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COURT OF APPEALS AND THE OFFICIALS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF KAISAHAN AT KAPATIRAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA AT KAWANI SA METROPOLITAN WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM UNION, represented by its president, PRUDENCIO CRUZ, respondents. [G.R. No. 123375. February 28, 2005.] FACTS: Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, assailing the Decision 1 and Resolution 2 of the Court of Appeals, dated 09 October 1995 and 08 January 1996, respectively. The court a quo, in said Decision, held that the jurisdiction to determine the proper representative of employees in the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System pertains to the Department of Labor and Employment, more particularly to the Bureau of Labor Relations. The Facts On 07 May 1993, after a petition for election of officers of Kaisahan at Kapatiran ng mga Manggagawa at Kawani sa Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (KKMK-MWSS) was filed by Bonifacio De Guzman, former auditor of KKMK-MWSS, a Resolution was issued by Perlita Bathan-Velasco, in her capacity as Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) instant petition is hereby granted and the Kaisahan at Kapatiran ng mga Manggagawa at Kawani sa Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (KKMK-MWSS) is hereby directed to immediately conduct an election of the following union officers: 1. President, 2. 1st Vice President, 3. 2nd Vice President, 4. Executive Secretary, 5. Assistant Executive Secretary, 6. Treasurer, 7. Assistant Treasurer, 8. Auditor, 9. Assistant Auditor, 10. Public Relations Officer, 11. Twenty Three (23) Directors, 12. Four Sergeants at Arms, and 13. Business Manager, after the usual pre-election conferences. The Labor Organizations Division, this Bureau, shall supervise the conduct of said election. A Motion for Reconsideration was filed by the incumbent officers of KKMK-MWSS, led by its President, Genaro Bautista, with the BLR, but was denied by Perlita Bathan-Velasco on 08 July 1993. An appeal was filed with the Office of the Secretary of Labor and Employment where the order of the BLR was assailed as having been issued with grave abuse of discretion and without jurisdiction. 4 Order was issued by the Office of the Secretary of Labor and Employment, through Undersecretary Bienvenido Laguesma, part of which reads: Records clearly show that the subject of the present controversy is an intra union conflict involving an employee's organization in the public sector created and registered pursuant to Executive Order No. 180. Consequently, this office (referring to the Secretary of Labor and Employment) has no other recourse but to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The then incumbent officers of KKMK-MWSS, represented by its President, Genaro C. Bautista, filed a special civil action for certiorari which was, however, dismissed. Acting on the special civil action for certiorari, with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order, the Court Resolved to DISMISS the petition for being insufficient in form and substance, and for want of a genuine justiciable issue the petition argues that public respondents have no jurisdiction over an intra-union dispute among government employees, hence, cannot order a new election of officers. A cursory reading of the Order of 24 August 1993 issued by respondent Undersecretary reveals that he agrees with this view. Thus — Earlier, or on 25 November 1993, a Petition for Prohibition with Prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order/Injunction 8 was filed by Genaro Bautista, et al., against Perlita Bathan-Velasco, Director, Eugenia Fernandez, Med-Arbiter, and Johnny P. Garcia, Chief, Labor Organizations Division, all of the BLR, before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Quezon City, Branch 87. The petition sought to enjoin the herein respondents from proceeding with the election of officers of KKMK-MWSS scheduled on 02 December 1993, and to permanently prohibit them from exercising jurisdiction over the conduct of election of the officers of the KKMK-MWSS. The petition being sufficient in form and substance, and so as not to render the issues raised moot and academic, the defendants are hereby ordered to temporarily refrain from proceeding with the election of officers of the KKMK-MWSS scheduled on December 2, 1993, until further orders from the Court. On 02 December 1993, the election of the officers of KKMK-MWSS pushed through despite the issuance of the temporary restraining order. Another Order was issued by Branch 87 on the same date, hereunder quoted: The defendants in this case together with Teofilo Asuncion and Gregorio Garcia, who were furnished copy of the order and such other persons who are involved in conducting [of] the election and/or sanctioning the same are hereby given up to 4:30 o'clock this afternoon to explain why they should not be punished for contempt in defying the order of this Court dated November 26, 1993. The Court hereby reiterates its order restraining the defendants, their agents, assigns and representatives, and any or all persons having to do with such elections, specifically the management of the MWSS and all others acting in cooperation with them or acting on their behalf or direction, from conducting or continuing or tolerating the elections scheduled today. 11 A motion for reconsideration was filed by Bautista, et al., dated 16 July 1994, alleging among other things, that the RTC has jurisdiction considering that the case before it was an action for prohibition, which was cognizable by it. 19 As a result of which Branch 220 issued another Order 20 dated 27 December 1994 reinstating the Writ of Preliminary Injunction and injunction bond. On 09 October 1995, a Decision was rendered by the Court of Appeals finding for the private respondents, upholding that the BLR had jurisdiction over an intra-union dispute, the dispositive portion of which reads: IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING PREMISES, the instant petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus is hereby GRANTED. The assailed orders of December 27, 1994 and April 27, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE and NULLIFIED for reasons above-stated. No costs. 23 This Court hereby resolves the following: (1) to DENY the motion for the issuance of temporary restraining order of the petitioners, considering that the instant case has already been decided on October 9, 1995; (2) to DENY the motion for reconsideration of the respondents, it appearing that there are no new issues raised which would warrant the reversal or modification of Our decision. 25 On 13 February 1996, a petition for review on certiorari was filed before this Court by Genaro Bautista 26 seeking the reversal and setting aside of the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals cited earlier. a petition for mandamus was filed by Genaro Bautista, as President, and by the other officers 27 and members of the board 28 of KKMK-MWSS against Angel L. Lazaro III, Administrator, MWSS, and the Board of Trustees of MWSS, before the RTC, Quezon City, raffled again to Branch 220, docketed as Sp. Proc. No. Q-96-27586. 29 In this petition, it was prayed, among other things, that Angel Lazaro III and the Board of Trustees of MWSS give due recognition to Genaro Bautista, et al., as officers of KKMK-MWSS, and that the union dues be released to the latter.
40 Second. of the Legal Department of the MWSS in indirect contempt of court. Administrator. as it is lodged with the BLR. or any inter-union or intra-union conflicts. IcTEaC Then Associate Justice Teodoro R. now the subjects of this petition for review on certiorari. we rule against the petitioner. — The Bureau of Labor Relations and the Labor Relations Division in the regional offices of the Department of Labor shall have original and exclusive authority to act. one occurring or carried on between or among unions. The subject of the case at bar. In it. When they again sought the guidance of the OGCC as to the effect of the aforementioned Decision of the Court of Appeals. this does not mean that our previous ruling cannot apply in the instant case. should not apply to the instant case for the reason that the latter involves an intra-union conflict. we shall deal with that problem when it occurs. petitioner Genaro Bautista filed an urgent motion to declare the administrator. et al. Lazaro. subject to extension by agreement of the parties. Executive Order No. This. However. It is well within the powers of the BLR to act upon. an Urgent Motion for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order 30 was filed before this Court by the private respondents praying that Regional Trial Court Judge Prudencio Altre Castillo be enjoined from hearing the mandamus case. BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS. 2 . 43 It may be true that the ACAE case involved a certification election between two unions in a government entity. Padilla. representatives. we held that the BLR has the jurisdiction to call for and supervise the conduct of certification elections in the public sector. and manager. i. The BLR has to do the job. This ambivalence notwithstanding. Insofar as power to call for and supervise the conduct of certification elections is concerned. the KKMK-MWSS. The petitioner is asking us to make an illogical edict by declaring that our ruling in the ACAE case. The Bureau shall have fifteen (15) working days to act on labor cases before it. agents. At any rate. Thereafter. 36 ISSUE: whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction over a case involving an intra-union dispute (election of officers) of an employee's organization in the public sector (MWSS). alleged that Lazaro and Barraquias both failed to follow the opinions rendered by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) to the effect that the petitioner and his set of officers are still the rightful parties with whom MWSS management has to deal with in all union matters as they continue to be the incumbent officers. a situation not obtaining in the instant case because what is involved here is only one and the same employee's organization. Barraquias. Angel L. at their own initiative or upon request of either or both parties. First. and an inter-union controversy or dispute. 226. in your place or stead. 180. we cannot do because the law is very clear on this matter. BLR has the original and exclusive jurisdiction on all inter-union and intra-union conflicts. the records will readily show that they did not in any way join in it.On 27 June 1996. is found in Article 226 of the Labor Code of the Philippines. did not resolve that question but instead merely reiterated its previous opinions deviant to the conclusions of the Court of Appeals. 41 The petitioner likewise advances the theory that the power of the BLR. 33 The petitioner. the ACAE case concerned a certification election. Executive Order No. 180 is not too helpful in determining whose opinion shall prevail if the CSC Chairman and the DOLE Secretary arrive at different conclusions. your officers. 180 states that certificates of registration of the legitimate employee representatives must be jointly approved by the CSC Chairman and the DOLE Secretary. clearly. vs. The authority of the BLR in assuming jurisdiction over a certification election. wherein it declared that the regular courts have no jurisdiction to prohibit the holding of the election of the officers and members of the board of KKMK-MWSS. A joint comment was thereafter filed by Lazaro and Barraquias dated 28 July 1997. is.. considering that it involved an inter-union conflict. An intra-union conflict would refer to a conflict within or inside a labor union. while the present case embraces the issue of who among the members of the organization shall be elected as officers and members of the board. and to call for a certification election. the ACAE case involved a conflict between two government unions in the Court of Appeals. does the BLR have jurisdiction to call for and conduct the election of officers of an employee's association in the public sector? RULING:The decision of the Court of Appeals relied on our earlier ruling in the case of Association of Court of Appeals Employees (ACAE) v. In this case. personnel. According to him. or experience in the conduct of certification elections. they said. are hereby ENJOINED to desist from hearing the case in SP Case No. the CSC has no facilities. Q-96-27586 entitled "Genaro Bautista. which between the two government unions should be considered as the bargaining unit before the Court of Appeals. a portion of which reads: you (respondents). as Chairman of the First Division. Executive Order No. the petitioner assails the ruling of the court a quo to the effect that his group participated in the questioned elections and submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the BLR. et al. as found in Executive Order No. on all inter-union and intra-union conflicts. they contended that the first two opinions rendered by the OGCC were overtaken by the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals. and/or persons acting upon your orders or. Erlich V. which reads: Art. another opinion was issued by the OGCC which. is limited only to the registration of a union in a government corporation. viz: In the same way that CSC validly conducts competitive examinations to grant requisite eligibilities to court employees. Board of Trustees (MWSS). and all disputes. we see no constitutional objection to DOLE handling the certification process in the Court of Appeals.e. in this motion. grievances or problems arising from or affecting labor-management relations in all workplaces whether agricultural or nonagricultural. The Court issued a Resolution 35 dated 18 June 1997 requiring the said administrator and manager to comment on the motion. 180 requires organizations of government employees to register with both CSC and DOLE. Moreover. except those arising from the implementation or interpretation of collective bargaining agreements which shall be the subject of grievance procedure and/or voluntary arbitration. The petitioner contends that the aforecited case finds no application in the case at bar for the following reasons. and experience in this particular activity. Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS). machinery. Angel L. considering its expertise. Lazaro III." A Motion to Lift Temporary Restraining Order 31 and a Supplemental Motion 32 thereto were later filed by Genaro Bautista. which is the election of the officers and members of the board of KMKK-MWSS. an intra-union conflict. Ferrer-Calleja. being within or inside a labor union. issued a Temporary Restraining Order on 08 July 1996.
