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T & H SHOPLIFTERS CORP.

, GIN QUEEN CORPORATION VS T & H SHOPLIFTERS


CORPORATION, GIN QUEEN WORKERS UNION
G.R. NO. 191714, FEBRUARY 26, 2014
DOCTRINE: A certification election is the sole concern of the workers, save when the employer
itself has to file the petition, but even after such filing, its role in the certification process ceases
and becames merely a bystander. Petitioner-companies had no business persuading and/or
assisting its employees in their legally protected independent process of selecting their exclusive
bargaining representative. To interfere = ULP

FACTS: The workers union filed their Complaint for ULP against T&H Shopfitters and Gin Queen
before the Labor Arbiter. In their desire to improve their working conditions, respondents and
other employees of petitioners held their first formal meeting to discuss the formation of a union.
The following day, (17) employees were barred from entering petitioners factory premises
located in Castillejos, Zambales, and ordered to transfer to T&H Shopfitters warehouse at Subic
purportedly because of its expansion. Afterwards, the said seventeen (17) employees were
repeatedly ordered to go on forced leave due to the unavailability of work.

Respondents contended that the affected employees were not given regular work assignments,
while subcontractors were continuously hired to perform their functions. During mediation,
Petitioners agreed to give priority to regular employees in the distribution of work assignments.
Respondents averred, however, that petitioners never complied.

The Union filed a petition for certification election. An order was issued to hold the certification
election in both T&H Shopfitters and Gin Queen.

A day preceding the certification election, Petitioners sponsored a field trip to Iba, Zambales, for
its employees. The officers and members of the THS-GQ Union were purportedly excluded from
the field trip. On the evening of the field trip, a sales officer of petitioners, campaigned against
the union in the forthcoming certification election.

The following day, the employees were escorted from the field trip to the polling center in
Zambales to cast their votes. Due to the heavy pressure exerted by petitioners, the votes for "no
union" prevailed. The Union filed its protest with respect to the certification election proceedings.

LA: Dismissed respondents UNIONs complaint and all their money claims for lack of merit.

NLRC: Reversed and ruled in favor of respondents. It reasoned: The respondents [herein
petitioners] committed ULP acts consisting in interfering with the exercise of the employees
right to self-organization (specifically, sponsoring a field trip on the day preceding the
certification election, warning the employees of dire consequences should the union prevail, and
escorting them to the polling center) and discriminating in regard to conditions of employment in
order to discourage union membership (assigning union officers and active union members as
grass cutters on rotation basis).

CA: Sustained the NLRC ruling.

ISSUE: Whether Petitioner is interfered with the unions certification election

Held: Yes. The questioned acts of petitioners, namely: (1) sponsoring a field trip to Zambales for
its employees, to the exclusion of union members, before the scheduled certification election; (2)
the active campaign by the sales officer of petitioners against the union prevailing as a
bargaining agent during the field trip; (3) escorting its employees after the field trip to the polling
center; (4) the continuous hiring of subcontractors performing respondents functions; (5)
assigning union members to the Cabangan site to work as grass cutters; and (6) the enforcement
of work on a rotational basis for union members, all reek of interference on the part of
petitioners.

Indubitably, the various acts of petitioners, taken together, reasonably support an inference that,
indeed, such were all orchestrated to restrict respondents free exercise of their right to self-
organization. The Court is of the considered view that petitioners undisputed actions prior and
immediately before the scheduled certification election, while seemingly innocuous, unduly
meddled in the affairs of its employees in selecting their exclusive bargaining representative. In
Holy Child Catholic School v. Hon. Patricia Sto. Tomas, the Court ruled that a certification election
was the sole concern of the workers, save when the employer itself had to file the petition, but
even after such filing, its role in the certification process ceased and became merely a bystander.

Here, petitioners had no business persuading and/or assisting its employees in their legally
protected independent process of selecting their exclusive bargaining representative. The fact
and peculiar timing of the field trip sponsored by petitioners for its employees not affiliated with
THS-GQ Union, although a positive enticement, was undoubtedly extraneous influence designed
to impede respondents in their quest to be certified. This cannot be countenanced.

