a review of the resolution dated January 27. Abdullah ordering a certification election to be conducted among the regular daily paid rank and file employees/workers of Universal Robina CorporationMeat and Canning Division to determine which of the contending unions: a) Kapatiran sa Meat and Canning Division TUPAS Local Chapter No. respondents. vs. 1988 (Annex D) of public respondent Pura Ferrer-Calleja.R. Manalo and Associates for petitioner. dismissing its appeal from the Order dated November 17.FIRST DIVISION G. J. Danilo Bolos for respondent Robina Corporation. Kapatiran sa Meat and Canning Division TUPAS Local Chapter No.: The petitioner. 1987 (Annex C) of the Med-Arbiter Rasidali C. 1027 (or "TUPAS" for brevity). 1988 KAPATIRAN SA MEAT AND CANNING DIVISION (TUPAS Local Chapter No. RESOLUTION GRIÑO-AQUINO. No. Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations. THE HONORABLE BLR DIRECTOR PURA FERRER CALLEJA. . Comia.

. the TUPAS staged a strike. 1987. NEW ULO. registered as a labor union. ROBINA obtained an injunction against the strike. The next day. 1987. 1987 as a means of pressuring the company to extend. It also accused the company of using the NEW ULO to defeat TUPAS' bargaining rights (Annex B). On October 12. 1987. with a 3-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which was to expire on November 15. On October 8. renew. the NEW ULO. 1987. composed mostly of workers belonging to the IGLESIA NI KRISTO sect. shall be the bargaining unit of the daily wage rank and file employees in the Meat and Canning Division of the company. October 13. TUPAS moved to dismiss the petition for being defective in form and that the members of the NEW ULO were mostly members of the Iglesia ni Kristo sect which three (3) years previous refused to affiliate with any labor union. resulting in an agreement to return to work and for the parties to negotiate a new CBA. c) No union. or negotiate a new CBA with it." filed a petition for a certification election at the Bureau of Labor Relations (Annex A). From 1984 to 1987 TUPAS was the sole and exclusive collective bargaining representative of the workers in the Meat and Canning Division of the Universal Robina Corporation. claiming that it has "the majority of the daily wage rank and file employees numbering 191.b) Meat and Canning Division New Employees and Workers United Labor Organization (or "NEW ULO" for brevity). Within the freedom period of 60 days prior to the expiration of its CBA. TUPAS filed an amended notice of strike on September 28.

the Med-Arbiter ordered the holding of a certification election within 20 days (Annex C). TUPAS' motion for reconsideration (Annex E) was denied on March 17. This Court's decision inVictoriano vs. As pointed out by Med-Arbiter Abdullah. to challenge TUPAS' claim to majority status. TUPAS appealed to the Bureau of Labor Relations BLR. A-12-389-87. NEW ULO. We find no merit in the Petition. upholding the right of members of the IGLESIA NI KRISTO sect not to join a labor union for being contrary to their religious beliefs. The public respondent did not err in dismissing the petitioner's appeal in BLR Case No. 1987 and to expire on November 15. respondent BLR Director Calleja dismissed the appeal (Annex D).. 1988. it was able to negotiate a new 3-year CBA with ROBINA. 1990. 59 SCRA 54. a "certification election is the best forum in ascertaining the majority status of the contending unions wherein the workers themselves can . 1987. 1987 and before it signed a new CBA with the company on December 3. In the meantime. does not foreclose the right of the rival union. 1988. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union.On November 17. does not bar the members of that sect from forming their own union." The fact that TUPAS was able to negotiate a new CBA with ROBINA within the 60-day freedom period of the existing CBA. it filed this petition alleging that the public respondent acted in excess of her jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion in affirming the Med-Arbiter's order for a certification election. 1988 (Annex F). which was signed on December 3. 1987. regardless of religious affiliation. should not infringe on the basic right of selforganization granted by the constitution to workers. 1987 before TUPAS' old CBA expired on November 15. On January 27. by filing a timely petition for certification election on October 13. The public respondent correctly observed that the "recognition of the tenets of the sect .. After deliberating on the petition and the documents annexed thereto. On April 30.

with costs against the petitioner. 88 SCRA 96).freely choose their bargaining representative thru secret ballot. . the petition for certiorari is denied. this Court will not thwart the holding of a certification election (Associated Trade Unions [ATU] vs." Since it has not been shown that this order is tainted with unfairness. SO ORDERED. WHEREFORE. Noriel.

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