respondents. as amended: ". 1978-1980. are hereby AFFIRMED. then there should be no more doubt as to its jurisdiction. Implementing Rules of E. undoubtedly. confidential employees and heads of small units. Since 1971. 875." "The Executive Labor Arbiter's directive that the service engineers and sales representatives to (sic) conduct a referendum among themselves is erroneous inasmuch as it arrogates unto said employees the right to define what the law means. . 1 The confidential employees are the division secretaries of light/telecom/data and consumer electronics. it appears that the petitioner.A. 1992. 2 In the sixth CBA covering the years 1987 to 1989. the case was assigned to Executive Labor Arbiter Arthur Amansec. division secretaries. Legal Department. 180 (1987). 3 Rule II. the Urgent Motion to Declare the Administrator and Manager.O. In the first CBA (1971-1974). As the parties failed to agree on a voluntary arbitrator. in view of all the foregoing. Costs against the petitioner. as earlier quoted. paragraph (c). does not mention them as among those to be excluded from the bargaining unit only (sic) managerial employees and security guards.Executive Order No. Rule V of the same Code. fiscal and financial system manager and audit and EDP manager. and 1984-1986). . supervisory unions have already been dissolved and their members who do not fall within the definition of managerial employees have become eligible to join or assist the rank-and-file organization. Section 2. as amended by Section 6 4 of the Implementing Rules of E. secretaries of the corporate planning and business manager. grievances and cases involving government employees. . (PIDI) seeks to set aside the Decision and Resolution. The Civil Service and labor laws and procedures. 45 particularly Section 16 thereof. 111. 16. whenever applicable. the BLR endorsed the petition to the Executive Labor Arbiter of the National Capital Region for compulsory arbitration pursuant to Article 228 of the Labor Code. No. The 288 votes for him were counted in his favor. personnel and industrial relations department. The reversal is anchored on the respondent NLRC's conclusion that based on Section 1. temporary employees and security personnel. It is hereby declared that the Division Secretaries and all Staff of general management. shall be followed in the resolution of complaints. among others. thus agitating unrest among the rank-and-file. MWSS. and Article 245 5 of the Labor Code. No. confidential employees. EDP and Financial Systems are included within the rank and file bargaining unit. together with the managerial employees. that the subject of inclusion or exclusion of service engineers. It would not be amiss to state at this point that there would be no one more interested in excluding the subject employees from the bargaining unit than management and that it would not be improbable for the latter to lobby and/or exert pressure on the employees concerned. the assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals being in accord with law. and the temporary restraining order earlier issued is hereby made permanent. and the staff of both the General Management and the Personnel Department. petitioner. except managerial employees and security personnel. June 25. viz: SEC. INC. personnel and industrial relations department. SO ORDERED. the supervisors referred to in R. were specifically excluded from the bargaining unit. sales personnel and confidential employees in the coverage of the bargaining unit would be submitted for arbitration. all Staff of General Management.R. secretaries of audit. participated in the election. Inc. a candidate in the election. PIDI is a domestic corporation engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of electronic products.O." 3 . the Executive Labor Arbiter's declaration that the Division Secretaries and all Staff of general management. it had a total of six (6) collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) with private respondent Philips Employees Organization-FFW (PEO-FFW). Likewise. appealed decision of the Executive Labor Arbiter is hereby SET ASIDE and a new one entered declaring respondent company's Service Engineers. of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) on the ground that it committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in holding that service engineers. As a matter of fact. vs. registered labor union and the certified bargaining agent of all the rank and file employees of PIDI. In the second to the fifth CBAs (1975-1977. [G. and therefore. as amended by Section 3. Further. 46 Since Article 226 of the Labor Code has declared that the BLR shall have original and exclusive authority to act on all inter-union and intra-union conflicts. Personnel and Industrial Relations Department. the petitioner and his group submitted a list of candidates before the BLR dated 04 October 1993 48 . EDP. the sales force. the principle of estoppel cannot apply. is completely lucid as to the settlement of disputes involving government employees. which included the name of petitioner himself. financial system are confidential employees and as such are hereby deemed excluded in the bargaining unit. 111. We likewise find bereft of merit petitioner's claim that his group did not in any way participate in the subject elections. Secretaries of Audit. A portion of the Order states: Candidate Votes Genaro C. in indirect contempt of court is DENIED. EDP and financial system 'are confidential employees and as such are hereby deemed excluded in (sic) the bargaining unit' is contrary to law for the simple reason that the law. PHILIPS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT. secretaries of audit. Accordingly. AcICHD In the Order of the RTC dated 01 July 1994. sales representatives and confidential employees of PIDI are qualified to be included in the existing bargaining unit. temporary employees and sales representatives were excluded from the bargaining unit. respectively. No.] FACTS: Philips Industrial Development. No. Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code. security guards. 88957. . indeed. it was agreed upon. Sales Force.. are qualified to join or be a part of the bargaining unit . Bautista 288 Prudencio Cruz 1080 Bonifacio De Guzman 1081 47 The petitioner was. WHEREFORE. all workers. marketing managers. 1981-1983. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and PHILIPS EMPLOYEES ORGANIZATION (FFW).
division secretaries. the staff members of General Management. properties and premises of the employer shall not be eligible for membership in any labor organization. the latter might not be assured of their loyalty to the Union in view of evident conflict of interests. They cannot even form a union of their own for. the employee who should decide for himself whether he should join or not an association. By virtue of such repeal and substitution. with the exception of the service engineers and the sales force personnel. time. and should he choose to join. who having access to confidential information. i. such a referendum was decreed by the Executive Labor Arbiter. or have access to confidential matters of.e. ". it would be absurd to say that the law also imposes. The law does not enjoin an employee to sign up with any association.ISSUE: whether the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that service engineers. —" "ARTICLE 245. It would cripple the company's bargaining position and would give undue advantage to the union. Inc. now reads: 4 . are confidential employees. The rationale for this inhibition has been stated to be. radio and telegraph operators. Ferrer-Calleja. In Victoriano vs. At the time Case No. security guards became eligible for membership in any labor organization. To allow the confidential employees to join the existing Union of the rank-and-file would be in violation of the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement wherein this kind of employees by the nature of their functions/positions are expressly excluded." NLRC practically forced them to become members of PEO-FFW or to be subject to its sphere of influence. EDP and Financial Systems are included within the rank and file bargaining unit. may become the source of undue advantage. as amended by R. the rationale behind the ineligibility of managerial employees to form." and substituted it with the following provision: Right of employees in the public service. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union.A. vs. as he pleases. The Union can also become company-dominated with the presence of managerial employees in Union membership. confidential and of a highly fiduciary nature. The best way to determine their preference is through a referendum As shown by the records. EDP and financial system) are qualified to be included in the existing bargaining unit.O No. and second. Secretaries of Audit. and in support of its stand that said employees should not be absorbed by the existing bargaining unit. however. assist or join a labor union equally applies to them. Hon. By the very nature of their functions. Sales representatives and service engineers. Indeed. Sales Force. 8 the rationale for the disqualification of managerial employees from joining unions holds true also for confidential employees." In Golden Farms. enacted on 24 December 1986. vs. In Bulletin Publishing Co. that the right to join a union includes the right to abstain from joining any union. the five (5) previous CBAs between PIDI and PEO-FFW explicitly considered them as confidential employees. obstructs. the absence of legal restraint. Petitioner maintains that it did. Inc. namely: first. join or refrain from joining an association. Said employee(s) may act as a spy or spies of either party to a collective bargaining agreement. and even after he has joined. in the same breath. Personnel and the Industrial Relations Department." all these employees. upon the employee the duty to join associations. power. it can be safely said that whatever theory one subscribes to. 14 this Court explicitly made this rationale applicable to confidential employees: "This rationale holds true also for confidential employees such as accounting personnel. there is no doubt that they are entitled to join or form a union. — Security guards and other personnel employed for the protection and security of the person. reading as follows: "ARTICLE 245. Section 6 of E. 19 Inasmuch as what both the Constitution and the Industrial Peace Act have recognized. . the issue is not whether the subject employees may join or form a union. therefore. repealed the original provisions of Article 245 of the Labor Code. . impairs and impedes the service engineers' and the sales representatives' constitutional right to form unions or associations 15 and to self-organization. whether or not they may be part of the existing bargaining unit for the rank and file employees of PIDI. all Staff of General Management. ... security personnel were no longer disqualified from joining or forming a union. No." Article 245 20 of the Labor Code which. personnel and industrial relations department. it being the certified bargaining agent for the subject bargaining unit. as held in Golden Farms. Their classification as such is not seriously disputed by PEO-FFW. . quite obvious that respondent NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in reversing the decision of the Executive Labor Arbiter and in decreeing that PIDI's "Service Engineers. secretaries of audit. Ineligibility of security personnel to join any labor organization. 111. whereby an employee may act for himself without being prevented by law. 6715. persons who exercise managerial functions in the field of labor relations. Inc. staff of general management. he himself makes up his mind as to which association he would join. It holds the view that the division secretaries. 13 this Court elaborated on this rationale. thus: ". vs. A table prepared by the petitioner shows the disparity of interests between the said groups: The Office of the Solicitor General supports the decision of the Executive Labor Arbiter and refuses to uphold the position of the NLRC. 2) The absence of mutuality of interests between this group of employees and the regular rank and file militates against such inclusion. NLRC-NCR-00-11-03936-87 was filed in 1987. Augusto Sanchez. whereby an employee may. liberty or freedom. it urges this Court to consider these points: The rationale for such exclusion is that these employees hold positions which are highly sensitive. to include them in the bargaining unit may subject the company to breaches in security and the possible revelation of highly sensitive and confidential matters. and the secretaries of Audit. It is. This violates. they assist and act in a confidential capacity to. are disqualified from joining the PEO-FFW as they are confidential employees. therefore. but rather. We express Our agreement with the petitioner's view that respondent NLRC did not quite accurately comprehend the issue raised before it. he still retains the liberty and the power to leave and cancel his membership with said organization at any. 18 It is clear. a right comprehends at least two broad notions. is the 'right' to join associations of his choice. Ferrer-Calleja. and guaranteed to the employee. as they are not disqualified by law from doing so. Considering that they have interests dissimilar to those of the rank and file employees comprising the existing bargaining unit. 12 As such. Notwithstanding the different theories propounded by the different schools of jurisprudence regarding the nature and contents of a 'right'. EDP and Financial Systems. because if these managerial employees would belong to or be affiliated with a Union. This is specially true in the present case where the petitioning Union is already the bargaining agent of the rank-and-file employees in the establishment. and following the Globe Doctrine enunciated in In Re: Globe Machine and Stamping Company 9 to the effect that in determining the proper bargaining unit the express will or desire of the employees shall be considered. Personnel and Industrial Relations Department. sales representatives and confidential employees (division secretaries. they should be allowed to determine for themselves what union to join or form.
