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RIZAL CEMENT WORKERS v.

CIR
May 16, 1962 | Paredes, J. |
Digester: Alexis Bea
SUMMARY: Due to disagreements regarding collective bargaining
negotiations, RCW filed a Notice of Strike. During the Conciliation
Service, another Union (NWB) contracted a CBA with the
company. RCW then went on strike and the strike became violent.
CIR ordered the Company to reinstate all the striking members of
petitioner union to their former positions or substantially
equivalent positions, without back wages. Both parties sought an
MR which was denied. Thus, this petition for review. SC held that
RCW are not entitled to backwages. There is no finding of the CIR
that there was a lockout.
DOCTRINE: It could not be denied that the strikers failed to earn
the wages they ought to have received when they offered to return
to work but not accepted; but it likewise could not be denied that
because of the strike and how it was carried out, the employer also
suffered.



FACTS:
 Petitioner Union sent to respondent company, a letter
containing a set of proposals for the purpose of entering into a
collective bargaining contract with it.

A reply was made stating that it could not entertain the
proposals until after a certain case, which was then pending
with CIR, has been finally settled, since the demands in the
proposals and those involved in the pending case were the
same.
 Union, responding to the reply, claimed in a letter that the
proposals being submitted were distinct and separate from
those litigated in the above mentioned case.
 The Company answered the Union's letter and reiterated its
previous stand regarding the proposals.
 The Union then filed with the DOLE a Notice of Strike.
 At a conference (held by the Conciliation Service of DOLE), the
Union proposals were not discussed.
 Then, another Union, the Binangonan Labor Union (NWB),
presented a set of proposals with the respondent Rizal Cement
Company, and after a series of conferences held by the
Conciliation Service, a collective bargaining contract was

entered into between respondent company and the Binangonan
Labor Union.
The petitioner union declared a strike against respondent
company at its plant in Binangonan Rizal. The dispute was
certified by the President of the Philippines to the Court of
Industrial Relations (C.I.R.). (See Notes for what happened
during the strike)
Company: the notice of strike prescribed in Section 14, par.
(d) of Republic Act No. 875, applies to the strike in issue.
CIR: Disagrees because the present case involved a strike
against unfair labor practice acts, and not an economic strike.
The required 30-day notice which affords the parties cooling off
period within which to settle their difference through
processes of collective bargaining applies to economic strike.
o Ordered the Company to reinstate all the striking
members of petitioner union to their former positions or
substantially equivalent positions, without back wages.
Petitioner Union sought a reconsideration of the CIR decision
in so far as it did not award back wages contending that same
is contrary to law and the evidence on record.
Rizal Cement Company moved for a reconsideration of the
judgment, in so far as it considered the strike justified.
The CIR, en banc, denied both motions, with two Judges taking
no part. Only the petitioner Union appealed to this Court.

Whether or not the members of Rizal Cement Workers are
entitled to backwages—NO
 Company: the review has become academic and moot, since
the decision sought to be reviewed has already been
implemented and/or executed, in that the strikers affiliated
with the petitioner union, had returned to work and respondent
company has reinstated them to their former positions or
substantially equivalent positions, as ordered by respondent
court; that under the circumstances, petitioner is now
estopped from or has waived the right to question the legality
or validity of the decision.
 Petitioner principally based its claim for back wages on the
theory that there was lock-out or "virtual lock-out" which
prevented them to work. The law (Act No. 875), provides —
o SEC. 15. Violation of Duty to Bargain Collectively. — It
shall be unlawful for any employer to refuge to bargain
collectively with the representative of his employees, or
to declare a lockout without having first bargained
collectively with the representatives of his employees, in

it is then clear that such judicial pronouncement is based on the broad powers of respondent to adjust the parties in order to arrive into a happy solution of their dispute. And of what use is its power of conciliation and arbitration if it does not have the power and jurisdiction to carry into effect the solution it had adopted. It will thus be seen that under the above provision. a lockout. This is so because the respondent court found that the strike was attended by isolated acts of violence committed by the strikers and stated. That there was no lockout is clear from the observations of the respondent court. if said court has the power to fix the terms and conditions of employment. "the striking union decided on this question of strike which was carried out and maintained by picketing the respondent's cement plant at Binangonan Rizal". including the fixing of the terms and conditions of employment which embrace reinstatement of the strikers. Any employee whose work has stopped as a consequence of such lockout shall be entitled to backpay. said Court is authorized to exercise its powers of arbitration under the provisions of Act No. still the circumstances of the case would not justify the demand that the strikers are entitled ipso jure to back wages. if it refused to give work to its workers. can not be converted into a pure and simple lockout. The Decision and the En Banc Resolution disputed. The strike which was openly and publicly declared by the petitioner union on May 27. . o If respondent Court has the power to adjust a strike legal. Thus CIRstated in its Answer : o When this statement is preceded with an earlier statement made of the awareness of the Trial Court of the fact that passions and emotions run high at the heat of the strike. of Commonwealth Act No. but it likewise could not be denied that because of the strike and how it was carried out. in the same breath. by the mere obedient of filing before the trial court a notice of offer to return to work. the employer also suffered. The evident intention of the law is to empower the Court of Industrial Relations to act in such cases. but with the same broad powers and jurisdiction granted by that Act. a Philippine Constabulary detachment was assigned in the strike area to maintain peace and order  Union. and this is not disputed in this case. If the Court of Industrial Relations is granted authority to find a solution in an industrial dispute and such solution consists in the ordering of employees to return back to work. a PC officer named Lt. o This is in accordance with section 13. when it said. The offer to return to work made by the members of the petitioner. made an offer to respondent to return to work. 103. simply placed the parties in a situation where one gained none for the fault of the other and vice-versa. This is so because the case on the legality or not of the strike was then pending decision by the CIR and said Court did not issue any order in connection with said offer. The law does not provide for a virtual lockout. personal injuries or damage to property. 103. No finding was made by the CIR on the question of lockout. it certainly can order the return of the workers with or without backpay as a term or condition of employment. the lockout referred to is that which is committed by the employer. it cannot be contended that the Court of Industrial Relations does not have the power or jurisdiction to carry the solution into effect. 103. that certain degree of reason and fairness be accorded the strikers. But assuming. therefore. during the pendency of the labor dispute. Lastly. . as amended. in relation to Section 20. the effectivity of which is revived upon the certification of the labor dispute by the President to CIR Inasmuch as the present case has been certified by the President of the Philippines to the CIR.       accordance with the provisions of this Act. o It could not be denied that the strikers failed to earn the wages they ought to have received when they offered to return to work but not accepted. constituted a "virtual lock-out". with or without back wages. NOTES: What happened during the strike  During the strike. not only in the manner prescribed under said Act No. as amended. Petitioner alleges that said refusal to accept them. 1956. even as it is attended with violence. did not make the refusal to accept the same. then with equal reason respondent Court    could also declare that such striker may be reinstated without backwages. that the non-acceptance of the unconditional offer to return to work was a virtual lockout. . Emilio Simbulan was hit and struck with a piece of bamboo in the strike area . that at the height of the strike. in behalf of its striking members.

. that on March 18. 1956 because of the strike of petitioner union. 1954. and the employees not to strike. Jose Beltran. as a result of which its front windshield was broken.  Some workers of respondent company were not able to work on May 27. 1952. was found dead along the provincial highway near the strike area. that stones were hurled at the motor launch "Carbon" of respondent. enjoining respondent not to lockout its Employees. this Court issued an injunction order in Case No.  that on November 10. timekeeper of respondent Company. 676-V. a collective bargaining agreement was entered into by and between respondent and intervenor.