G.R. No. L-54334 January 22, 1986
!O LO", #o$n% &u'$n('' un#(r )*( na+( an# ')y,( S-E.EN !CE CRE/M PL/NT, petitioner,
P/GG/-/ 1!LUS/N2, respondents.
Ablan and Associates for petitioner.
Abdulcadir T. Ibrahim for private respondent.

CUE3/S, J.:
Petition for certiorari to annul the decision
of the National Labor elations Co!!ission "NLC# dated
$ul% &', ()*) +hich found petitioner S+eden Ice Crea! ,uilt% of unfair labor practice for un-ustified
refusal to bar,ain, in violation of par. ",# of .rticle &/)
of the Ne+ Labor Code,
and declared the draft
proposal of the 0nion for a collective bar,ainin, a,ree!ent as the ,overnin, collective bar,ainin,
a,ree!ent bet+een the e!plo%ees and the !ana,e!ent.
1he pertinent bac2,round facts are as follo+s3
In a certification election held on October 4, ()*5, the Pa!bansan, 6ilusan, Pa,,a+a "0nion for
short#, a le,iti!ate late labor federation, +on and +as subse7uentl% certified in a resolution dated
Nove!ber &), ()*5 b% the 8ureau of Labor elations as the sole and e9clusive bar,ainin, a,ent of
the ran2:and:file e!plo%ees of S+eden Ice Crea! Plant "Co!pan% for short#. 1he Co!pan%;s
!otion for reconsideration of the said resolution +as denied on $anuar% &<, ()*5.
1hereafter, and !ore specificall% on Dece!ber *, ()*5, the 0nion furnished
the Co!pan% +ith t+o
copies of its proposed collective bar,ainin, a,ree!ent. .t the sa!e ti!e, it re7uested the Co!pan% for
its counter proposals. Elicitin, no response to the aforesaid re7uest, the 0nion a,ain +rote the Co!pan%
reiteratin, its re7uest for collective bar,ainin, ne,otiations and for the Co!pan% to furnish the! +ith its
counter proposals. 8oth re7uests +ere i,nored and re!ained unacted upon b% the Co!pan%.
Left +ith no other alternative in its atte!pt to brin, the Co!pan% to the bar,ainin, table, the 0nion,
on =ebruar% (/, ()*), filed a >Notice of Stri2e>, +ith the 8ureau of Labor elations "8L# on ,round
of unresolved econo!ic issues in collective bar,ainin,.
Conciliation proceedin,s then follo+ed durin, the thirt%:da% statutor% coolin,:off period. 8ut all
atte!pts to+ards an a!icable settle!ent failed, pro!ptin, the 8ureau of Labor elations to certif%
the case to the National Labor elations Co!!ission "NLC# for co!pulsor% arbitration pursuant to
Presidential Decree No. 5&4, as a!ended. 1he labor arbiter, .ndres =idelino, to +ho! the case +as
assi,ned, set the initial hearin, for .pril &), ()*). =or failure ho+ever, of the parties to sub!it their
respective position papers as re7uired, the said hearin, +as cancelled and reset to another date.
Mean+hile, the 0nion sub!itted its position paper. 1he Co!pan% did not, and instead re7uested for
a resettin, +hich +as ,ranted. 1he Co!pan% +as directed ane+ to sub!it its financial state!ents
for the %ears ()*?, ()**, and ()*5.
1he case +as further reset to Ma% ((, ()*) due to the +ithdra+al of the Co!pan%;s counsel of
record, .tt%. odolfo dela Cru@. On Ma% &/, ()*5, .tt%. =ortunato Pan,aniban for!all% entered his
appearance as counsel for the Co!pan% onl% to re7uest for another postpone!ent alle,edl% for the
purpose of ac7uaintin, hi!self +ith the case. Mean+hile, the Co!pan% sub!itted its position paper
on Ma% &5, ()*).
Ahen the case +as called for hearin, on $une /, ()*) as scheduled, the Co!pan%;s representative,
Mr. Chin,, +ho +as supposed to be e9a!ined, failed to appear. .tt%. Pan,aniban then re7uested for
another postpone!ent +hich the labor arbiter denied. Be also ruled that the Co!pan% has +aived
its ri,ht to present further evidence and, therefore, considered the case sub!itted for resolution.