any strike or lockout is hereby strictly enjoined. this doctrine applies only in instances of evenly balanced claims by competitive groups for the right to be established as the bargaining unit. on 23 August 1991. INC. To contain the escalating dispute. The Companies and the Metro Drug Corp. [G. vs. February 28. LexLib WHEREFORE. NIEVES ROLDAN-CONFESOR. The parties failed to settle their dispute despite the conciliation efforts of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board. Union filed a motion for reconsideration. the petition is hereby GRANTED. 21 which do not obtain in this case. the then Secretary of Labor and Employment. METROLAB INDUSTRIES. except those who have already been recalled.. then Labor Secretary Torres issued an order resolving all the disputed items in the CBA and ordered the parties involved to execute a new CBA. as amended. It maintained that the company would suffer a yearly gross revenue loss of approximately sixty-six (66) million pesos due to the withdrawal of its principals in the Toll and Contract Manufacturing Department. Accordingly. is hereby SET ASIDE while the Decision of the Executive Labor Arbiter in said case dated 17 March 1988 is hereby REINSTATED.] This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court seeking the annulment of the Resolution and Omnibus Resolution of the Secretary of Labor and Employment dated 14 April 1992 and 25 January 1993. Private respondent Metro Drug Corporation Employees Association-Federation of Free Workers (hereinafter referred to as the Union) is a labor organization representing the rank and file employees of petitioner Metrolab Industries. Finally. and PIDI never questioned the decision of the Executive Labor Arbiter. the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between Metrolab and the Union expired. the dispositive portion of which reads. 1996." the number of workers required its production is significantly reduced. No. Issues relative to the CBA agreed upon by the parties and not embodied in our earlier order are hereby ordered adopted for incorporation in the CBA. Ineligibility of managerial employees to join any labor organization. The layoff of the 94 employees at MII is hereby declared illegal for the failure of the latter to comply with our injunction against committing any act which may exacerbate the dispute and with the 30-day notice requirement. NCMB-NCR-NS-09-678-91) on grounds that these were issued with grave abuse of discretion and in excess of jurisdiction. respondents. petitioner. are reiterated. in her capacity as Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment and METRO DRUG CORPORATION EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION-FEDERATION OF FREE WORKERS. promulgated on 16 January 1989. assist or form any labor organization. ended in a deadlock. — Metro Drug Distribution Division and Metrolab Industries Inc. thus: pursuant to Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code. Inc. Suffice it to state here that since the only issue is the subject employees' inclusion in or exclusion from the bargaining unit in question."ARTICLE 245. MII is hereby ordered to reinstate the 94 employees. issued an assumption order dated 20 September 1991. Metrolab contended that the layoff was temporary and in the exercise of its management prerogative. the parties are enjoined to cease and desist from committing any act which may tend to circumvent this resolution. (hereinafter referred to as Metrolab/MII) and also of Metro Drug. On 31 December 1990. Accordingly. the Union filed a notice of strike against Metrolab and Metro Drug Inc. alleging that such act violated the prohibition against committing acts that would exacerbate the dispute as specifically directed in the assumption order. this Office hereby assumes jurisdiction over the entire labor dispute at Metro Drug. Consequently. 108855." (emphasis supplied) The foregoing disquisitions render unnecessary a discussion on the second ground on the alleged grave abuse of discretion on the part of the NLRC in not applying the "Globe Doctrine". to their former positions or substantially equivalent. the Union filed a motion for a cease and desist order to enjoin Metrolab from implementing the mass layoff. Metrolab laid off 94 of its rank and file employees. On the same date. Acting Labor Secretary Nieves Confesor issued a resolution declaring the layoff of Metrolab's 94 rank and file workers illegal and ordered their reinstatement with full backwages.R. The negotiations for a new CBA. Further. Employees Association — FFW are likewise directed to cease and desist from committing any and all acts that might exacerbate the situation. positions with full backwages from the date they were illegally laid off on 27 January 1992 until actually reinstated without loss of seniority rights and other benefits. Torres. however. On 27 January 1992. the dispositions and directives contained in all previous orders and resolutions relative to the instant dispute. HONORABLE MA. 5 . Metrolab recalled some of the laid off workers on a temporary basis due to availability of work in the production lines. — Managerial employees are not eligible to join. in OS-AJ-04491-11 (NCMB-NCR-NS-08-595-91. The Decision of public respondent National Labor Relations Commission in Case No. Ruben D. during the pendency of the abovementioned motion for reconsideration. Besides. NLRC-NCR-00-11-03936-87. respectively. assist or form separate labor organizations of their own. Supervisory employees shall not be eligible for membership in a labor organization of the rank-and-file employees but may join. Metrolab further asserted that with the automation of the manufacture of its product "Eskinol. the Globe Doctrine finds no application. Inc. subject to the modifications above indicated. Inc. insofar as not inconsistent herein. right of supervisory employees.
Metrolab filed a Partial Motion for Reconsideration alleging that the layoff did not aggravate the dispute since no untoward incident occurred as a result thereof. for which a notice of strike had already been filed. SECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT GRAVELY ABUSED HER DISCRETION IN INCLUDING EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES AS PART OF THE BARGAINING UNIT OF RANK AND FILE EMPLOYEES. the same is hereby referred to the NLRC for its appropriate action. unruly behavior. there exists a labor dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the national interest. * B THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT HON. the Secretary of Labor and Employment may assume jurisdiction over the dispute and decide it or certify the same to the Commission for compulsory arbitration. The disputed injunction is subsumed under this special grant of authority. One must look at the act itself. However. Hence. 14 Metrolab and the Union were still in the process of resolving their CBA deadlock when petitioner implemented the subject layoffs. or the general principles of fair play and justice The case at bench constitutes one of the exceptions. factual findings of administrative agencies supported by substantial evidence are accorded great respect and binds this Court. SECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND EXCEEDED HER JURISDICTION IN DECLARING THE TEMPORARY LAYOFF ILLEGAL AND ORDERING THE REINSTATEMENT AND PAYMENT OF BACKWAGES TO THE AFFECTED EMPLOYEES. therefore. however. Such assumption or certification shall have the effect of automatically enjoining the intended or impending strike or lockout as specified in the assumption or certification order. 11 We reaffirm the doctrine that considering their expertise in their respective fields. On 4 February 1993. If one has already taken place at the time of assumption or certification. 6 . 8 Metrolab argues that the Labor Secretary's order enjoining the parties from committing any act that might exacerbate the dispute is overly broad. Metrolab moved for a reconsideration. there is no circumstance at all from which we can infer an intention from MII not to sever the employment relationship permanently. As a result. A misplaced recourse is not needed to prove that a dispute has been exacerbated. But as it were. When a labor dispute has in fact occurred and a general injunction has been issued restraining the commission of disruptive acts. and any other chaotic or drastic action from the Union is to expect it to commit acts disruptive of public order or acts that may be illegal. This Court recognizes the exercise of management prerogatives and often declines to interfere with the legitimate business decisions of the employer. are not being unjustly curtailed but duly balanced with and tempered by the limitations set by law. 5 Pending the resolution of the aforestated motions. all prohibitory injunctions issued as a result of our assumption of jurisdiction over this dispute are hereby lifted. we may not interfere with the legitimate exercise of management prerogatives such as layoffs. all striking or locked out employees shall immediately return to work and the employer shall immediately resume operations and readmit all workers under the same terms and conditions prevailing before the strike or lockout. 6 On 25 January 1993. It. the present petition for certiorari with application for issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order. SO RESOLVED. 7 Labor Secretary Confesor also ruled that executive secretaries are excluded from the closed-shop provision of the CBA. taking into account its special character and the particular circumstances in the case at bench. Metrolab laid off 73 of its employees on grounds of redundancy due to lack of work which the Union again promptly opposed Labor Secretary Confesor again issued a cease and desist order. likewise. after exhaustive negotiations. On 29 June 1992. 263 (g) of the Labor Code specifically provides that: (g) When. not the continuation. MII could have made it very clear in the notices of layoff. MII is right to the extent that as a rule. to the extent of assailing our ruling that such layoff tended to exacerbate the dispute. The execution. 9 In PAL v. not from the bargaining unit. Metrolab's management prerogatives. A THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT HON. legal remedies take the place of violent ones. in his opinion. delaying resolution of the bargaining deadlock and postponing the signing of their new CBA. management prerogatives must always be exercised consistently with the statutory objective. of the employment relationship. filed a motion for clarification regarding the constitution of the bargaining unit covered by the CBA. was without prejudice to the outcome of the issues raised in the reconsideration and clarification motions submitted for decision to the Secretary of Labor. For this would depart from its theory of the case that the layoff is subsumed under the instant dispute. But inasmuch as the legality of the layoff was not submitted for our resolution and no evidence had been adduced upon which a categorical finding thereon can be based. the parties entered into a new CBA. The Secretary of Labor and Employment or the Commission may seek the assistance of law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with this provision as well as with such orders as he may issue to enforce the same That Metrolab's business is of national interest is not disputed. the Union filed a motion for execution. If there was such an intention. not on speculative reactions. NLRC. motions and oppositions were filed diverting the parties' attention. On the other hand. thereby aggravating the whole conflict. a collective bargaining agreement. But it may nevertheless be appropriate to mention here that one of the substantive evils which Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code seeks to curb is the exacerbation of a labor dispute to the further detriment of the national interest. to expect violent reactions. Art. 10 we issued this reminder: was held that management's prerogatives must be without abuse of discretion It is circumscribed by limitations found in law. second issue raised by petitioner merits our consideration. The Secretary of Labor is expressly given the power under the Labor Code to assume jurisdiction and resolve labor disputes involving industries indispensable to national interest. sweeping and vague and should not be used to curtail the employer's right to manage his business and ensure its viability. For instance. this privilege is not absolute but subject to limitations imposed by law. Any act committed during the pendency of the dispute that tends to give rise to further contentious issues or increase the tensions between the parties should be considered an act of exacerbation. is hereby denied. Metrolab opposed. Labor Secretary Confesor issued the assailed Omnibus Resolution containing the following orders: MII's motion for reconsideration with respect to the consequences of the second wave of layoff affecting 73 employees. the notices are couched in a language so uncertain that the only conclusion possible is the permanent termination. on 2 October 1992. Under a regime of laws. the Union could not be expected to file another notice of strike. Finally. Metrolab is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of medical and pharmaceutical products to the country.
