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[193 SCRA 271]
Singer Machine Collectors Union-Baguio filed a petition for direct certification as the sole and exclusive bargaining
agent of all collectors of Singer Sewing Machine. The company opposed the petition mainly because the union
members are not employees but independent contractors as evidenced by the collection agency agreement which
they signed.
Med-Arbiter ruled that there exists an employee-employer relationship and granted the certification election which
was affirmed by Sec. Drilon. The company files the present petition on the determination of the relationship. The
union insist that the provisions of the Collection Agreement belie the companys position that the union members are
independent contractors.
Whether or not there exists an employer-employee relationship between the parties.
SC Ruling:
The present case calls for the application of the control test, which if not satisfied, would lead to the conclusion that
no employee-employer relationship exists. If the union members are not employees, no right to organize for the
purpose of bargaining or as a bargaining agent cannot be recognized.
The following elements are generally considered in the determination of the relationship: the selection and
engagement of the employee, payment of wages, power of dismissal and the power to control the employees
conduct which is the most important element.
The nature of the relationship between a company and its collecting agents depends on the circumstances of each
particular relationship. Not all collecting agents are employees and neither are all collecting agents independent
contractors. The agreement confirms the status of the collecting agents as independent contractor. The requirement
that collection agents utilize only receipt forms and report forms issued by the company and that reports shall be
submitted at least once a week is not necessarily an indication of control over the means by which the job collection
is to be performed. Even if report requirements are to be called control measures, any control is only with respect to
the end result of the collection since the requirements regulate the things to be done after the performance of the
collection job or the rendition of service.
The plain language of the agreement reveals that the designation as collection agent does not create an employment
relationship and that the applicant is to be considered at all times as an independent contractor.
The court finds that since private respondents are not employees of the company, they are not entitled to the
constitutional right to form or join a labor organization for the purposes of collective bargaining. There is no
constitutional and legal basis for their union to be granted their petition for direct certification.