On $ul% (5, ()*), labor arbiter .ndres =idelino sub!itted its report to the National Labor elations
Co!!ission. On $ul% &', ()*), the National Labor elations Co!!ission rendered its decision, the
dispositive portion of +hich reads as follo+s3
ABEE=OE, the respondent S+eden Ice Crea! is hereb% declared ,uilt% of
un-ustified refusal to bar,ain, in violation of Section ",# .rticle &/5 "no+ .rticle &/)#,
of P.D. //&, as a!ended. =urther, the draft proposal for a collective bar,ainin,
a,ree!ent "E9h. >E ># hereto attached and !ade an inte,ral part of this decision,
sent b% the 0nion "Private respondent# to the respondent "petitioner herein# and
+hich is hereb% found to be reasonable under the pre!ises, is hereb% declared to be
the collective a,ree!ent +hich should ,overn the relationship bet+een the parties
SO ODEED. "E!phasis supplied#
Petitioner no+ co!es before 0s assailin, the aforesaid decision contendin, that the National Labor
elations Co!!ission acted +ithout or in e9cess of its -urisdiction or +ith ,rave abuse of discretion
a!ountin, to lac2 of -urisdiction in renderin, the challen,ed decision. On .u,ust /, ()5', this Court
dis!issed the petition for lac2 of !erit. 0pon !otion of the petitioner, ho+ever, the esolution of
dis!issal +as reconsidered and the petition +as ,iven due course in a esolution dated .pril (,
Petitioner Co!pan% no+ !aintains that its ri,ht to procedural due process has been violated +hen it
+as precluded fro! presentin, further evidence in support of its stand and +hen its re7uest for
further postpone!ent +as denied. Petitioner further contends that the National Labor elations
Co!!ission;s findin, of unfair labor practice for refusal to bar,ain is not supported b% la+ and the
evidence considerin, that it +as onl% on Ma% &/, ()*) +hen the 0nion furnished the! +ith a cop% of
the proposed Collective 8ar,ainin, .,ree!ent and it +as onl% then that the% ca!e to 2no+ of the
0nion;s de!andsC and finall%, that the Collective 8ar,ainin, .,ree!ent approved and adopted b%
the National Labor elations Co!!ission is unreasonable and lac2s le,al basis.
1he petition lac2s !erit. Conse7uentl%, its dis!issal is in order.
Collective bar,ainin, +hich is defined as ne,otiations to+ards a collective a,ree!ent,
is one of the
de!ocratic fra!e+or2s under the Ne+ Labor Code, desi,ned to stabili@e the relation bet+een labor and
!ana,e!ent and to create a cli!ate of sound and stable industrial peace. It is a !utual responsibilit% of
the e!plo%er and the 0nion and is characteri@ed as a le,al obli,ation. So !uch so that .rticle &/), par.
",# of the Labor Code !a2es it an unfair labor practice for an e!plo%er to refuse >to !eet and convene
pro!ptl% and e9peditiousl% in ,ood faith for the purpose of ne,otiatin, an a,ree!ent +ith respect to
+a,es, hours of +or2, and all other ter!s and conditions of e!plo%!ent includin, proposals for ad-ustin,
an% ,rievance or 7uestion arisin, under such an a,ree!ent and e9ecutin, a contract incorporatin, such
a,ree!ent, if re7uested b% either part%.
Ahile it is a !utual obli,ation of the parties to bar,ain, the e!plo%er, ho+ever, is not under an% le,al
dut% to initiate contract ne,otiation.
1he !echanics of collective bar,ainin, is set in !otion onl% +hen
the follo+in, -urisdictional preconditions are present, na!el%, "(# possession of the status of !a-orit%
representation of the e!plo%ees; representative in accordance +ith an% of the !eans of selection or
desi,nation provided for b% the Labor CodeC "&# proof of !a-orit% representationC and "4# a de!and to
bar,ain under .rticle &<(, par. "a# of the Ne+ Labor Code . ... all of +hich preconditions are undisputedl%
present in the instant case.
=ro! the over:all conduct of petitioner co!pan% in relation to the tas2 of ne,otiation, there can be no
doubt that the 0nion has a valid cause to co!plain a,ainst its "Co!pan%;s# attitude, the totalit% of
+hich is indicative of the latter;s disre,ard of, and failure to live up to, +hat is en-oined b% the Labor
Code D to bar,ain in ,ood faith.
Ae are in total confor!it% +ith respondent NLC;s pronounce!ent that petitioner Co!pan% is
E0IL1F of unfair labor practice. It has been indubitabl% established that "(# respondent 0nion +as a
dul% certified bar,ainin, a,entC "&# it !ade a definite re7uest to bar,ain, acco!panied +ith a cop% of
the proposed Collective 8ar,ainin, .,ree!ent, to the Co!pan% not onl% once but t+ice +hich +ere
left unans+ered and unacted uponC and "4# the Co!pan% !ade no counter proposal +hatsoever all
of +hich conclusivel% indicate lac2 of a sincere desire to ne,otiate.