Not content with achieving a "no union" vote in the certification election, petitioners launched a
vindictive campaign against union members by assigning work on a rotational basis while
subcontractors performed the latters functions regularly. Worse, some of the respondents were
made to work as grass cutters in an effort to dissuade them from further collective action. Again,
this cannot be countenanced.

WHEREFORE, the November 12, 2009 Decision of the Court of Appeals and its March 24, 2010
Resolution, in CA-G.R. SP No. 107188, are AFFIRMED, except with respect to the award of
attorney's fees which is hereby DELETED.

SO ORDERED.

DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY AND DR. QUEBENGCO VS DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY


EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (DLSUEU-NAFTEU)
G.R. NO. 177283 ; APRIL 7,2009

It is axiomatic in labor relations that a Collective Bargaining Agreement entered into by a


legitimate labor organization and an employer becomes the law between the parties,
compliance with which is mandated by express policy of the law.

In 2001, a splinter group of the De La Salle University Employees Association (DLSU-


NAFTEU) led by one Belen Aliazas (Aliazas group) filed a petition for conduct of elections
with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), alleging that the then incumbent
officers of DLSU-NAFTEU had failed to call for a regular election since 1985. DOLE-NCR
held that the holdover authority of DLSU-NAFTEUs incumbent set of officers had been
extinguished by virtue of the execution of the CBA. It accordingly ordered the conduct of
elections to be placed under the control and supervision of its Labor Relations Division
and subject to pre-election conferences. Even with the conditions for the conduct
of election imposed by the DOLE-NCR, DLSU-NAFTEU called for a regular election without
prior notice to the DOLE and without the conduct of pre-election conference. The incident
prompted the Aliazas group to file an Urgent Motion for Intervention with the Bureau of
Labor Relations (BLR) of the DOLE. The BLR granted the Aliazas groups motion for
intervention three days before the intended date of election.

The Aliazas group requested the University to escrow all union dues/agency fees and
whatever money considerations deducted from salaries of concerned co-academic
personnel until such time that an election of union officials has been scheduled and
subsequent elections has been held. DLSU and Quebengcos move prompted DLSU-
NAFTEU to file a complaint for Unfair Labor Practice (ULP complaint), claiming that they
unduly interfered with its internal affairs and discriminated against its members.
The Labor Arbiter dismissed DLSU-NAFTEUs ULP complaint. The Court of
Appeals reversed the said Order of the NLRC with respect to the subsuming of ULPs
complaint under the certified case, the ULP complaint having been, at the time the NLRC
Third Division Order was issued, already disposed of by the Arbiter and was in fact
pending appeal before the NLRC Second Division.

ISSUE:
Whether or not DLSU and Quebengco is guilty of unfair labor practice

HELD:
On the other matter raised by DLSU and Quebengco that their acts of withholding
union and agency dues and suspension of normal relations with respondents incumbent
set of officers pending the intra-union dispute did not constitute interference, the Court
finds for DLSU-NAFTEU.

Pending the final resolution of the intra-union dispute, DLSU-NAFTEUs officers remained
duly authorized to conduct union affairs. It bears noting that at the time DLSU and
Quebengcos questioned moves were adopted, a valid and existing CBA had been
entered between the parties. It thus behooved DLSU to observe the terms and conditions
thereof bearing on union dues and representation. It is axiomatic in labor relations that a
CBA entered into by a legitimate labor organization and an employer becomes the law
between the parties, compliance with which is mandated by express policy of the law.

Respecting the issue of damages, DLSU-NAFTEU, in its Position Paper before the
Labor Arbiter, prayed for the award of exemplary damages, nominal damages, and
attorneys fees.

Exemplary or corrective damages are imposed by way of example or correction for the
public good in addition to the moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages.
While the amount of exemplary damages need not be proved, respondent must show
proof of entitlement to moral, temperate or compensatory damages before the Court
may consider awarding exemplary damages. No such damages were prayed for,
however, hence, the Court finds no basis to grant the prayer for exemplary damages.

ARELLANO UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS UNION VS CA


G.R. NO. 139940 ; SEPTEMBER 19,2006

An ordinary striking worker may not be declared to have lost his employment
status by mere participation in an illegal strike.

