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MALAYANG SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA M GREENFIELD V RAMOS

No strike clause

FACTS: Petitioner MSMS, (local union) is an affiliate of ULGWP (federation). A local union election was held under the action
of the federation. The defeated candidates filed a petition for impeachment. The local union held a
general membership meeting. Several union members failed to attend the meeting. The local union requested the company
to deduct the union fines from the wage of those union members who failed to attend the general membership meeting.
TheSecretary General of the federation disapproved the resolution imposing the Php50 fine. The company then sent a reply
to petitioner’s request stating it cannot deduct fines without going against certain laws. The imposition of the fine became
the subject of a bitter disagreement between the Federation and the local union culminating to the latter’s declaration of
general autonomy from the former. The federation asked the company to stop the remittance of the local union’s share in
the education funds. The company led a complaint of interpleader with the DOLE. The federation called a meeting placing
the local union under trusteeship and appointing an administrator. Petitioner union officers received letters from the
administrator requiring them to explain why they should not be removed from the office and expelled from
union membership. The officers were expelled from the federation. The federation advised the company of the expulsion of
the 30 union officers and demanded their separation pursuant to the Union Security Clause in the CBA. The Federation filed
a notice of strike with the NCMB to compel the company to effect the immediate termination of the expelled union officers.
Under the pressure of a strike, the company terminated the 30 union officersfrom employment. The petitioners filed a
notice of strike on the grounds of discrimination; interference; mass dismissal of unionofficers and shop stewards; threats,
coercion and intimidation ; and union busting. The petitioners prayed for the suspension of the effects of their
termination. Secretary Drilon dismissed the petition stating it was an intra-union matter. Later, 78 union shop stewards
were placed under preventive suspension. The union members staged a walk-out and officially declared a strike that
afternoon. The strike was attended by violence.


ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the company was illegal dismissal.
2. Whether or not the strike was illegal.
3. Whether or not petitioners can be deemed to have abandoned their work.


HELD:

1. Yes. The charges against respondent company proceeds from one main issue – the termination of
several employees upon the demand of the federation pursuant to the union security clause. Although the union security
clause may be validly enforced, such must comply with due process. In this case, petitioner union officers were expelled for
allegedly committing acts of disloyalty to the federation. The company did not inquire into the cause of the expulsion and
merely relied upon the federation’s allegations. The issue is not a purely intra-union matter as it was later on converted into
a termination dispute when the company dismissed the petitioners from work without the benefit of a separate notice and
hearing. Although it started as an intra-union dispute within the exclusive jurisdiction of the BLR, to remand the same to the
BLR would intolerably delay the case and the LaborArbiter could rule upon it. As to the act of disaffiliation by the local
union; it is settled that a local union has the right to disaffiliate from its mother union in the absence of specific provisions
in the federation’s constitution prohibiting such. There was no such provision in federation ULGWP’s constitution.

2. No. As to the legally of the strike; it was based on the termination dispute and petitioners believed in good faith in
dismissing them, the company was guilty of ULP. A no-strike, no lockout provision in the CBA can only be invoked when the
strike is economic. As to the violence, the parties agreed that the violence was not attributed to the
striking employees alone as the company itself hired men to pacify the strikers. Such violence cannot be a ground for
declaring the strike illegal.

3. As to the dismissal of the petitioners; respondents failed to prove that there was abandonment absent any proof of
petitioner’s intention to sever the employee-employer relationship.