The respondents filed a petition against the petitioner praying: 1)
payment of their unpaid back wages for work done on Sundays and
legal holidays plus 25c/c additional compensation from date of their
employment up to June !" 1#$2% 2) payment of e&tra compensation
on work done at night% ) reinstatement of Januario 'eferente and
(scar )chalar to their former positions with back salaries% and" as
against the respondent union" for its disestablishment and the refund
of all monies it had collected from petitioners*
The respondent court rendered its decision that:
1* The claim of the petitioners for payment of back wages
corresponding to the first four hours work rendered on e+ery other
Sunday and first four hours on legal holidays should be denied for
lack of merit%
2* 'espondent ,ercury -rug .ompany" /nc* is hereby ordered to pay
the si&ty0 nine 1$#) petitioners: 1a) 2n additional sum e3ui+alent to
254 of their respecti+e basic or regular salaries for ser+ices rendered
on Sundays and legal holidays during the period from ,arch 2!" 1#$1
up to June !" 1#$2% and 1b) 2nother additional sum or premium
e3ui+alent to 254 of their respecti+e basic or regular salaries for
nighttime ser+ices rendered from ,arch 2!" 1#$1 up to June !"
1#$2% and
* 5etitioners6 petition to con+ert them to monthly employees should
be" as it is hereby" denied for lack of merit* 7ot satisfied with the
decision" the respondents filed a motion for its reconsideration* The
motion for reconsideration" was howe+er" denied by the .ourt en
a* 8(7 pri+ate respondent is entitled to claims for 254 additional
compensation performing work during Sunday and legal holidays9
b* 8(7 the 254 compensation had already been included in the
pri+ate respondents monthly salaries9
c* 8(7 the contracts of employment were null and +oid was not put
in issue" hence" the respondent court pursuant to the 'ules of .ourt
should ha+e refrained from ruling that such contracts of employment
were null and +oid9
The Supreme .ourt dismissed the petition* (n the first issue" based
on Sec* : .2 7o* :::" 7o person" firm or corporation" business
establishment or place of center of labor shall compel an employee or
laborer to work during Sundays and legal holidays unless he is paid
an additional sum of at least twenty0fi+e per centum of his regular
remuneration: 5'(;/-)-" <(8);)'" That this prohibition shall not
apply to public utilities performing some public ser+ice such as
supplying gas" electricity" power" water" or pro+iding means of
transportation or communication*
/n this case" the petitioner does not fall on e&emptions* (n the second
issue" their 254 additional compensation for work done on Sundays
and =egal <olidays were not included in their respecti+e monthly
salaries* The petitioner contention was not supported by substantial
The last issue" the ,ercury -rug .o*" /nc*" maintains a chain of
drugstores that are open e+ery day of the week and" for some stores"
up to +ery late at night because of the nature of the pharmaceutical
retail business* The respondents knew that they had to work Sundays
and holidays and at night" not as e&ceptions to the rule but as part of
the regular course of employment* 5resented with contracts setting
their compensation on an annual basis with an e&press wai+er of
e&tra compensation for work on Sundays and holidays" the workers
did not ha+e much choice*
The pri+ate respondents were at a disad+antage insofar as the
contractual relationship was concerned* 8orkers in our country do not
ha+e the lu&ury or freedom of declining >ob openings or filing
resignations e+en when some terms and conditions of employment
are not only onerous and in0e3uitous but illegal*
/t is precisely because of this situation that the framers of the
.onstitution embodied the pro+isions on social >ustice 1Section $"
2rticle 11) and protection to labor 1Section #" 2rticle / /) in the
-eclaration of 5rinciples 2nd State 5olicies*

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