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Colegio de san juan de letran v.

Association of employees and faculty of letran

FACTS: Salvador Abtria, President of respondent union initiated renegotiations of its CBA with petitioner for the last two years of CBAs 5 years lifetime from 1989-1994. On the same year, the union elected a new set of officers with private respondents Eleanor Ambas as the newly elected President. Ambas wanted to continue renegotiation, but petitioner claimed that the CBA was already prepared for signing. The CBA was submitted to a referendum which was rejected by the union members. Later, the union notified the NCMB of its intention to strike due to petitioners, refusal to bargain. Thereafter, the parties agreed to disregard the unsigned CBA and to start negotiation on a new five-year CBA. The union submitted its proposals to petitioner, which notified the union that the same was submitted to its Board of Trustees. Meanwhile, Ambas work schedule was changed, which she protested and requested to be submitted to grievance machinery under the old CBA. Due to petitioners inaction, the union filed a notice of strike. Later, the Ambas was dismissed for alleged insubordination. Both parties again discussed the ground rules for the CBA renegotiations; however petitioner stopped negotiations after allegedly receiving information that a new group of employees had filed a PCE. The union struck and the Secretary assumed jurisdiction ordering all striking workers to return to work. All were readmitted except Ambas. Public respondent declared petitioner quilt of ULP and directed reinstatement of Ambas with back wages.

ISSUES: 1) Whether petitioner is guilty of unfair labor practice by refusing to bargain within the union when it unilaterally suspended the ongoing negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) upon mere information that a petition for certification has been filed by another legitimate labor organization. 2) Whether the termination of the union president amounts to an interference of the employees right to self organization.

HELD: 1. No. the duty to bargain collectively includes the mutual obligation to meet and convene promptly and expeditiously in good faith for the purpose of negotiating an agreement. Petitioner failed to make a timely reply to the unions proposals, thereby violating the proper procedure in collective bargaining as provided in Article 250. In order to allow the employer to validly suspend the bargaining process, there must be a valid PCE raising a legitimate representation issue, in this case, the petition was filed outside the 60-dayt freedom peri-

od; therefore there was no legitimate representation issue and the filing of the PCE did not constitute to the ongoing negotiation. 2. Yes, the dismissal was in violation of the employees right to self- organization. The dismissal must be made pursuant to the tenets of equity and fair play wherein the employers right to terminate the services of an employee must be exercised in good faith, furthermore, it must not amount to interfering with, restraining, or coercing, employees in their right to self- organization. The factual backdrop of the Ambas termination reveals that such was done in order to strip the union of the leader; admittedly management has the prerogative to discipline its employees for insubordination. But when the exercise of such management right tends to interfere whit the employees right to self- organization, it amounts to union- busting and is therefore a prohibited act.