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7. Piero vs.

NLRC
DOCTRINE: An employee who is dismissed for cause is generally not entitled to any financial
assistance. Equity considerations, however, provide an exception. Equity has been defined as
justice outside law, being ethical rather than jural and belonging to the sphere of morals than of
law. It is grounded on the precepts of conscience and not on any sanction of positive law, for
equity finds no room for application where there is law.
FACTS:
Private respondent Dumaguete Cathedral College, Inc., an educational institution, is the
employer of the faculty and staff members comprising the labor union DUCACOFSA-NAFTEU.
On December 19, 1986, DUCACOFSA (then affiliated with the National Alliance of Teachers and
Allied Workers NATAW) and private respondent entered into a Collective Bargaining
Agreement (CBA) effective for 3 years. Upon the expiration of their CBA in 1989, the parties
failed to conclude another CBA which led DUCACOFSA (now affiliated with NAFTEU) to file a
notice of strike with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on the ground of refusal
to bargain. On November 4, 1991, DUCACOFSA-NAFTEU conducted a strike in the premises
of private respondent without submitting to the DOLE the required results of the strike vote
obtained from the members of the union. Private respondent filed a complaint to declare the
strike illegal and dismiss the union officers including herein petitioner who was the president of
the union.
LA rendered a decision in favor of private respondent declaring the strike illegal and the union
officers to have lost their employment status effective October 28,1994 (the date of the
decision).
Pending the NLRC appeal, the officers were allowed to return to work by virtue of a
memorandum of agreement entered into between the union and private respondent without
prejudice to the outcome of the appeal.
NLRC affirmed the LA decision and added that the union had no personality to hold a strike
because it was not a legitimate labor organization.
CA affirmed the decision. Piero brought the petition before the SC.
ISSUES:
WON the strike was illegal
If yes, should Piero be dismissed
HELD:
YES
The union is a legitimate labor organization as settled by the NLRC decision in Case No. V0432-93, however the union failed to hold a strike vote and submit its result to the DOLE prior to

the holding of a strike. In the case at bar, DUCACOFSA-NAFTEU failed to prove that it obtained
the required strike-vote among its members and that the results thereof were submitted to the
DOLE.
The strike was therefore correctly declared illegal, for non-compliance with the
procedural requirements of Article 263 of the Labor Code, and Piero properly dismissed from
service. Pursuant to Article 264 of the Labor Code, any union officer who knowingly participates
in an illegal strike and any worker or union officer who knowingly participates in the commission
of illegal acts during a strike may be declared to have lost his employment status.
The Court notes that petitioner Piero turned 60 years old and retired on March 1,
1996 after 29 years of service, rendering his dismissal from service moot and
academic. However, in view of the propriety of his termination as a consequence of the illegal
strike, he is no longer entitled to payment of retirement benefits because he lost his employment
status effective as of the date of the decision of the Labor Arbiter October 28, 1994. Although
meriting termination of employment, Pieros infraction is not so reprehensible nor unscrupulous
as to warrant complete disregard of his long years of service. Moreover, he has no previous
derogatory records. Weighed on the scales of justice, conscience and reason tip in favor of
granting financial assistance to support him in the twilight of his life after long years of service.
Under the circumstances, social and compassionate justice dictate that petitioner Piero
be awarded financial assistance equivalent to one-half (1/2) months pay for every year of
service computed from his date of employment up to October 28, 1994 when he was declared
to have lost his employment status. Indeed, equities of this case should be accorded due
weight because labor law determinations are not only secundum rationem but also secundum
caritatem.