g. Golden Farms. statements of financial condition. . jurisprudence has extended this prohibition to confidential employees or those who by reason of their positions or nature of work are required to assist or act in a fiduciary manner to managerial employees and hence. the foregoing group of exclusions is no longer appropriate in its present organizational structure. to act as its representatives. vs. MII points out that it has done away with the positions of Executive Vice-President. Management System Manager.Republic Planters Bank Supervisors Chapter v. the executive secretaries stand to benefit from any agreement executed between the Union and Metrolab. and to see to it that its interest are well protected. These include the General Manager and members of the Management Committee. implication. Ferrer-Calleja. like all the other rank and file employees.4 of the Central Bank Manual regarding joint custody. . the rationale behind the ineligibility of managerial employees to form. Forming part of the bargaining unit. persons who exercise managerial functions in the field of labor relations. are likewise privy to sensitive and highly confidential records. It is not farfetched that in the course of collective bargaining. 23 we ruled that: Upon the other hand. Collective bargaining in such a situation can become one-sided. Nevertheless. Vice-President for Sales. pursuant to Sec. ii) the Product Development Manager. and such other duties as required by the legal personnel of the corporation. Legal secretaries therefore fall under the category of confidential employees. While Art. 1166. If confidential employees could unionize in order to bargain for advantages for themselves. Roldan-Confesor. 245 as if the disqualification of confidential employees were written in the provision. e. may become the source of undue advantage. they might jeopardize that interest which they are duty-bound to protect. having access to "vital labor information. . the typing of legal documents. (I)n the collective bargaining process. in National Association of Trade Union . vault combination. By the very nature of their functions. Cashiers and Controllers are confidential employees. should be granted the benefits of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. compels such conclusion. who are all members of the company's Management Committee should not only be exempted from the closed-shop provision but should be excluded from membership in the bargaining unit of the rank and file employees as well on grounds that their executive secretaries are confidential employees. Otherwise. There is no valid basis for discriminating against them. confidential employees are similarly disqualified. In any case. vii) the Engineering Manager. Materials Manager and Production Manager. demand drafts and other negotiable instruments. this claim is not even disputed by petitioner. there remain MII officer positions for which there may be executive secretaries. specifically i) the Quality Assurance Manager. the giving of and receiving notices. . having control. handling. unionization of confidential employees for the purpose of collective bargaining would mean the extension of the law to persons or individuals who are supposed to act "in the interest of the employers. or with the custody. cash codes for telegraphic transfers. Human Resources Manager. Metrolab. under the doctrine of necessary. Their work is basically routinary and clerical. Confidential employees are rank and file employees and they. are confidential employees. Said employee(s) may act as a spy or spies of either party to a collective bargaining agreement. and Director for Corporate Planning. Pier 8 Arrastre & Stevedoring Services. memoranda and correspondence. Product Development Manager. Thus. . Moreover. 7 . . the conversion of the exclusionary provision to one that refers to the bargaining unit from one that merely refers to the close shop provision would effectively curtail all the organizational rights of executive secretaries. v) the Human Resources Manager. By recognizing the expanded scope of the right to self-organization." Similarly.. . primarily of protection to Labor. or care and protection of the employer's property. vi) the Marketing Director. In an earlier motion for clarification. with the exception of the service engineers and the sales force personnel. and ix) the Production Manager. the keeping of records and files. . The rationale behind the exclusion of confidential employees from the bargaining unit of the rank and file employees and their disqualification to join any labor organization was succinctly discussed in Philips Industrial Development v. among others. Neither would there be a danger of espionage since the confidential employees would not have any conflict of interest. The issue of exclusion has different dimension in the case of MII. NLRC : 21 In the first place. custody and/or access to confidential matters. to executive secretaries only. legal secretaries are neither managers nor supervisors. this Court explicitly made this rationale applicable to confidential employees: This rationale holds true also for confidential employees such as accounting personnel. . This is specially true in the present case where the petitioning Union is already the bargaining agent of the rank-and-file employees in the establishment. The employer is not assured of such protection if these employees themselves are union members. Engineering Manager. However. The mandate of the Constitution and the Labor Code. Their classification as such is not seriously disputed by PEO-FFW. . assist or join a labor union equally applies to them. then they could be governed by their own motives rather than the interest of the employers. particularly the threat of conflict of interest and espionage. maintains that executive secretaries of the General Manager and the executive secretaries of the Quality Assurance Manager. A confidential employee is one entrusted with confidence on delicate matters. Marketing Director. our intent was to delimit the types of employees excluded from the close shop provision.This reading is obviously contrary to the intent of our 14 April 1992 resolution. vs. form and assist any labor organization to managerial employees. all these employees. who having access to confidential information. assist or form any labor organization. There would be no danger of company domination of the Union since the confidential employees would not be members of and would not participate in the decision making processes of the Union. viii) the Materials Manager. . the branch's cash position. managerial employees are supposed to be on the side of the employer. not from the bargaining unit. As such. To allow the confidential employees to join the existing Union of the rank-and-file would be in violation of the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement wherein this kind of employees by the nature of their functions/positions are expressly excluded. or have access to confidential matters of. 245 of the Labor Code singles out managerial employees as ineligible to join. iii) the Finance Director. Although Article 245 of the Labor Code 20 limits the ineligibility to join. Inc. Inc. not being members of the Union. The dangers sought to be prevented. radio and telegraph operators. the five (5) previous CBAs between PIDI and PEO-FFW explicitly considered them as confidential employees." We concur with Metrolab. there is always the danger that any employee would leak management secrets to the Union out of sympathy for his fellow rank and filer even if he were not a member of the union nor the bargaining unit. they assist and act in a confidential capacity to. It is the same reason that impelled this Court to consider the position of confidential employees as included in the disqualification found in Art. . however. Torres 22 we declared:As regards the other claim of respondent Bank that Branch Managers/OICs. they should be differentiated from rank-and-file employees because they are tasked with. iv) the Management System Manager. are not eliminated by non-membership of Metrolab's executive secretaries or confidential employees in the Union. Finance Director.
Undersecretary Laguesma granted the reconsideration prayed for on September 3. they are not allowed to form. v. this Court rules that said employees do not fall within the term "confidential employees" who may be prohibited from joining a union." The broad rationale behind this rule is that employees should not be placed in a position involving a potential conflict of interests. suspend. There is no question that the said employees. do the employees of the three plants constitute an appropriate single bargaining unit. hence ineligible from joining a union. On December 19. They do not have to be union members to affect or influence either side. 1993. thus. SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION SUPERVISORS AND EXEMPT UNION AND ERNESTO L. Undersecretary Laguesma. respondent company. therefore. OS MA A-2-70-91 1 entitled "In Re: Petition for Certification Election Among the Supervisory and Exempt Employees of the San Miguel Corporation Magnolia Poultry Products Plants of Cabuyao. HONORABLE BIENVENIDO E. they are not allowed membership in a labor organization of the rank-and-file employees but may join. supervisors and the exempt employees. pointing out. S3 and S4 Supervisors and the so-called exempt employees are admittedly confidential employees and therefore. LAGUESMA IN HIS CAPACITY AS UNDERSECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT. WHEREFORE. gives rise to a potential conflict between personal interests and their duty as confidential employees to act for and in behalf of Metrolab. Laguesma. Undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment. San Miguel Corporation filed a Motion for Reconsideration with Motion to suspend proceedings. Whether Supervisory employees 3 and 4 and the exempt employees of the company are considered confidential employees. REYNANTE IN HIS CAPACITY AS MED-ARBITER AND SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION. Med-Arbiter Danilo L. granted respondent company's Appeal and ordered the remand of the case to the Med-Arbiter of origin for determination of the true classification of each of the employees sought to be included in the appropriate bargaining unit. On March 11. 1. Consequently. 1997. and both must be met if an employee is to be considered a confidential employee — that is. Cabuyao and San Fernando. warranting a separate category. are not vested with the powers and prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies and/or to hire. On the first issue. Otis. The resolutions of public respondent Secretary of Labor dated 14 April 1992 and 25 January 1993 are hereby MODIFIED to the extent that executive secretaries of petitioner Metrolab's General Manager and the executive secretaries of the members of its Management Committee are excluded from the bargaining unit of petitioner's rank and file employees. respondent San Miguel Corporation filed a Notice of Appeal with Memorandum on Appeal. in Case No. As previously discussed. transfer. No. the Med-Arbiter's error in grouping together all three (3) separate plants. [G. 7 "Management should not be required to handle labor relations matters through employees who are represented by the union with which the company is required to deal and who in the normal performance of their 8 . Inc. into one bargaining unit. the nature of employment of confidential employees is quite distinct from the rank and file. San Fernando and Otis. Reynante issued an Order ordering the conduct of certification election among the supervisors and exempt employees of the SMC Magnolia Poultry Products Plants of Cabuyao. dated March 11. President. They are. 1991. San Miguel Corporation Supervisors and Exempt Union FACTS: On October 5. the petition is partially GRANTED. therefore. PONCE. 1990. among others. assist or form separate labor organizations of their own. If they are not confidential employees. petitioners. thus. The only question that need be addressed is whether these employees are properly classified as confidential employees or not. San Fernando and Otis.] Petition for Certiorari with Prayer for the Issuance of Preliminary Injunction seeking to reverse and set aside the Order of public respondent. In the very same provision. San Fernando and Otis as one bargaining unit. citing the doctrine enunciated in Philips Industrial Development. recall. become aware of management policies relating to labor relations is a principal objective sought to be accomplished by the "confidential employee rule.R. determine. in the normal course of their duties. vs. confidential employees cannot be classified as rank and file. 6 The exclusion from bargaining units of employees who. Excluding confidential employees from the rank and file bargaining unit. Finally. join or assist a labor union for purposes of collective bargaining following the above court's ruling. 1991 and directed the conduct of separate certification elections among the supervisors ranked as supervisory levels 1 to 4 (S1 to S4) and the exempt employees in each of the three plants at Cabuyao. petitioner union filed before the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) a Petition for Direct Certification or Certification Election among the supervisors and exempt employees of the SMC Magnolia Poultry Products Plants of Cabuyao. 1993. premises considered. and effectuate management policies in the field of labor relations. San Fernando and Otis. The two criteria are cumulative. respondents. under Article 245 4 of the Labor Code. and in including supervisory levels 3 and above whose positions are confidential in nature. NLRC 2 case. 110399. assist or form any labor organization. On September 21. 1990. they are not allowed to participate in the certification election. and the supervisor must handle the prescribed responsibilities relating to labor relations. the confidential relationship must exist between the employee and his supervisor. August 15. 2. not qualified to be classified as managerial employees who. Upon petitioner-union's motion dated August 7. Bienvenido E. discharge or dismiss employees. Confidential employees are those who (1) assist or act in a confidential capacity (2) to persons who formulate. an Order was issued by the public respondent granting the Motion. is not tantamount to discrimination.Such a scenario. 1991. HONORABLE DANILO L. layoff. are not eligible to join.
