You are on page 1of 2

SUGBUANON RURAL BANK, INC. vs. Usec.

BIENVENIDO LAGUESMA
G.R. No. 116194

February 2, 2000

When the employee does not have access to confidential labor relations information, there is no legal
prohibition against confidential employees from forming, assisting, or joining a union.

FACTS:
Petitioner is a duly-registered banking institution in Cebu, while private respondent APSOTEU-TUCP was
a labor organization duly-registered with the Labor Department. APSOTEU filed a petition for
certification election of the 5 supervisory employees. SRBI filed a motion to dismiss the union's petition
on two grounds. First, that the members of union were in fact managerial or confidential employees and
were to be disqualified from forming or joining unions. Second, the Association of Labor Unions-TUCP
was representing the union. Since ALU-TUCP also sought to represent the rank-and-file employees of
SRBI, there was a violation of the principle of separation of unions. The union argued that its members
were not managerial employees but merely supervisory employees.
The Med-Arbiter denied petitioner's motion to dismiss. The same was denied on appeal to the Secretary of
Labor and Employment. Thus, the certification election was ordered.

Subsequently, the petition reached DOLE Regional Office seeking the cancellation of the respondent
union's registration. Respondent DOLE Undersecretary denied SRBI's appeal for lack of merit. He ruled
that APSOTEU-TUCP was a legitimate labor organization fully entitled to all the rights and privileges
granted by law including the right to file a petition for certification election.

ISSUE: Should the petition for certification election be granted?

HELD: Yes.

The petitioner bank failed to show that their Cashiers, Accountant, and Acting Chief of the Loans
Department possessed managerial powers and duties. At best they only had recommendatory powers
subject to evaluation, review, and final decision by the bank's management. The job description forms
submitted by petitioner clearly show that the union members in question may not transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, discharge, assign, or discipline employees. Moreover, the forms also do not indicate that said
officers could formulate and execute management policies which are normally expected of management
officers. Neither could the union members be treated as confidential employees. Although the cashier
serves the bank's management, it could not be deemed to have access to confidential information
specifically relating to SRBI's labor relations policies.

As regards the issue on the violation of the principle of separation of unions, records show that
respondent union was initially assisted by ALU during its preliminary stages. A local union maintains its
separate personality despite affiliation with a larger national federation. APSOTEU-TUCP had separate
legal personality from ALU and TUCP.

The law frowns on a union where the membership is composed of both supervisors and rank-and-file
employees, for fear that conflicts of interest may arise in the areas of discipline, collective bargaining, and
strikes. However, in the present case, none of the members of the respondent union came from the rankand-file employees of the bank.