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VOL. 170, FEBRUARY 8, 1989 25 Isidro D. Amoroso for New San Miguel Corp.

Sales Force
San Miguel Brewery Sales Force Union (PTGWO) vs. Ople Union.
_______________
G.R. No. 53515. February 8, 1989. *

SAN MIGUEL BREWERY SALES FORCE UNION (PTGWO), *FIRST DIVISION.


petitioner, vs. HON. BLAS F. OPLE, as Minister of Labor and 26
SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, respondents. 26 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Labor Law; Labor Relations; Unfair Labor Practice; The free San Miguel Brewery Sales Force Union (PTGWO) vs. Ople
will of management to conduct its own business affairs to achieve its Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako for private
purpose cannot be denied.Public respondent was correct in holding
respondent.
that the CDS is a valid exercise of management prerogatives:
Except as limited by special laws, an employer is free to regulate,
GRIO-AQUINO, J.:
according to his own discretion and judgment, all aspects of
employment, including hiring, work assignments, working methods,
This is a petition for review of the Order dated February 28,
time, place and manner of work, tools to be used, processes to be
followed, supervision of workers, working regulations, transfer of
1980 of the Minister of Labor in Labor Case No. AJML-069-79,
employees, work supervision, lay-off of workers and the discipline, approving the private respondents marketing scheme, known
dismissal and recall of work. x x x (NLU vs. Insular La Yebana Co., as the Complementary Distribution System (CDS), and
2 SCRA 924; Republic Savings Bank vs. CIR, 21 SCRA 226, 235.) dismissing the petitioner labor unions complaint for unfair
(Perfecto V. Hernandez, Labor Relations Law, 1985 Ed., p. 44.) labor practice.
Every business enterprise endeavors to increase its profits. In the On April 17, 1978, a collective bargaining agreement
process, it may adopt or devise means designed towards that goal. (effective on May 1, 1978 until January 31, 1981) was entered
In Abott Laboratories vs. NLRC, 154 SCRA 713, We ruled: x x x into by petitioner San Miguel Corporation Sales Force Union
Even as the law is solicitous of the welfare of the employees, it must (PTGWO), and the private respondent, San Miguel
also protect the right of an employer to exercise what are clearly Corporation, Section 1, of Article IV of which provided as
management prerogatives. The free will of management to conduct
follows:
its own business affairs to achieve its purpose cannot be denied. So
Art. IV, Section 1. Employees within the appropriate bargaining
long as a companys management prerogatives are exercised in good
unit shall be entitled to a basic monthly compensation plus
faith for the advancement of the employers interest and not for the
commission based on their respective sales. (p. 6, Annex A; p. 113,
purpose of defeating or circumventing the rights of the employees
Rollo.)
under special laws or under valid agreements, this Court will uphold
them (LVN Pictures Workers vs. LVN, 35 SCRA 147; Phil. American
In September 1979, the company introduced a marketing
Embroideries vs. Embroidery and Garment Workers, 26 SCRA 634; scheme known as the Complementary Distribution System
Phil. Refining Co. vs. Garcia, 18 SCRA 110). (CDS) whereby its beer products were offered for sale directly
to wholesalers through San Miguels sales offices.
PETITION for certiorari to review the order of the Minister The labor union (herein petitioner) filed a complaint for
of Labor. unfair labor practice in the Ministry of Labor, with a notice of
strike on the ground that the CDS was contrary to the existing
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. marketing scheme whereby the Route Salesmen were
Lorenzo F. Miravite for petitioner. assigned specific territories within which to sell their stocks of
beer, and wholesalers had to buy beer products from them, not hereby dismissed. Management however is hereby ordered to pay an
from the company. It was alleged that the new marketing additional three (3) months back adjustment commissions over and
scheme violates Section 1, Article IV of the collective above the adjusted commission under the complementary
bargaining agreement because the introduction of the CDS distribution system. (p. 26, Rollo.)
would reduce the take-home pay of the salesmen and their The petition has no merit.
truck helpers for the company would be unfairly competing Public respondent was correct in holding that the CDS is a