product standards and product specification which by no means relate to "labor relations. or have access to confidential matters of. is contrary to the one-company. 4. 20 It is evident that whatever confidential data the questioned employees may handle will have to relate to their functions. Metro Manila. 26 It is undisputed that they all belong to the Magnolia Poultry Division of San Miguel Corporation. Los Baños. 3. Augusto Sanchez. Thus. one-union policy. comprised of all or less than all of the entire body of employees. working conditions and other subjects of collective bargaining. Therefore. to be regarded a confidential employee. a key question frequently considered is the employees' necessary access to confidential labor relations information. thus greatly diminishing their bargaining leverage. an employee of a labor union. share a common stake in concerted activities. Hon. confidential employees who may be excluded from bargaining unit must be strictly defined so as not to needlessly deprive many employees of their right to bargain collectively through representatives of their choosing. to our mind. and in San Fernando. indicate to be best suited to serve the reciprocal rights and duties of the parties under the collective bargaining provisions of the law. Padre Faura. jurisprudence has established that there is no legal prohibition against confidential employees who are not performing managerial functions to form and join a union. and knowledge of labor relations information pertaining to the companies with which the union deals. Geographical location can be completely disregarded if the communal or mutual interests of the employees are not sacrificed as demonstrated in UP v. hours. thus in Bulletin Publishing Company v. has no relevance to negotiations and settlement of grievances wherein the interests of a union and the management are invariably adversarial." 19 Herein listed are the functions of supervisors 3 and higher: 1. The fact that the three plants are located in three different places. will not render an employee a confidential employee. it was also stated that the confidential information handled by questioned employees relate to product formulation. holding and rejection of direct manufacturing materials. NLRC " 11 which held that confidential employees. or the association. An appropriate bargaining unit may be defined as "a group of employees of a given employer." It must be borne in mind that Section 3 of Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution mandates the State to guarantee to "all" workers the right to self-organization. The information they handle are properly classifiable as technical and internal business operations data which. Inc. such information must relate to the employer's labor relations policies. The Union can also become companydominated with the presence of managerial employees in Union membership. person who exercise managerial functions in the field of labor relations. Inc. To administer efficient system of evaluation of products in the outlets. supervisors 3 and above may not be considered confidential employees merely because they handle "confidential data" as such must first be strictly classified as pertaining to labor relations for them to fall under said restrictions. v. must have access to confidential labor relations information with respect to his employer. From the foregoing functions. As held in Westinghouse Electric Corporation v. Solicitor General has opined that separate bargaining units in the three different plants of the division will fragmentize the employees of the said division. which the collective interest of all the employees. 12 An important element of the "confidential employee rule" is the employee's need to use labor relations information. 21 "an employee may not be excluded from appropriate bargaining unit merely because he has access to confidential information concerning employer's internal business operations and which is not related to the field of labor relations. one each for Cabuyao. in Otis. National Labor Relations Board. it can be gleaned that the confidential information said employees have access to concern the employer's internal business operations. Quezon City. the disposition of grievances. the rationale behind the ineligibility of managerial employees to form. To recommend and initiate actions in the maintenance of sanitation and hygiene throughout the plant. 2. 9 the Court held that "if these managerial employees would belong to or be affiliated with a Union. Thus. or other labor relations matters. v." The same rationale was applied to confidential employees in "Golden Farms.duties may obtain advance information of the company's position with regard to contract negotiations. Ferrer-Calleja" 10 and in the more recent case of "Philips Industrial Development. 25 employees in the instant case have "community or mutuality of interests. 23 It is the contention of the petitioner union that the creation of three (3) separate bargaining units. Hence. and most importantly. Pandacan. Furthermore. such as financial information 18 or technical trade secrets. by the very nature of their functions. Laguna. assist or join a labor union was held equally applicable to them." 8 There have been ample precedents in this regard. or of a management association. assist and act in a confidential capacity to. Otis and San Fernando as ruled by the respondent Undersecretary. Pampanga is immaterial. This means that. To effectively oversee the quality control function at the processing lines in the storage of chicken and other products. in determining the confidentiality of certain employees. Manila. In the case at bar." which is the standard in determining the proper constituency of a collective bargaining unit." A unit to be appropriate must effect a grouping of employees who have substantial." "Access to information which is regarded by the employer to be confidential from the business standpoint. It adds that Supervisors level 1 to 4 and exempt employees of the three plants have a similarity or a community of interests. namely. Since the employees are not classifiable under the confidential type. Laguna and the Visayas were 9 ." 15 If access to confidential labor relations information is to be a factor in the determination of an employee's confidential status. this Court rules that they may appropriately form a bargaining unit for purposes of collective bargaining. consistent with equity to the employer. even assuming that they are confidential employees. 5. To be directly responsible for the recall. although they belong to three different plants. Calleja-Ferrer where all non-academic rank and file employees of the University of the Philippines in Diliman. mutual interests in wages. the latter might not be assured of their loyalty to the Union in view of evident conflict of interest. To undertake decisions to discontinue/temporarily stop shift operations when situations require. receive the same wages and compensation. the union. they perform work of the same nature. or which the association represents. will not cause an employee to be excluded from the bargaining unit representing employees of the union or association. in Cabuyao.
turned out to be unsuccessful. the voluntary arbitrator rejected the same. (4) salary increases for the third and fourth years [this should properly read second and third years] 9 of the collective bargaining agreement." fourth issue concerning salary increases for the second and third years of the collective bargaining agreement. identifying the remaining six (6) unresolved issues for arbitration. . as argued by the University. DELA SALLE UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (DLSUEA) and BUENAVENTURA MAGSALIN. dated January 19. Filed with this Court are two petitions for certiorari. access to vital information regarding the University’s operations but they are not necessarily confidential. After several conciliation-mediation meetings." 24 the voluntary arbitrator denied the Union's demand for special leave benefits. vs. as [may be] gleaned from the duties and responsibilities attached to the position and embodied in the CSC [Computer Services Center] brochure. . The employer. the Union filed a Notice of Strike with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board. . . 2 assailing the decision of voluntary arbitrator Buenaventura Magsalin. just like any other Computer Operators in other units.] DELA SALLE UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION-NATIONAL FEDERATION OF TEACHERS AND EMPLOYEES UNION (DLSUEA-NAFTEU). technically and professionally. petitioner. the voluntary arbitrator opined that the ". special leave benefits and indefinite union leave with pay. 2000. ." 10 The parties appointed Buenaventura Magsalin as voluntary arbitrator. the Union initiated negotiations with the University for a new collective bargaining agreement 6 which. ruled that "…the Computer Operators assigned at the CSC [Computer Services Center]. the voluntary arbitrator upheld the ". April 12. the right to transfer or reassign an employee is an employer’s exclusive right and prerogative. entered into a collective bargaining agreement with a life span of three (3) years. that is. hence. 3 FACTS: . (3) security of tenure. or 60 days before the expiration of the said collective bargaining agreement. qualifications. the University can no longer be required to grant a second round of increase for the school years under consideration and charge the same to the incremental proceeds. No. Benilde. from December 23. the voluntary arbitrator ". Neither are there regional differences that are likely to impede the operations of a single bargaining representative DELA SALLE UNIVERSITY. the voluntary arbitrator rendered the assailed decision. it cannot now be required to grant another round of increases through collective bargaining without exhausting its coffers for other legitimate needs of the University as an institution. No. Benilde has a personality separate and distinct from the University and thus. elementary right and prerogative of the management of the University to select and/or choose its employees. held ". (6) duration of the agreement. ." 13 after finding that "[e]vidently." Regarding the discipline officers. On December 1986. is no valid reason for the reduction of the workload of its President. on the first issue involving the scope of the bargaining unit. . 109002." 22 Finding that the Union and the Faculty Association are not similarly situated. that the employees therein are outside the bargaining unit of the University’s rank-and-file employees. like performance. 1 the first petition with preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order.R." 21 and that there is ". etc. . 2000. the Computer Operators are presently doing clerical and routinary work and had nothing to do with [the] setting of management policies for the University. this educational advancement would not serve in the same degree as demanded of the faculty members. During the freedom period. 110072." 19 thus. These two petitions have been consolidated inasmuch as the factual antecedents. the parties entered into a Submission Agreement. where a provision on duration was explicitly included. and finally. . namely: "(1) scope of the bargaining unit. 1991. respondents. ruling that unionism ". .allowed to participate in a certification election." fifth issue as to the Union's demand for a reduction of the workload of the union president. reduction of the union president’s workload. vs. . when the parties forged their CBA and signed it on 19 November 1990. Dela Salle University (hereinafter referred to as UNIVERSITY) and Dela Salle University Employees Association-National Federation of Teachers and Employees Union (DLSUEA-NAFTEU). . 23 and that "[w]hile professional growth is highly encouraged on the part of the rank-and-file employees. April 12. 8 On March 18. 1993.R. 12 voluntary arbitrator. . [G. however. 1993. The parties therefore should incorporate such union shop clause in their CBA. (5) indefinite union leave. special leave. the voluntary arbitrator opined that a union shop clause ". no sufficient justification to grant an indefinite leave.] [G. parties involved and issues raised therein are interrelated. competence. a right equally recognized by the Constitution and the law. . in addition to the existing maintenance of membership clause. in the exercise of this right. A partial collective bargaining agreement was thereafter executed by the parties. . Similarly. National Capital Region. They may have. five (5) out of the eleven (11) issues raised in the Notice of Strike were resolved by the parties. he ruled that ". . . petitioner. . thereby 10 . LexLib On the last issue regarding the duration of the collective bargaining agreement. the voluntary arbitrator ruled that ". the voluntary arbitrator found that the College of St. is not a restriction on the employee’s right of (sic) freedom of association but rather a valid form of union security while the CBA is in force and in accordance with the Constitutional policy to promote unionism and collective bargaining and negotiations. (2) union security clause. 1989. 1986 to December 22. proposed budget of the University for SY 1992-93 could not sufficiently cope up with the demand for increases by the Union. can adopt valid and equitable grounds as basis for lay-off or separation. Notwithstanding the Submission Agreement. the same became a binding agreement between them. . which is composed of regular non-academic rank and file employees. DELA SALLE UNIVERSITY and BUENAVENTURA MAGSALIN. . With the present financial condition of the University." third issue with respect to the use of the "last-in-first-out" method in case of retrenchment and transfer to other schools or units. believes that this type of employees belong (sic) to the rankand-file on the basis of the nature of their job. 11 On January 19. [should be] included as members of the bargaining unit." With respect to the employees of the College of St. as having been rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. We rule that the distance among the three plants is not productive of insurmountable difficulties in the administration of union affairs." second issue regarding the propriety of the inclusion of a union shop clause in the collective bargaining agreement. respondents.