The Arellano University Employees and Workers Union (the Union), the exclusive
bargaining representative of about 380 rank-and-file employees of Arellano University,
Inc. (the University), filed with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) a
Notice of Strike charging the University with Unfair Labor Practice (ULP). After several
controversies and petitions, a strike was staged. Upon the lifting of the strike, the
University filed a Petition to Declare the Strike Illegal before the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC). The NLRC issued a Resolution holding that the University was not
guilty of ULP.

Consequently, the strike was declared illegal. All the employees who participated
in the illegal strike were thereafter declared to have lost their employment status.

ISSUE:
Whether or not an employee is deemed to have lost his employment by mere
participation in an illegal strike

HELD:
Under Article 264 of the Labor Code, an ordinary striking worker may not be
declared to have lost his employment status by mere participation in an illegal strike.
There must be proof that he knowingly participated in the commission of illegal acts
during the strike. While the University adduced photographs showing strikers picketing
outside the university premises, it failed to identify who they were. It thus failed to meet
the substantiality of evidence test applicable in dismissal cases. With respect to the
union officers, as already discussed, their mere participation in the illegal strike warrants
their dismissal.

ST. JOHNS ACADEMY INC. VS ST. JOHN ACADEMY FACULTY AND EMPLOYEES
UNION
G.R. NO. 167892 ; OCTOBER 27,2006

FACTS:

Petitioner St. John Colleges, Inc. (SJCI) is a domestic corporation which owns and operates
the St. Johns Academy (later renamed St. John Colleges) in Calamba, Laguna. Prior to 1998, the
Academy offered a secondary course only. The high school then employed about 80 teaching and
non-teaching personnel who were members of the St. John Academy Faculty & Employees Union
(Union). The CBA between SJCI and the Union was set to expire on May 31, 1997.
During the ensuing collective bargaining negotiations, SJCI rejected all the proposals of the
Union for an increase in workers benefits. This resulted to a bargaining deadlock which led to the
holding of a valid strike by the Union on November 10, 1997.

In order to end the strike, SJCI and the Union, through the efforts of the NCMB, agreed to
refer the labor dispute to the Secretary of Labor and Employment (SOLE) for assumption of
jurisdiction. After which, the strike ended and classes resumed. Subsequently, the SOLE issued
an Order dated January19, 1998 assuming jurisdiction over the labor dispute pursuant to Article
263 of the Labor Code. The parties were required to submit their respective position papers.
Pending resolution of the labor dispute before the SOLE, the Board of Directors of SJCI approved
on February 22, 1998 a resolution recommending the closure of the high school which was
approved by the stockholders on even date.

Thereafter, SJCI informed the DOLE, DECS, parents, students and the Union of the
impending closure of the high school which took effect on March 31, 1998. Subsequently, some
teaching and non-teaching personnel of the high school agreed to the closure. Some 51
employees had received their separation compensation package while 25 employees refused to
accept the same. Instead, these employees conducted a protest action within the perimeter of
the high school. The Union filed a notice of strike. Thereafter SJCI filed a petition to declare the
strike illegal before the NLRC. It claimed that the strike was conducted in violation of the
procedural requirements for holding a valid strike under the Labor Code. Subsequently, the 25
employees filed a complaint for unfair labor practice (ULP), illegal dismissal and non-payment of
monetary benefits against SJCI before the NLRC, alleging that the closure of the high school was
done in bad faith in order to get rid of the Union and render useless any decision of the SOLE on
the CBA deadlocked issues.

LA: Dismissed the Unions complaint for ULP and illegal dismissal while granting SJCIs petition to
declare the strike illegal coupled with a declaration of loss of employment status of the 25 Union
members involved in the strike.[SOLE: Union filed a manifestation to maintain the status quo on
March 30, 1998 praying that SJCI be enjoined from closing the high school. It claimed that the
decision of SJCI to close the high school violated the SOLEs assumption order and the agreement
of the parties not to take any retaliatory action against the other. For its part, SJCI filed a motion
to dismiss with entry of appearance on October 14, 1998 claiming that the closure of the high
school rendered the CBA deadlocked issues moot. The SOLE denied SJCIs motions to dismiss and
certified the CBA deadlock case to the NLRC] After the favorable decision of the Labor Arbiter,
SJCI resolved to reopen the high school for school year 1999-2000. However, it did not restore
the high school teaching and non-teaching employees it earlier terminated. That same school
year SJCI opened an elementary and college department.