with them. valid exercise of management prerogatives:
Except as limited by special laws, an employer is free to regulate,
The complaint filed by the petitioner against the
according to his own discretion and judgment, all aspects of
respondent company raised two issues: (1) whether the CDS
employment, including hiring, work assignments, working methods,
violates the collective bargaining agreement, and (2) whether time, place and manner of work, tools to be used, processes to be
it is an indirect way of busting the union. followed, supervision of workers, working regulations, transfer of
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employees, work supervision, lay-off of workers and the discipline,
VOL. 170, FEBRUARY 8, 1989 27 dismissal and recall of work. x x x (NLU vs. Insular La Yebana Co., 2
San Miguel Brewery Sales Force Union (PTGWO) vs. Ople SCRA 924;
In its order of February 28, 1980, the Minister of Labor found: 28
x x x We see nothing in the record as to suggest that the unilateral 28 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
action of the employer in inaugurating the new sales scheme was San Miguel Brewery Sales Force Union (PTGWO) vs. Ople
designed to discourage union organization or diminish its influence, Republic Savings Bank vs. CIR, 21 SCRA 226, 235.) (Perfecto V.
but rather it is undisputable that the establishment of such scheme Hernandez, Labor Relations Law, 1985 Ed., p. 44.) (Italics ours.)
was part of its overall plan to improve efficiency and economy and Every business enterprise endeavors to increase its profits. In
at the same time gain profit to the highest. While it may be admitted the process, it may adopt or devise means designed towards
that the introduction of new sales plan somewhat disturbed the
that goal. In Abott Laboratories vs. NLRC, 154 SCRA 713, We
present set-up, the change however was too insignificant as to
ruled:
convince this Office to interpret that the innovation interferred with
x x x Even as the law is solicitous of the welfare of the employees,
the workers right to self-organization.
it must also protect the right of an employer to exercise what are
Petitioners conjecture that the new plan will sow dissatisfaction
clearly management prerogatives. The free will of management to
from its ranks is already a prejudgment of the plans viability and
conduct its own business affairs to achieve its purpose cannot be
effectiveness. It is like saying that the plan will not work out to the
denied.
workers [benefit] and therefore management must adopt a new
system of marketing. But what the petitioner failed to consider is So long as a companys management prerogatives are
the fact that corollary to the adoption of the assailed marketing exercised in good faith for the advancement of the employers
technique is the effort of the company to compensate whatever loss interest and not for the purpose of defeating or circumventing
the workers may suffer because of the new plan over and above than the rights of the employees under special laws or under valid
what has been provided in the collective bargaining agreement. To agreements, this Court will uphold them (LVN Pictures
us, this is one indication that the action of the management is devoid Workers vs. LVN, 35 SCRA 147; Phil. American Embroideries
of any anti-union hues. (pp. 24-25, Rollo.) vs. Embroidery and Garment Workers, 26 SCRA 634; Phil.
The dispositive part of the Ministers Order reads: Refining Co. vs. Garcia, 18 SCRA 110). San Miguel
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the notice of strike filed by Corporations offer to compensate the members of its sales
the petitioner, San Miguel Brewery Sales Force Union-PTGWO is force who will be adversely affected by the implementation of
the CDS, by paying them a so-called back adjustment
commission to make up for the commissions they might lose
as a result of the CDS, proves the companys good faith and
lack of intention to bust their union.
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is dismissed for
lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
Narvasa, Cruz, Gancayco and Medialdea, JJ.,concur.
Petition dismissed.
Note.In labor cases the procedural principles discussed
by Justice Barredo in his dissenting opinion must yield to the
social justice and protection to labor provisions of the
Constitution. (Air Manila, Inc. vs. Court of Industrial
Relations, 101 SCRA 472.)

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