" and "C-3" of the Union’s Consolidated Reply and Rejoinder)’ "4. both petitions were consolidated and transferred to the Second Division." 28 Subsequently. 37 the University raised the following issues for the consideration of the Court: 38 I. the same being not contrary to law. According to the Solicitor General. OR WHO REFUSE TO BE RECALLED FROM AN APPROVED LEAVE SHALL BE CONSIDERED ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION. . on May 24. Considering that there sometimes exist exceptional cases where a very difficult but temporary situation renders a DLSU student falling under this category a last chance to be re-admitted provided he meets the cut-off scores required in the qualifying examination administered by the university.’ "3. as such will be taken by the University to be an indication of his loss of initiative to pursue further studies at DLSU. 11 . 'As a college within the university. . economic provisions of the CBA shall be re-opened after the third year in compliance with the mandate of the Labor Code." to wit: 34 "1. Benilde subscribes to the De La Salle Mission. ." "C2. "2. "WHETHER OR NOT GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WAS COMMITTED BY THE VOLUNTARY ARBITRATOR WHEN HE INCLUDED. he renders himself ineligible to continue studying at DLSU." (Annexes "C-1. . . 35 In its memorandum filed on April 28. . sufficient evidence to justify the Union's proposal to consider the University and the CSB [College of St. (Annex "4" of the University’s Reply). . 1994. the voluntary arbitrator opined that the ". as having been rendered "in excess of jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion. shiftees and transferees (Annex "3" of the University’s Reply). 36 pursuant to the above-stated Resolution. . canvassing and direct purchasing of all requisitions worth more than P10. 'Admission requirements for transferees are: .000. 1993 on behalf of voluntary arbitrator Buenaventura C. ." On February 9. . Benilde should have been included in the bargaining unit of the rank-and-file employees of the University.reopening this issue for resolution. to file their respective Comments. this Court resolved to give due course to these consolidated petitions and to require the parties to submit their respective memoranda. II. . . . ‘7. One of the duties and responsibilities of the CSB’s Director of Academic Services is to coordinate with the University’s Director of Admissions regarding the admission of freshmen. In sch (sic) a case. to wit: 'AN EMPLOYEE WHO GOES ON LEAVE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION FROM THE UNIVERSITY OR WHO OVEREXTENDS THE PERIOD OF HIS APPROVED LEAVE WITHOUT SECURING AUTHORITY FROM THE UNIVERSITY. morals or public policy. 30 Upon motion by the Solicitor General dated July 29. . the Solicitor General agreed with the voluntary arbitrator’s assailed decision on all points except that involving the employees of the College of St. . a petition for certiorari with temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction assailing the decision of the voluntary arbitrator. 1993. . 33 The Solicitor General came to this conclusion after finding ". Handles processing. this Voluntary Arbitrator is constrained to respect the original intention of the parties. the University filed with the Second Division of this Court. Conducts and establishes liaison with all the offices concerned at the Main Campus as well (sic) with other government agencies on all administrative-related matters. were not entertained by the voluntary arbitrator "pursuant to existing rules and jurisprudence governing voluntary arbitration cases. however." 27 On March 5. ‘12. 'He may not be remiss in his study obligations nor incur any violation whatsoever. thus: 'Considered in the process of admission for a (sic) high school graduate applicants are the following criteria: results of DLSU College Entrance Examination . . The academic programs offered at the CSB are likewise presented in the University’s Undergraduate Prospectus for schoolyear 1992-1993 (Annex "D" of the Union’s Consolidated Reply and Rejoinder). Recommends and implements personnel policies and guidelines (in accordance with the Staff Manual) as well as pertinent existing general policies of the university as a whole. 1993. The University officials themselves claimed during the 1990 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) meet that the CSB athletes represented the University since the latter and the CSB comprise only one entity. The significant role which the University assumes in the admission of students at the CSB is revealed in the following provisions of the CSB’s Bulletin for Arts and Business Studies Department for the schoolyear 1992-1993. . WITHIN THE BARGAINING UNIT COMPRISING THE UNIVERSITY’S RANK-AND-FILE EMPLOYEES. DLSU thus reserves the right to the discontinuance of the studies of any enrollee whose presence is inimical to the objectives of the CSB/DLSU. Benilde] as only one entity because the latter is but a mere integral part of the University. the First and Second Divisions separately resolved to require the respondents in each petition. . THE COMPUTER OPERATORS ASSIGNED AT THE UNIVERSITY’S COMPUTER SERVICES CENTER AND THE UNIVERSITY’S DISCIPLINE OFFICERS. including the Solicitor General on behalf of the voluntary arbitrator. Some of the duties and responsibilities of the CSB’s Administrative Officer are as follows: ‘4. as amended. the College of St. Benilde. 1993.000 or less. the employees of the College of St. . . both parties filed their respective motions for reconsideration which. . AND WHEN HE EXCLUDED THE COLLEGE OF SAINT BENILDE EMPLOYEES FROM THE SAID BARGAINING UNIT. The Leave Form Request (Annex "F" of the Union’s Position Paper) at the CSB requires prior permission from the University anent leaves of CSB employees. 'Shiftees from DLSU who are still eligible to enroll may be admitted in accordance with the DLSU policy on shifting. Magsalin. "WHETHER OR NOT GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WAS COMMITTED BY THE VOLUNTARY ARBITRATOR WHEN HE UPHELD THE UNION’S DEMAND FOR THE INCLUSION OF A UNION SHOP CLAUSE IN THE PARTIES’ COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT. and an acceptable score in the DLSU admission test. 1994. "5." 25 As to the economic aspect of the collective bargaining agreement. . . Plans and coordinates with the Security and Safety Committee at the Main Campus the development of a security and safety program during times of emergency or occurrence of fire or other natural calamities. ‘7. Coordinates and canvasses with the Main Campus all requisitions worth more than P10." 26 Subsequently. the Union also filed a petition for certiorari with the First Division. 29 Without giving due course to the petition pending before each division. 31 In his consolidated Comment 32 filed on September 9.’ "6.
considering the expertise of these agencies in their respective fields. (4) whether the ruling that on the basis of the University’s proposed budget. "WHETHER OR NOT GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WAS COMMITTED BY THE VOLUNTARY ARBITRATOR WHEN HE DENIED THE UNION’S PROPOSAL FOR THE "LAST-IN-FIRST-OUT" METHOD OF LAY-OFF IN CASES OF RETRENCHMENT. 43 "Second. in addition to the existing maintenance of membership clause. (5) whether the denial of the Union's proposals on the deloading of the union president. is correct. HE ALSO ERRED IN HIS INTERPRETATION OF THE APPLICATION OF THE DOCTRINE. its use is available only and restrictively in truly exceptional cases — those wherein the action of an inferior court. which is certainly beyond the province 12 . An extraordinary remedy. in resolving the following issues: (1) whether the computer operators assigned at the University’s Computer Services Center and the University’s discipline officers may be considered as confidential employees and should therefore be excluded from the bargaining unit which is composed of rank and file employees of the University. V. As we reiterated in the case of Caltex Refinery Employees Association (CREA) vs. (2) whether a union shop clause should be included in the parties' collective bargaining agreement. "WHETHER OR NOT GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WAS COMMITTED BY THE VOLUNTARY ARBITRATOR WHEN HE RULED THAT THE UNIVERSITY CAN NO LONGER BE REQUIRED TO GRANT A SECOND ROUND OF WAGE INCREASES FOR THE SCHOOL YEARS 1991-92 AND 1992-93 AND CHARGE THE SAME TO THE INCREMENTAL PROCEEDS. are binding on this Court and entitled to great respect. that the instant petition is a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court. the factual findings of quasi-judicial agencies (such as the Department of Labor and Employment). 39 filed pursuant to Supreme Court Resolution dated February 9. "First. BENILDE-DLSU DESPITE THE PRESENCE OF SUFFICIENT BASIS TO DO SO AND IN FINDING THAT THE EMPLOYEES THEREAT ARE OUTSIDE OF THE BARGAINING UNIT OF THE DLSU'S RANK-AND-FILE EMPLOYEES. 40 to wit. (3) whether the denial of the Union’s proposed "last-in-firstout" method of laying-off employees." 41 ISSUE: The question which now confronts us is whether or not the voluntary arbitrator committed grave abuse of discretion in rendering the assailed decision. which are generally accorded not only great respect but even finality. on the other hand. "No question of jurisdiction whatsoever is being raised and/or pleaded in the case at bench. when supported by substantial evidence. and whether the employees of the College of St. the University can no longer be required to grant a second round of wage increases for the school years 1991-92 and 1992-93 and charge the same to the incremental proceeds. "(6) FAILING TO EQUATE THE POSITION AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE UNION PRESIDENT WITH THOSE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE FACULTY ASSOCIATION WHICH IS NOT EVEN A LEGITIMATE LABOR ORGANIZATION AND IN SPECULATING THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE FACULTY ASSOCIATION SUFFERS A CORRESPONDING REDUCTION IN SALARY ON THE ACCOUNT OF THE REDUCTION OF HIS WORKLOAD. is proper. certain preliminary matters call for disposition. substantial evidence in labor cases is such amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind will accept as adequate to justify a conclusion. in the first place. Benilde should also be included in the same bargaining unit. 42 the following are the well-settled rules in a petition for certiorari involving labor cases. "WHETHER OR NOT GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WAS COMMITTED BY THE VOLUNTARY ARBITRATOR WHEN HE DENIED THE UNION’S PROPOSALS ON THE DELOADING OF THE UNION PRESIDENT. Jose S. before proceeding to the discussion and resolution of the issues raised in the pending petitions. "(2) DENYING THE PETITIONER’S PROPOSAL FOR THE 'LAST-IN FIRST-OUT’ METHOD OF LAY-OFF IN CASE OF RETRENCHMENT AND IN UPHOLDING THE ALLEGED MANAGEMENT PREROGATIVE TO SELECT AND CHOOSE ITS EMPLOYEES DISREGARDING THE BASIC TENETS OF SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUITY UPON WHICH THIS PROPOSAL WAS FOUNDED. It does not include correction of public respondent NLRC's evaluation of the evidence and factual findings based thereon. "(3) FINDING THAT THE MULTISECTORAL COMMITTEE IN THE RESPONDENT UNIVERSITY IS THE LEGITIMATE GROUP WHICH DETERMINES AND SCRUTINIZES ANNUAL SALARY INCREASES AND FRINGE BENEFITS OF THE EMPLOYEES. Instead. (6) whether the finding that the multi-sectoral committee in the University is the legitimate group which determines and scrutinizes the annual salary increases and fringe benefits of the employees of the University. that the voluntary arbitrator committed grave abuse of discretion in: "(1) FAILING AND/OR REFUSING TO PIERCE THE VEIL OF CORPORATE FICTION OF THE COLLEGE OF ST. particularly. improved leave benefits and indefinite union leave with pay.III. board or officer performing judicial or quasi-judicial acts is challenged for being wholly void on grounds of jurisdiction. is proper. It is well-established that findings of these administrative agencies are generally accorded not only respect but even finality. "(4) HOLDING THAT THE 70% SHARE IN THE INCREMENTAL TUITION PROCEEDS IS THE ONLY SOURCE OF SALARY INCREASES AND FRINGE BENEFITS OF THE EMPLOYEES." The Union. what is being sought is a judicial re-evaluation of the adequacy or inadequacy of the evidence on record. IMPROVED LEAVE BENEFITS AND INDEFINITE UNION LEAVE WITH PAY. is proper. in Flores vs. "(5) FAILING/REFUSING/DISREGARDING TO CONSIDER THE RESPONDENT UNIVERSITY’S FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FACTUALLY TO DETERMINE THE FORMER’S CAPABILITY TO GRANT THE PROPOSED SALARY INCREASES OVER AND ABOVE THE 70% SHARE IN THE INCREMENTAL TUITION PROCEEDS AND IN GIVING WEIGHT AND CONSIDERATION TO THE RESPONDENT UNIVERSITY’S PROPOSED BUDGET WHICH IS MERELY AN ESTIMATE. is correct. Brillantes. IN FAILING TO APPRECIATE THE EQUAL RIGHTS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE UNION AND OF THE FACULTY FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVANCEMENT AS WELL AS THE DESIRABLE EFFECTS OF THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF THE SPECIAL LEAVE AND WORKLOAD REDUCTION BENEFITS. The sole office of the writ of certiorari is the correction of errors of jurisdiction including the commission of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. 1994. National Labor Relations Commission. 44 "Third. Now. 45 we explained the role and function of Rule 65 as an extraordinary remedy: "It should be noted. and (7) whether the ruling that the 70% share in the incremental tuition proceeds is the only source of salary increases and fringe benefits of the employees. raised the following issues. in its memorandum. cdphil IV.