NLRC: Rendered judgment reversing the decision of the Labor Arbiter. It found SJCI guilty of ULP
and illegal dismissal and ordered it to reinstate the 25 employees to their former positions
without loss of seniority rights and other benefits, and with full backwages. It also required SJCI
to pay moral and exemplary damages, attorneys fees, and two (2) months summer/vacation
pay. Moreover, it ruled that the mass actions conducted by the 25 employees on May 4, 1998
could not be considered as a strike since, by then, the employer-employee relationship had
already been terminated due to the closure of the high school.

CA: Affirmed the Decision of the NLRC

ISSUE:

W/N the petitioner is guilty of ULP and illegal dismissal


HELD:

Yes, the petitioner is guilty of UPL and illegal dismissal, base on the following premise:

When SJCI reopened its high school, it did not rehire the Union members. Evidently, the
closure had achieved its purpose, that is, to get rid of the Union members.

Evidence provides that subsequent reopening of the high school after only one year from
its closure further show that the high schools closure was done in bad faith.

Thus, the SJCI asserts that the strike conducted by the 25 employees on May 4, 1998 was
illegal for failure to take the necessary strike vote and give a notice of strike. However, the High
Court finds for the findings of the NLRC and CA that the protest actions of the Union cannot be
considered a strike because, by then, the employer-employee relationship has long ceased to
exist because of the previous closure of the high school on March 31, 1998.

In sum, the timing of, and the reasons for the closure of the high school and its reopening
after only one year from the time it was closed down, show that the closure was done in bad faith
for the purpose of circumventing the Unions right to collective bargaining and its members right
to security of tenure. Consequently, SJCI is liable for ULP and illegal dismissal.

DIGITEL TELECOMMUNICATIONS PHILS. INC. VS DIGITEL EMPLOYEES UNION


(DEU)
G.R. NOS. 184903-04 , OCTOBER 10,2012

FACTS:

Digitel Employees Union and Digitel commenced collective bargaining negotiations which resulte
d in a bargaining deadlock. On despite the order of the Labor Secretary to execute a CBA, still, no
CBA was forged between Digitel and the Union. Some Union members abandoned their employm
ent with Digitel. The Union later became dormant. 10 years thereafter, Digitel received the Presid
ent of the Union, a letter containing the list of officers, CBA proposals and ground rules. Digitel w
as reluctant to negotiate with the Union and demanded that the latter show compliance with the
provisions of the Unions Constitution and By-laws on union membership and election of officers.

The faction filed a case for Preventive Mediation before the NCMB based on Digitels violation of t
he duty to bargain. During the pendency, Interactive Technology Solutions, Inc. (I-tech) was incor
porated. Then, Labor Secretary assumed jurisdiction over the labor dispute.

During the pendency of the controversy, Digitel Service, Inc. (Digiserv) filed with the DOLE an Est
ablishment Termination Report stating that it will cease its business operation. The closure affect
ed at least 100 employees, 42 of whom are members of the herein respondent Union.

ISSUE:

Whether or not an employer commits ULP when it closed down one of its enterprises resulting to
the dismissal of the union members pending the assumption order of the Secretary of Labor rega
rding its duty to bargain.

RULING:
Yes. Bad faith was manifested by the timing of the closure of Digiserv and the rehiring of some e
mployees to Interactive Technology Solutions, Inc. (I-tech), a corporate arm of Digitel. The timing
of the creation of I-tech is dubious. It was incorporated while the labor dispute within Digitel was
pending. I-techs primary purpose was to provide call center/customer contact service, the same
service provided by Digiserv. It conducts its business inside the Digitel office. The former head of
Digiserv is also an officer of I-tech. Thus, when Digiserv was closed down, some of the employees
presumably non-union members were rehired by I-tech.

Thus, the closure of Digiserv pending the existence of an assumption order coupled with the crea
tion of a new corporation performing similar functions as Digiserv leaves no iota of doubt that the
target of the closure are the union member-employees. These factual circumstances prove that D
igitel terminated the services of the affected employees to defeat their security of tenure. The ter
mination of service was not a valid retrenchment; it was an illegal dismissal of employees.

It needs to be mentioned too that the dismissal constitutes an unfair labor practice under Article
248(c) of the Labor Code which refers to contracting out services or functions being performed b
y union members when such will interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of th
eir rights to self-organization.