. Co!pan%;s refusal to !a2e
counter proposal if considered in relation to the entire bar,ainin, process, !a% indicate bad faith and this
is speciall% true +here the 0nion;s re7uest for a counter proposal is left unans+ered.
Even durin, the
period of co!pulsor% arbitration before the NLC, petitioner Co!pan%;s approach and attitude:stallin, the
ne,otiation b% a series of postpone!ents, non:appearance at the hearin, conducted, and undue dela% in
sub!ittin, its financial state!ents, lead to no other conclusion e9cept that it is un+illin, to ne,otiate and
reach an a,ree!ent +ith the 0nion. Petitioner has not at an% instance, evinced ,ood faith or +illin,ness
to discuss freel% and full% the clai!s and de!ands set forth b% the 0nion !uch less -ustif% its opposition
1he case at bar is not a case of first i!pression, for in the Herald Delivery Carriers Union (PAFU! vs.
Herald Publications
the rule had been laid do+n that >unfair labor practice is co!!itted +hen it is sho+n
that the respondent e!plo%er, after havin, been served +ith a +ritten bar,ainin, proposal b% the
petitionin, 0nion, did not even bother to sub!it an ans+er or repl% to the said proposal 1his doctrine +as
reiterated ane+ in "radman vs. Court of Industrial #elations
+herein it +as further ruled that >+hile the
la+ does not co!pel the parties to reach an a,ree!ent, it does conte!plate that both parties +ill
approach the ne,otiation +ith an open !ind and !a2e a reasonable effort to reach a co!!on ,round of
.s a last:ditch atte!pt to effect a reversal of the decision sou,ht to be revie+ed, petitioner
capitali@es on the issue of due process clai!in,, that it +as denied the ri,ht to be heard and present
its side +hen the Labor .rbiter denied the Co!pan%;s !otion for further postpone!ent.
Petitioner;s aforesaid sub!ittal failed to i!press 0s. Considerin, the various postpone!ents ,ranted
in its behalf, the clai!ed denial of due process appeared totall% bereft of an% le,al and factual
support. .s herein earlier stated, petitioner had not even honored respondent 0nion +ith an% repl% to
the latter;s successive letters, all ,eared to+ards brin,in, the Co!pan% to the bar,ainin, table. It did
not even bother to furnish or serve the 0nion +ith its counter proposal despite persistent re7uests
!ade therefor. Certainl%, the !oves and overall behavior of petitioner:co!pan% +ere in total
dero,ation of the polic% enshrined in the Ne+ Labor Code +hich is ai!ed to+ards e9peditin,
settle!ent of econo!ic disputes. Bence, this Court is not prepared to affi9 its i!pri!atur to such an
ille,al sche!e and dubious !aneuvers.
Neither are AE persuaded b% petitioner:co!pan%;s stand that the Collective 8ar,ainin, .,ree!ent
+hich +as approved and adopted b% the NLC is a total nullit% for it lac2s the co!pan%;s consent,
!uch less its ar,u!ent that once the Collective 8ar,ainin, .,ree!ent is i!ple!ented, the
Co!pan% +ill face the prospect of closin, do+n because it has to pa% a sta,,erin, a!ount of
econo!ic benefits to the 0nion that +ill e7ual if not e9ceed its capital. Such a stand and the
evidence in support thereof should have been presented before the Labor .rbiter +hich is the proper
foru! for the purpose.
Ae a,ree +ith the pronounce!ent that it is not obli,ator% upon either side of a labor controvers% to
precipitatel% accept or a,ree to the proposals of the other. 8ut an errin, part% should not be tolerated
and allo+ed +ith i!punit% to resort to sche!es fei,nin, ne,otiations b% ,oin, throu,h e!pt%
More so, as in the instant case, +here the intervention of the National Labor elations
Co!!ission +as properl% sou,ht for after conciliation efforts underta2en b% the 8L failed. 1he instant
case bein, a certified one, it !ust be resolved b% the NLC pursuant to the !andate of P.D. 5*4, as
a!ended, +hich authori@es the said bod% to deter!ine the reasonableness of the ter!s and conditions of
e!plo%!ent e!bodied in an% Collective 8ar,ainin, .,ree!ent. 1o that e9tent, ut!ost deference to its
findin,s of reasonableness of an% Collective 8ar,ainin, .,ree!ent as the ,overnin, a,ree!ent b% the
e!plo%ees and !ana,e!ent !ust be accorded due respect b% this Court.
ABEE=OE, the instant petition is DISMISSED. 1he te!porar% restrainin, order issued on .u,ust
&*, ()5', is LI=1ED and SE1 .SIDE.
No pronounce!ent as to costs.
Concepcion$ %r.$ (Chairman!$ Abad &antos$ 'scolin and Alampay$ %%.$ concur.

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