. . Such demand is impermissible for it would involve this Court in determining what evidence is entitled to belief and the weight to be assigned it. . processes data that are needed by management for strategic planning and evaluation of systems. committed within the University or by University employees] . the University's reliance on the case of Victoriano vs. . 53 On the second issue involving the inclusion of a union shop clause in addition to the existing maintenance of membership clause in the collective bargaining agreement. Moreover. by virtue of which the employer may employ only members of the collective bargaining union. where a labor union and an employer have agreed on a closed shop. . where these computer operators work. however. . limited. Benilde should be excluded from the bargaining unit of the rank-and-file employees of Dela Salle University. Labor Code. the University contends that ". act as peace officers. the University and the College of St. 211. Nothing in this Code or in any other law shall prevent the parties from requiring membership in a recognized collective bargaining agent as a condition for employment. . faculty and staff payroll data. duties and welfare' (Art. thus. especially where the exercise of this prerogative might result in the loss of employment. from the collective bargaining unit. . the University argues that they are confidential employees and that the Union has already recognized the confidential nature of their functions when the latter agreed in the parties’ 1986 collective bargaining agreement to exclude the said employees from the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees. . secure peace and safety of the students inside the campus. As carefully examined by the Solicitor General. 58 The Union further insists that its proposal is ". On the first issue involving the classification of the computer operators assigned at the University’s Computer Services Center and discipline officers. . With the foregoing rules in mind. . such a demand is repugnant to democratic principles and the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of individuals to join or not to join an association as well as their right to security of tenure. the parties have already previously agreed to exclude all positions in the University’s Computer Services Center (CSC). they are not confidential employees and should therefore be included in the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees. . and submits that the University’s prerogative to select and/or choose the employees it will hire is limited. which include the positions of computer operators. . . . the Computer Services Center. it is in the spirit of the exercise of the constitutional right to self-organization that every individual should be able to freely choose whether to become a member of the Union or not. the Union. As far as the said computer operators are concerned. Benilde. . . The legal protection granted to such right to refrain from joining is withdrawn by operation of law. student records. 52 As to the discipline officers. the Computer Operators are in fact the repository of the University’s confidential information and data. Benilde should be considered as only one entity because the latter is but a mere integral part of the University. . we shall now proceed to discuss the merit of these consolidated petitions. particularly. and budget allocation and expenditure related data] which are contained in computer files and computer-generated reports. the right to join a union includes the right to abstain from joining any union. we rule that the said computer operators and discipline officers are not confidential employees." (emphasis supplied). . because the two educational institutions have their own separate juridical personality and no sufficient evidence was shown to justify the piercing of the veil of corporate fiction. . . either by law or agreement. As we have reiterated countless times. — (e) To discriminate in regard to hire or tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment in order to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization. we agree with the voluntary arbitrator that based on the nature of their duties. . The Discipline Officers are clearly alter egos of management as they perform tasks which are inherent in management [e. With regard to the alleged confidential nature of the said employees’ functions. It also houses the University’s confidential records and information [e. The Court agrees with the Solicitor General that the express exclusion of the computer operators and discipline officers from the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees in the 1986 collective bargaining agreement does not bar any renegotiation for the future inclusion of the said employees in the bargaining unit. supported by the Solicitor General at this point. except of those employees who are already members of another union at the time of the signing of the collective bargaining agreement. ." 55 The Union. 51 The University's arguments on the first issue fail to impress us. the service record of a computer operator reveals that his duties are basically clerical and non-confidential in nature. or of existing criminal laws. definitely unjust and amounts to oppression. . the University maintains that "." 59 13 . judicial review by this Court in labor cases does not go so far as to evaluate the sufficiency of the evidence upon which the proper labor officer or office based his or its determination but is limited only to issues of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction." 54 The University assails the Union’s demand for a union shop clause as ". on the part of present employees. the Union relies on social justice and equity to support its proposition. g. The right to refrain from joining labor organizations recognized by Section 3 of the Industrial Peace Act is. asserts that the veil of corporate fiction should be pierced. the nature of the work done by these Computer Operators is enough justification for their exclusion from the coverage of the bargaining unit of the University’s rank-and-file employees. as amended). . During the freedom period. Moreover. we ruled that "." 48 As to the discipline officers. recognizes the validity of a union shop agreement in Article 248 thereof which reads: "ARTICLE 248. they are likewise excluded from the bargaining unit of the rank-and-file employees under the parties' 1986 CBA. after a careful consideration of the pleadings filed before this Court. . counters that the Labor Code. enforce discipline. . conduct investigations on violations of University regulations. faculty records. termination due to retrenchment and transfer of employees. Unfair labor practices of employers." 49 The University also alleges that "the Discipline Officers are privy to highly confidential information ordinarily accessible only to management. As the Solicitor General asserted in his consolidated Comment. . . The right to join a labor organization should carry with it the corollary right not to join the same. according to the Union. in keeping with the avowed State policy '(q) To ensure the participation of workers in decision and policy-making processes affecting their rights. on the other hand." 57 On the third issue regarding the Union’s proposal for the use of the "last-in-first-out" method in case of lay-off." (emphasis supplied) We affirm the ruling of the voluntary arbitrator for the inclusion of a union shop provision in addition to the existing maintenance of membership clause in the collective bargaining agreement." 47 According to the University. the University avers that ". the parties may not only renew the existing collective bargaining agreement but may also propose and discuss modifications or amendments thereto. and the employees must continue to be members of the union for the duration of the contract in order to keep their jobs. The Court also affirms the findings of the voluntary arbitrator that the employees of the College of St." 46 The University further contends that ". .of the extraordinary writ of certiorari. In that case. . ". including those involving and/or pertinent to labor relations. This position of the University is but in due recognition of the individual’s free will and capability for judgment. ." 50 With regard to the employees of the College of St. as amended. g. Elizalde Rope Workers’ Union 56 is clearly misplaced. .
1979 which found petitioner Sweden Ice Cream guilty of unfair labor practice for unjustified refusal to bargain. Section 3. an employer is free to regulate. in view of our rulings on the fourth and preceding issues and there being no evidence presented before the voluntary arbitrator that the University held incremental tuition fee proceeds from which any wage increase or fringe benefit may be satisfied. par. it appears that during the parties’ negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. respectively. which is composed of students. No. the Union again wrote the Company reiterating its request for collective bargaining 14 . Thereafter. a legitimate labor federation. the Pambansang Kilusan ng Paggawa (Union for short). [w]e believe that the standard proof of a company's financial standing is its financial statements duly audited by independent and credible external auditors. the University asserts its management prerogative and counters that "[w]hile it is recognized that this right of employees and workers to 'participate in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law' has been enshrined in the Constitution (Article III. and the discipline. LLphil On the fifth issue involving the Union’s proposals on the deloading of the union president. cdrep FACTS: In a certification election held on October 3. supervision of workers. the Court finds that the voluntary arbitrator did not gravely abuse his discretion on this matter. [should be Article XIII]. decided to grant the said increases based on the University’s viability which were exclusively sourced from the tuition fees. of the collective bargaining agreement. 1978. on the basis of the externally audited financial statements of the University already submitted by the Union before the voluntary arbitrator and forming part of the records.] Petition for CERTIORARI to annul the decision 1 of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) dated July 20. 1978. the Union furnished 4 the Company with two copies of its proposed collective bargaining agreement. working methods. KIOK LOY. dismissal and recall of workers. 61 "[a] valid exercise of management prerogative is one which. The assailed decision dated January 19. transfer of employees. The employer still retains the prerogative to determine the reasonable basis for selecting such employees. . NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION (NLRC) and PAMBANSANG KILUSAN NG PAGGAWA (KILUSAN). the University can no longer be required to grant a second round of wage increases for the school years 1991-92 and 199293 and charge the same to the incremental proceeds.On the other hand. On the sixth issue regarding the finding that the multi-sectoral committee in the University is the legitimate group which determines and scrutinizes the annual salary increases and fringe benefits of the employees of the University. From our reading of the assailed decision. as ruled by the voluntary arbitrator. WHEREFORE. (g) of Article 249 2 of the New Labor Code. As we ruled in the case of Caltex Refinery Employees Association (CREA) vs. administration and union. won and was subsequently certified in a resolution dated November 29. 109002 and G. faculty. covers: work assignment. assuming for the sake of argument that the said committee is the group responsible for determining wage increases and fringe benefits. parents. it requested the Company for its counter proposals. Jose S. 62 ". respectively. among others. the use of a proposed budget as proof of a company’s financial condition would be susceptible to abuse by scheming employers who might be merely feigning dire financial condition in their business ventures in order to avoid granting salary increases and fringe benefits to their employees." 63 Financial statements audited by independent external auditors constitute the normal method of proof of profit and loss performance of a company. the petitions in these consolidated cases. Except as provided for. . 1993 of voluntary arbitrator Buenaventura Magsalin is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that the issue on salary increases for the second and third years of the collective bargaining agreement be REMANDED to the voluntary arbitrator for definite resolution within one month from the finality of this Decision. we find that the voluntary arbitrator committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. premises considered. 1986. improved leave benefits and indefinite union leave with pay. 1978. petitioner. G. vs. the Union demanded for a 25% and 40% salary increase for the second and third years. 65 The University’s counter-proposal was for a 10% increase for the third year. all aspects of employment. respondents. or limited by special laws. National Labor Relations Commission. work supervision. and more specifically on December 7. No. the committee’s determination must still be based on duly audited financial statements following our ruling on the fourth issue. time. 66 After the meeting of the multi-sectoral committee on budget. . 110072 are partially GRANTED. Be that as it may. L-54334. At the same time. . the Court deems that any determination of this alleged error is unnecessary and irrelevant. 64 The financial capability of a company cannot be based on its proposed budget because a proposed budget does not reflect the true financial condition of a company. in violation of par. 2). 3 and declared the draft proposal of the Union for a collective bargaining agreement as the governing collective bargaining agreement between the employees and the management. does not automatically entitle the Union to dictate as to how an employer should choose the employees to be affected by a retrenchment program. . the University has the right to adopt valid and equitable grounds as basis for terminating or transferring employees. Brillantes. ." 60 We agree with the voluntary arbitrator that as an exercise of management prerogative.R.R. As we ruled in the case of Autobus Workers' Union (AWU) and Ricardo Escanlar vs. LLphil SO ORDERED.R. On the seventh and last issue involving the ruling that the 70% share in the incremental tuition proceeds is the only source of salary increases and fringe benefits of the employees.3% and 19% for the second and third years. according to his own discretion and judgment. January 22. and more importantly. unlike audited financial statements. doing business under the name and style SWEDEN ICE CREAM PLANT. 67 While the voluntary arbitrator found that the said committee ". said participation.." no finding was made as to the basis of the committee’s decision. however. No. the University granted across-the-board salary increases of 11." (emphasis supplied) On the fourth issue involving the voluntary arbitrator’s ruling that on the basis of the University’s proposed budget. The Company's motion for reconsideration of the said resolution was denied on January 25. [G. there being no justifiable reason for the granting of the same. Eliciting no response to the aforesaid request. 1978 by the Bureau of Labor Relations as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the rank-and-file employees of Sweden Ice Cream Plant (Company for short). we agree with the voluntary arbitrator’s rejection of the said demands.
and all other terms and conditions of employment including proposals for adjusting any grievance or question arising under such an agreement and executing a contract incorporating such agreement. Andres Fidelino. after having been served with a written bargaining proposal by the petitioning Union. and undue delay in submitting its financial statements. (2) proof of majority representation. petitioner Company's approach and attitude — stalling the negotiation by a series of postponements. its dismissal is in order. hours of work. the totality of which is indicative of the latter's disregard of. and (3) a demand to bargain under Article 251. Fortunato Panganiban formally entered his appearance as counsel for the Company only to request for another postponement allegedly for the purpose of acquainting himself with the case. the Company submitted its position paper on May 28. set the initial hearing for April 29. however. On July 20. evinced good faith or willingness to discuss freely and fully the claims and demands set forth by the Union much less justify its opposition thereto. par. 5 Conciliation proceedings then followed during the thirty-day statutory cooling-off period. Petitioner has not at any instance. 10 Herald Delivery Carriers Union (PAFLU) vs. failed to appear. The Company was directed anew to submit its financial statements for the years 1976. that the Collective Bargaining Agreement approved and adopted by the National Labor Relations Commission is unreasonable and lacks legal basis. 1979. 6 is one of the democratic frameworks under the New Labor Code. . and failure to live up to. On July 18. who was supposed to be examined. Meanwhile.negotiations and for the Company to furnish them with its counter proposals. Court of Industrial Relations 12 wherein it was further ruled that "while the law does not 15 . designed to stabilize the relation between labor and management and to create a climate of sound and stable industrial peace. From the over-all conduct of petitioner company in relation to the task of negotiation. the respondent Sweden Ice Cream is hereby declared guilty of unjustified refusal to bargain.D. of the parties to submit their respective position papers as required. It has been indubitably established that (1) respondent Union was a duly certified bargaining agent. 1979 as scheduled. there can be no doubt that the Union has a valid cause to complain against its (Company's) attitude. of P. 1979 due to the withdrawal of the Company's counsel of record. the said hearing was cancelled and reset to another date. 1977. Rodolfo dela Cruz. 1981. and 1978. however. and finally. the Resolution of dismissal was reconsidered and the petition was given due course in a Resolution dated April 1. may indicate bad faith and this is specially true where the Union's request for a counter proposal is left unanswered. 1980. (g) of the Labor Code makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer to refuse "to meet and convene promptly and expeditiously in good faith for the purpose of negotiating an agreement with respect to wages. par. namely. as amended. The labor arbiter. the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: LLjur "WHEREFORE. He also ruled that the Company has waived its right to present further evidence and. 1979 when the Union furnished them with a copy of the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement and it was only then that they came to know of the Union's demands." While it is a mutual obligation of the parties to bargain. (2) it made a definite request to bargain. Mr. It is a mutual responsibility of the employer and the Union and is characterized as a legal obligation. The petition lacks merit. Cdpr We are in total conformity with respondent NLRC's pronouncement that petitioner Company is GUILTY of unfair labor practice. Left with no other alternative in its attempt to bring the Company to the bargaining table. Atty. the National Labor Relations Commission rendered its decision. all of which preconditions are undisputedly present in the instant case. (a) of the New Labor Code . Petitioner further contends that the National Labor Relations Commission's finding of unfair labor practice for refusal to bargain is not supported by law and the evidence considering that it was only on May 24. The case was further reset to May 11. Atty. This doctrine was reiterated anew in Bradman vs. nonappearance at the hearing conducted. to the Company not only once but twice which were left unanswered and unacted upon. Upon motion of the petitioner. with the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) on ground of unresolved economic issues in collective bargaining. and instead requested for a resetting which was granted. this Court dismissed the petition for lack of merit. if requested by either party. Both requests were ignored and remained unacted upon by the Company. 1979. Petitioner Company now maintains that its right to procedural due process has been violated when it was precluded from presenting further evidence in support of its stand and when its request for further postponement was denied. Ching. the Union submitted its position paper. (1) possession of the status of majority representation of the employees' representative in accordance with any of the means of selection or designation provided for by the Labor Code. Atty. the Union. On May 24. the draft proposal for a collective bargaining agreement (Exh. 1979. Consequently. For failure however. Collective bargaining which is defined as negotiations towards a collective agreement. labor arbiter Andres Fidelino submitted its report to the National Labor Relations Commission. therefore. 9 Even during the period of compulsory arbitration before the NLRC. 823. But all attempts towards an amicable settlement failed. 8 A Company's refusal to make counter proposal if considered in relation to the entire bargaining process."E") hereto attached and made an integral part of this decision. 1979. is not under any legal duty to initiate contract negotiation. On August 4. Further. lead to no other conclusion except that it is unwilling to negotiate and reach an agreement with the Union. is hereby declared to be the collective agreement which should govern the relationship between the parties herein. filed a "Notice of Strike". on February 14. in violation of Section (g) Article 248 (now Article 249). to whom the case was assigned. When the case was called for hearing on June 4. Meanwhile. 7 The mechanics of collective bargaining is set in motion only when the following jurisdictional preconditions are present. 1979. The Company did not. Petitioner now comes before Us assailing the aforesaid decision contending that the National Labor Relations Commission acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in rendering the challenged decision. what is enjoined by the Labor Code — to bargain in good faith. Panganiban then requested for another postponement which the labor arbiter denied. sent by the Union (Private respondent) to the respondent (petitioner herein) and which is hereby found to be reasonable under the premises. . considered the case submitted for resolution. So much so that Article 249. and (3) the Company made no counter proposal whatsoever all of which conclusively indicate lack of a sincere desire to negotiate. accompanied with a copy of the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement. Herald Publications 11 the rule had been laid down that "unfair labor practice is committed when it is shown that the respondent employer. the employer. as amended. 1978. prompting the Bureau of Labor Relations to certify the case to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for compulsory arbitration pursuant to Presidential Decree No. the Company's representative. 442. did not even bother to submit an answer or reply to the said proposal.
The instant case being a certified one. Certainly. that it was denied the right to be heard and present its side when the Labor Arbiter denied the Company's motion for further postponement. Sole and Exclusive Employees' Representatives Sec. Government authorities shall not interfere in the establishment. petition is DISMISSED. But an erring party should not be tolerated and allowed with impunity to resort to schemes feigning negotiations by going through empty gestures. The corresponding certificates of registration shall be jointly approved by the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission and Secretary of Labor and Employment. it does contemplate that both parties will approach the negotiation with an open mind and make a reasonable effort to reach a common ground of agreement". President of the Philippines. Government employees' organizations shall register with the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Labor and Employment. Petitioner's aforesaid submittal failed to impress Us. a registration certificate be issued to the organization recognizing it as a legitimate employees' organization with the right to represent its members and undertake activities to further and defend its interest. instrumentalities. Hence. AQUINO. 13 More so. As herein earlier stated. petitioner had not even honored respondent Union with any reply to the latter's successive letters. The appropriate organizational unit shall be the employers unit consisting of rank-and-file employees unless circumstances otherwise require. as amended. The Executive Order shall not apply to the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. works councils and other forms of workers' participation schemes to achieve the same objectives. Neither are WE persuaded by petitioner-company's stand that the Collective Bargaining Agreement which was approved and adopted by the NLRC is a total nullity for it lacks the company's consent. in conjunction with appropriate government authorities. To that extent. as in the instant case. Government employees shall not be discriminated against in respect of their employment by reason of their membership in employees' organizations or participation in the normal activities of their organization. 1987 PROVIDING GUIDELINES FOR THE EXERCISE OF THE RIGHT TO ORGANIZE OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES. I. all geared towards bringing the Company to the bargaining table. utmost deference to its findings of reasonableness of any Collective Bargaining Agreement as the governing agreement by the employees and management must be accorded due respect by this Court. 2. III. do hereby order: I. much less its argument that once the Collective Bargaining Agreement is implemented. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES In accordance with the provisions of the 1987 Constitution. Sec. as amended. Sec. Registration of Employees' Organization Sec. 16 . based on records of the Bureau of Labor Relations. subdivisions. Sec. and agencies. 4. Protection of the Right to Organize Sec. including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters. Their employment shall not be subject to the condition that they shall not join or shall relinquish their membership in the employees' organizations. Sec. firemen and jail guards. join or assist employees' organizations of their own choosing for the furtherance and protection of their interests. For this purpose. and that the said organizations has the majority support of the rank-and-file employees in the organizational unit. Sec. The application shall be filed with the Bureau of Labor Relations of the Department which shall process the same in accordance with the provisions of the Labor Code of the Philippines. covered by this Executive Order shall be referred to as "government employees". where the intervention of the National Labor Relations Commission was properly sought for after conciliation efforts undertaken by the BLR failed. petitioner capitalizes on the issue of due process claiming. functioning or administration of government employees' organizations through acts designed to place such organizations under the control of government authority. A duly registered employees' organization shall be accorded voluntary recognition upon a showing that no other employees' organization is registered or is seeking registration. 8. 3. 180 June 1. All government employees can form. the moves and overall behavior of petitioner-company were in total derogation of the policy enshrined in the New Labor Code which is aimed towards expediting settlement of economic disputes. High-level employees whose functions are normally considered as policy-making or managerial or whose duties are of a highly confidential nature shall not be eligible to join the organization of rank-and-file government employees. 11. it must be resolved by the NLRC pursuant to the mandate of P. CORAZON C. 6. We agree with the pronouncement that it is not obligatory upon either side of a labor controversy to precipitately accept or agree to the proposals of the other. 1. the Company will face the prospect of closing down because it has to pay a staggering amount of economic benefits to the Union that will equal if not exceed its capital. policemen. Coverage Sec. The duly registered employees' organization having the support of the majority of the employees in the appropriate organizational unit shall be designated as the sole and exclusive representative of the employees. CREATING A PUBLIC SECTOR LABOR-MANAGEMENT COUNCIL. is LIFTED and SET ASIDE.D. 873. Sec. Considering the various postponements granted in its behalf. employees. EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7. including police officers. Such a stand and the evidence in support thereof should have been presented before the Labor Arbiter which is the proper forum for the purpose. It did not even bother to furnish or serve the Union with its counter proposal despite persistent requests made therefor. labor-management committees. IV. They can also form. This Executive Order applies to all employees of all branches. of the Government. 1980. the claimed denial of due process appeared totally bereft of any legal and factual support.compel the parties to reach an agreement. 5. As a last-ditch attempt to effect a reversal of the decision sought to be reviewed. Applications may also be filed with the Regional Offices of the Department of Labor and Employment which shall immediately transmit the said applications to the Bureau of Labor Relations within three (3) days from receipt thereof. II. 9. Upon approval of the application. Sec. this Court is not prepared to affix its imprimatur to such an illegal scheme and dubious maneuvers. which authorizes the said body to determine the reasonableness of the terms and conditions of employment embodied in any Collective Bargaining Agreement. 10. The temporary restraining order issued on August 27.
Settlement of Disputes Sec. Terms and Conditions of Employment in Government Services Sec. VIII. Department of Finance Member 4) Secretary. 13. order the conduct of a certification election and shall certify the winner as the exclusive representative of the rank-and-file employees in said organization unit. 14. Civil Service Commission Chairman 2) Secretary. A Public Sector Labor Management Council. 17. Effectivity Sec. Public Sector Labor-Management Council Sec. The Civil Service and labor laws and procedures. Peaceful Concerted Activities and Strikes Sec. the parties may jointly refer the dispute to the Council. hereinafter referred to as the Council. Department of Budget and Management Member The Council shall implement and administer the provisions of this Executive Order. Terms and conditions of employment or improvements thereof. is hereby constituted to be composed of the following: 1) Chairman. may be the subject of negotiations between duly recognized employees' organizations and appropriate government authorities. 12. D.Sec. IX. this 1st day of June. upon petition. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately. the Council shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to implement this Executive Order. whenever applicable. grievances and cases involving government employees. nineteen hundred and eighty-seven. In case any dispute remains unresolved after exhausting all the available remedies under existing laws and procedures. except those that are fixed by law. for appropriate action. 16. For this purpose. 15. subject to any legislation that may be enacted by Congress. in the year of Our Lord. Done in the City of Manila. 17 . VII. Department of Labor and Employment Vice Chairman 3) Secretary. shall be followed in the resolution of complaints. VI. the Bureau of Labor Relations shall. Where there are two or more duly registered employees' organizations in the appropriate organizational unit. The Civil Service laws and rules governing concerted activities and strikes in the government service shall be observed. Department of Justice Member 5) Secretary.
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