BPI EMPLOYEES UNION, DAVAO CITY FUBU VS BPI


G.R. NO. 174912 , JULY 24,2013

FACTS:

BPI Operations Management Corporation (BOMC), which was created pursuant to Central Bank
Circular No. 1388, Series of 1993 (CBP Circular No. 1388, 1993), and primarily engaged in
providing and/or handling support services for banks and other financial institutions, is a
subsidiary of the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) operating and functioning as an entirely
separate and distinct entity.

A service agreement between BPI and BOMC was initially implemented in BPIs Metro Manila
branches. In this agreement, BOMC undertook to provide services such as check clearing,
delivery of bank statements, fund transfers, card production, operations accounting and control,
and cash servicing, conformably with BSP Circular No. 1388. Not a single BPI employee was
displaced and those performing the functions, which were transferred to BOMC, were given other
assignments.

The Manila chapter of BPI Employees Union (BPIEU-Metro ManilaFUBU) then filed a complaint for
unfair labor practice (ULP). The Labor Arbiter (LA) decided the case in favor of the union. The
decision was, however, reversed on appeal by the NLRC. BPIEU-Metro Manila-FUBU filed a
petition for certiorari before the CA which denied it, holding that BPI transferred the employees in
the affected departments in the pursuit of its legitimate business.

The service agreement was likewise implemented in Davao City. Later, a merger between BPI
and Far East Bank and Trust Company (FEBTC) took effect on April 10, 2000 with BPI as the
surviving corporation. Thereafter, BPIs cashiering function and FEBTCs cashiering, distribution
and bookkeeping functions were handled by BOMC. Consequently, twelve (12) former FEBTC
employees were transferred to BOMC to complete the latters service complement.

BPI Davaos rank and file collective bargaining agent, BPI Employees Union-Davao City-FUBU
(Union), objected to the transfer of the functions and the twelve (12) personnel to BOMC
contending that the functions rightfully belonged to the BPI employees and that the Union was
deprived of membership of former FEBTC personnel who, by virtue of the merger, would have
formed part of the bargaining unit represented by the Union pursuant to its union shop provision
in the CBA.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the act of BPI to outsource the cashiering, distribution and bookkeeping
functions to BOMC is in conformity with the law and the existing CBA.

HELD:
Yes.

Labor Law- only gross violations of the economic provisions of the CBA are
treated as ULP. Otherwise, they are mere grievances.

In the present case, the alleged violation of the union shop agreement in the CBA, even
assuming it was malicious and flagrant, is not a violation of an economic provision in the
agreement. The provisions relied upon by the Union were those articles referring to the
recognition of the union as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of all rank-and-file
employees, as well as the articles on union security, specifically, the maintenance of
membership in good standing as a condition for continued employment and the union shop
clause. It failed to take into consideration its recognition of the banks exclusive rights and
prerogatives, likewise provided in the CBA, which included the hiring of employees, promotion,
transfers, and dismissals for just cause and the maintenance of order, discipline and efficiency in
its operations.

The Union, however, insists that jobs being outsourced to BOMC were included in the existing
bargaining unit, thus, resulting in a reduction of a number of positions in such unit. The reduction
interfered with the employees right to self-organization because the power of a union primarily
depends on its strength in number.

It is incomprehensible how the "reduction of positions in the collective bargaining unit" interferes
with the employees right to self-organization because the employees themselves were neither
transferred nor dismissed from the service. In the case at hand, the union has not presented
even an iota of evidence that petitioner bank has started to terminate certain employees,
members of the union. In fact, what appears is that the Bank has exerted utmost diligence, care
and effort to see to it that no union member has been terminated. In the process of the
consolidation or merger of the two banks which resulted in increased diversification of functions,
some of these non-banking functions were merely transferred to the BOMC without affecting the
union membership.

It is to be emphasized that contracting out of services is not illegal per se. It is an exercise of
business judgment or management prerogative. Absent proof that the management acted in a
malicious or arbitrary manner, the Court will not interfere with the exercise of judgment by an
employer. In this case, bad faith cannot be attributed to BPI because its actions were authorized
by CBP Circular No. 1388, Series of 1993 issued by the Monetary Board of the then Central Bank
of the Philippines (now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas).