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LABOR LAW REVIEW CASE MATRIX VI

Strikes, Lockouts & Concerted Activities


TITLE Bukluran ng Manggagawa sa Clothman Knitting v. CA FACTS ISSUE/S - Whether or not the strike was valid. HELD - SC held that it was not valid. - It is apparent that the concerted effort of the members of the petitioner union and its supporters caused a temporary work stoppage. It is worthy to note that the whole company did not cease to operate and that it was only the workers in the Dyeing and Finishing Division who were affected by the temporary lay-off. Thus, when the respondents conducted a picket in front of the companys premises, the whole business operations of the respondent was affected. - As can be clearly inferred from the spot reports, employees from the knitting department also joined in picket. The blockade of the delivery of trucks and the attendance of employees from the other departments of the respondent meant work stoppage. The placards that the picketers caused to be displayed arose from matters concerning terms or conditions of employment as well as the association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or arranging the terms and conditions of employment. - Clearly, the petitioner union, its officers, members and supporters staged a strike. It bears stressing that the requirements for a valid strike are mandatory, meaning, non-compliance therewith makes the strike illegal. The DOCTRINE - In order for a strike to be valid, the following requirements laid down in paragraphs (c) and (f) of Article 263 of the Labor Code must be complied with: (a) a notice of strike must be filed; (b) a strike-vote must be taken; and (c) the results of the strike-vote must be reported to the DOLE.

- In 2001, the rank-and-file employees


at the Clothman Knitting Corp. formed the petitioner union, which was registered with the DOLE. A petition for certification election was later filed by the petitioner union with the BLR. - Pending the resolution of the petition for certification election, the CKC issued a Memorandum, informing the employees of the change in the schedule brought about by the decrease in the orders from the customers. - Subsequently, another Memorandum was issued by the respondent informing its employees at the Dyeing and Finishing Division that a temporary shutdown of the operations therein would be effected for one week. The employees were advised to go on vacation leave. - Unable to solve its financial problems, the respondent decided to temporarily shutdown its operations at the Dyeing and Finishing Division effective the next day, scheduled to resume until further notice. It notified the DOLE of the said shutdown. The operations of the other divisions of the CKC remained normal. - On June 11, 2001, while the respondents service truck was to deliver fabrics in Bulacan, the group of petitioners approached the truck and blocked its way. Later that day,

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petitioners with 16 members of the petitioner union, staged a picket in front of the respondents compound, carrying placards with slogans.

Biflex Phils. v. Fiflex Industrial & Manufacturing Corp.

- Petitioners were officers of Biflex


(Phils.) Inc. Labor Union and of Filflex Industrial and Manufacturing Labor Union. - Biflex (Phils.) Inc. and Filflex Industrial and Manufacturing Corporation (BILFEX) are sister companies situated in one big compound along with another sister company, General Garments Corporation (GGC), they have a common entrance. - The labor sector staged a welga ng bayan to protest the accelerating prices of oil. The UNIONS, led by their officers, herein petitioners, staged a work stoppage which lasted for several days, prompting BILFEX to file a petition to declare the work stoppage illegal for failure to comply with procedural requirements. - The members of the UNION, who were refused to be admitted back to work, put up of tents, tables and chairs in front of the main gate of the compound claiming that those were for the convenience of union members who reported every morning to check if the management would allow them to report for work. - BILFEX, on the other hand, maintain that the work stoppage was illegal since the following requirements for the staging of a valid strike were not

- Was there a strike? If there was, was it illegal?

evident intention of the law in requiring the strike notice and strikevote report is to reasonably regulate the right to strike. Since the strike was illegal, the officers of the union who participated therein are deemed to have lost their employment status. YES on both issues. Stoppage of work due to welga ng bayan is in the nature of a general strike, an extended sympathy strike. It affects numerous employers including those who do not have a dispute with their employees regarding their terms and conditions of employment. Employees who have no labor dispute with their employer but who, on a day they are scheduled to work, refuse to work and instead join a welga ng bayan commit an illegal work stoppage. There being no showing that the UNION notified BILFEX of their intention, or that they were allowed by BILFEX, to join the welga ng bayan, their work stoppage is beyond legal protection. Even assuming arguendo that in staging the strike, UNION had complied with legal formalities, the strike would just the same be illegal, for by blocking the free ingress to and egress from the company premises, they violated Article 264(e) of the Labor Code which provides that [n]o person engaged in picketing shall obstruct the free ingress to or egress from the employers premises for lawful purposes, or obstruct public thoroughfares.

- Employees who have no labor


dispute with their employer but who, on a day they are scheduled to work, refuse to work and instead join a welga ng bayan commit an illegal work stoppage.

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complied with: (1) filing of notice of strike; (2) securing a strike vote, and (3) submission of a report of the strike vote to the Department of Labor and Employment.

Capitol Medical Center v. NLRC

- UNION filed a Notice of Strike with the NCMB, serving a copy to CAPITOL. UNION alleged as grounds for the projected strike the following acts of the CAPITOL: (a) refusal to bargain; (b) coercion on employees; and (c) interference/ restraint to selforganization. - A series of conferences was conducted before the NCMB, but no agreement was reached. - CAPITAL filed a Letter with the NCMB requesting that the notice of strike be dismissed, the Union had apparently failed to furnish the Regional Branch of the NCMB with a copy of a notice of the meeting where the strike vote was conducted. - UNION submitted to the NCMB the minutesof the alleged strike vote purportedly held at the parking lot in front of the CAPITOLs premises, at the corner of Scout Magbanua Street and Panay Avenue, Quezon City.

- Was the strike legal?

- In fine, the legality of a strike is determined not only by compliance with its legal formalities but also by the means by which it is carried out. - The law grants the employer the option of declaring a union officer who participated in an illegal strike as having lost his employment. Reinstatement of a striker or retention of his employment, despite his participation in an illegal strike, is a management prerogative which this Court may not supplant. - NO. UNION failed to comply with the second paragraph of Section 10, Rule XXII of the Omnibus Rules of the NLRC. - A UNION intending to stage a strike is mandated to notify the NCMB of the meeting for the conduct of strike vote, at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to such meeting. Unless the NCMB is notified of the date, place and time of the meeting of the union members for the conduct of a strike vote, the NCMB would be unable to supervise the holding of the same, if and when it decides to exercise its power of supervision. In National Federation of Labor v. NLRC, the Court enumerated the notices required by Article 263 of the Labor Code and the Implementing Rules, which include the 24-hour prior notice to the NCMB: - 1) A notice of strike, with the required contents, should be filed with the DOLE, specifically the Regional Branch of the NCMB, copy furnished the employer of the union; - 2) A cooling-off period must be observed between the filing of notice

- The requirement of giving notice of the conduct of a strike vote to the NCMB at least 24 hours before the meeting for the said purpose is designed to (a) inform the NCMB of the intent of the union to conduct a strike vote; (b) give the NCMB ample time to decide on whether or not there is a need to supervise the conduct of the strike vote to prevent any acts of violence and/or irregularities attendant thereto; and (c) should the NCMB decide on its own initiative or upon the request of an interested party including the employer, to supervise the strike vote, to give it ample time to prepare for the deployment of the requisite personnel, including peace officers if need be. Unless and until the NCMB is notified at least 24 hours of the unions decision to conduct a strike vote, and the date, place, and time thereof, the NCMB cannot
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FEU-Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation v. FEU-NRMF Employees AssociationAlliance of Filipino Workers

- FEU-NRMF is a medical institution and respondent is a legitimate labor organization and duly recognized representative of the employees of the said institution. - Before the expiry of the CBA between FEU-NRMF and the union, the latter submitted a letter-proposal to FEUNRMF for the renewal of the CBA. - However, the letter-proposal was rejected by FEU-NRMF citing that they

- W/n the service of the Assumption Order of the Secretary of Labor was proper.

and the actual execution of the strike thirty (30) days in case of bargaining deadlock and fifteen (15) days in case of unfair labor practice. However, in the case of union busting where the unions existence is threatened, the cooling-off period need not be observed. - 3) Before a strike is actually commenced, a strike vote should be taken by secret balloting, with a 24hour prior notice to NCMB. The decision to declare a strike requires the secret-ballot approval of majority of the total union membership in the bargaining unit concerned. - 4) The result of the strike vote should be reported to the NCMB at least seven (7) days before the intended strike or lockout, subject to the cooling-off period. - In this case, UNION failed to comply with the 24-hour prior notice requirement to the NCMB before it conducted the alleged strike vote meeting on November 10, 1997. As a result, CAPITOL complained that no strike vote meeting ever took place and averred that the strike staged by the respondent union was illegal. - No, it was not proper. - It must be remembered that the assumption order is not a final order. Therefore the rules on service of summons and orders should be followed and not the rules on service of decisions and final awards. - Sec. 6 of the Revised Rules of Procedure of the NLRC provide: Notices or summons and copies of orders, shall be served on the parties

determine for itself whether to supervise a strike vote meeting or not and insure its peaceful and regular conduct. The failure of a union to comply with the requirement of the giving of notice to the NCMB at least 24 hours prior to the holding of a strike vote meeting will render the subsequent strike staged by the union illegal.

- An Order issued by the Secretary of Labor assuming jurisdiction over the labor dispute is not a final judgment for it does not dispose of the labor dispute with finality. Consequently, the rule on service of summons and orders, and not the proviso on service of decisions and final awards, governs the service of
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cannot afford the additional demands of the union and saying that the provisions of the old CBA should remain. Thus, the union filed a notice of strike before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board of NCR (NCMB) alleging bargaining deadlock. The 30day cooling off period was complied with as well as the 7-day strike ban. Also, the union offered a skeletal force of nursing and health personnel for the hospital during the duration of the strike. However, such offer was rejected by FEU-NRMF. Before the strike was conducted, FEUNRMF filed a Petition for the Assumption of Jurisdiction with the NLRC. Granting such petition, the Secretary of Labor issued an order assuming jurisdiction over the labor dispute. Then, the strike commenced. From the proof of service of the process server, it can be gleaned that he attempted to serve a copy of the Assumption of Jurisdiction Order to the union officers but since no one was around at the strike area, he just posted copies of the said Order at several conspicuous places within the premises of the hospital. The Secretary of Labor then issued an order directing all striking employees to return to work under the conditions of the old CBA. Subsequently, FEU-NRMF filed a complaint before the NLRC alleging that the union failed to obey the assumption order of the Secretary of Labor and that the union was guilty of obstructing the business of the

to the case personally by the Bailiff or duly authorized public officer within three (3) days from receipt thereof or by registered mail; Provided that in special circumstances, service of summons may be effected in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court; Provided further, that in cases of decisions and final awards, copies thereof shall be served on both parties and their counsel or representative by registered mail. - Under the NLRC Revised Rules of Procedure, service of copies of orders should be made by the process server either personally or through registered mail. However, due to the urgent nature of the Assumption of Jurisdiction Order and the public policy underlying the injunction carried by the issuance of the said Order, service of copies of the same should be made in the most expeditious and effective manner, without any delay, ensuring its immediate receipt by the intended parties as may be warranted under the circumstances. Accordingly, in this case, personal service is the proper mode of serving the Assumption of Jurisdiction Order. - Indeed, the Rules of Court allows substituted service of summons. However, since the requirement of service is a bastion of the right to due process, it is strictly construed in the sense that service must be shown to have strictly followed the prescribed rules. In this case, there was no valid personal (and substituted) service of the Assumption Order. Thus, the union cannot be faulted for

the Assumption of Jurisdiction Order. Notices or summons and copies of orders, shall be served on the parties to the case personally by the Bailiff or duly authorized public officer within three (3) days from receipt thereof or by registered mail; Provided that in special circumstances, service of summons may be effected in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court; Provided further, that in cases of decisions and final awards, copies thereof shall be served on both parties and their counsel or representative by registered mail. In case of failure to effect service personally, substituted service may be allowed. But the procedure in the Rules of Court must be strictly followed.

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company during the strike. - The Labor Arbiter granted the petition of FEU-NRMF, which was affirmed by the NLRC. However, on appeal, the CA reversed the decision.

Philcom Employees Union v. Phil. Global Communicatio ns

- Upon the expiration of the CBA


between Philcom Employees Union (PEU) and Philippine Global Communications, Inc. (Philcom, Inc.), the parties started negotiations for the renewal of their CBA. While negotiations were ongoing, PEU filed a Notice of Strike due to perceived unfair labor practice committed by the company. In view of the filing of the Notice of Strike, the company suspended negotiations on the CBA which moved the union to file another Notice of Strike on the ground of bargaining deadlock. - While the union and the company officers and representatives were meeting, the remaining union officers and members staged a strike at the company premises, barricading the entrances and egresses thereof and setting up a stationary picket at the main entrance of the building. The following day, the company immediately filed a petition for the Secretary of Labor and Employment to assume jurisdiction over the labor dispute. - The Labor Secretary issued an Order assuming jurisdiction over the

- Whether the Labor Secretary should not have taken cognizance of the issue on the alleged illegal strike

- Whether Philcom
committed unfair labor practices. -

disobeying the said order because they were not informed of such in the first place. As regards the allegation of obstructing the business of the company, the SC said that there was a failure to prove such fact. There wasnt sufficient evidence to prove the allegations of FEU-NRMF. Thus, the decision of the CA in favor of the union is affirmed. YES. The powers granted to the Secretary under Article 263(g) of the Labor Code have been characterized as an exercise of the police power of the State, with the aim of promoting public good. When the Secretary exercises these powers, he is granted great breadth of discretion in order to find a solution to a labor dispute. The most obvious of these powers is the automatic enjoining of an impending strike or lockout or its lifting if one has already taken place In this case, the Secretary assumed jurisdiction over the dispute because it falls in an industry indispensable to the national interest. [T]he Company has been a vital part of the telecommunications industry for 73 years. NO. The issues of misimplementation or non-implementation of employee benefits, non-payment of overtime and other monetary claims, inadequate transportation allowance, water, and other facilities, are all a matter of implementation or interpretation of the economic provisions of the CBA between Philcom and PEU subject to the

- Article 263(g) of the Labor


Code: When, in his opinion, there exists a labor dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the national interest, the Secretary of Labor and Employment may assume jurisdiction over the dispute and decide it or certify the same to the Commission for compulsory arbitration. Such assumption or certification shall have the effect of automatically enjoining the intended or impending strike or lockout as specified in the assumption or certification order. If one has already taken place at the time of assumption or certification, all striking or locked out employees shall immediately return to work and the employer shall immediately resume operations and readmit all workers under the same terms and conditions prevailing before the strike or lockout. The Secretary of Labor and Employment or the
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dispute, enjoining any strike or lockout. Another Order was issued, but both were disregarded by the Union.

- Whether he strike
and the strike activities that PEU had undertaken were patently illegal.

grievance procedure. - This is so because the law on unfair labor practices is not intended to deprive employers of their fundamental right to prescribe and enforce such rules as they honestly believe to be necessary to the proper, productive and profitable operation of their business. - Even assuming arguendo that Philcom had violated some provisions in the CBA, there was no showing that the same was a flagrant or malicious refusal to comply with its economic provisions. The law mandates that such violations should not be treated as unfair labor practices. - YES. The Secretary had already assumed jurisdiction over the dispute. Despite the issuance of two return-to-work orders, the striking employees failed to return to work and continued with their strike. - Regardless of their motives, or the validity of their claims, the striking employees should have ceased or desisted from all acts that would undermine the authority given the Secretary under Article 263(g) of the Labor Code. They could not defy the return-to-work orders by citing Philcoms alleged unfair labor practices to justify such defiance. - PEU could not have validly anchored its defiance to the return-to-work orders on the motion for reconsideration that it had filed on the assumption of jurisdiction order. A return-to-work order is immediately effective and

Commission may seek the assistance of law enforcement agencies to ensure the compliance with this provision as well as with such orders as he may issue to enforce the same.

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Nisssan Motors, Inc. v. Secretary of Labor and Employment

- Nissan Motor Philippines, Inc. (Nissan) and Bagong Nagkakaisang Lakas sa Nissan Motor Philippines, Inc. (BANAL) figured in a labor dispute triggered by a collective bargaining deadlock between the two resulting in the filing of four (4) notices of strike with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB). - The first notice of strike was on the ground of unfair labor practice, stemming from the suspension of about 140 company employees who participated in a disruptive protest action. - The second notice of strike came after a deadlock in collective bargaining involving payment of the 2nd half of the 13th month pay. - Thereafter, the DOLE Secretary assumed jurisdiction and expressly enjoined any strike or lockout and directed the parties to refrain from activities that would stoke the fiery situation. - The third notice of strike was grounded upon illegal lockout, illegal suspension and union busting. - The fourth notice of strike came from alleged illegal dismissal of 18 union officials, illegal lockout, coercion/intimidation, union-busting and non-payment of salaries. - The DOLE Secretary affirmed the suspension of the 140 employees and the dismissal of the Union officers but since the said dismissal was recalled,

- WON the work slowdown waged by 140 rank-and-file employees despite the assumption of jurisdiction by the DOLE constituted illegal strike. - WON the same warranted their dismissal.

executory despite the filing of a motion for reconsideration. It must be strictly complied with even during the pendency of any petition questioning its validity. YES. The defiance came in the form of the continuation of the slowdown enjoined in the underlying assumption order, by the strike actually staged by the Union, its officers and members, the closure of the companys offices and plant premises and the barricading of main gates. NO. The DOLEs repeated admonitions against any act that might exacerbate the labor dispute cut both ways and it cannot be gainsaid that Nissans act after the assumption order of suspending substantial number of Union officers/members with threat of eventual dismissal and perceived illegal lockout and union busting went against the injunction against the commission of any act that would add fire to what was already a volatile situation. The Court concurred with the benign consideration which the Secretary of Labor accorded the rank-and-file Union members who joined in the work slowdown in defiance of the assumption order and return-to-work order. Article 263 (g) in relation to Article 264 of the Labor Code was properly applied. See opposite. While the employer is authorized to declare a union officer who participated in an illegal strike as having lost his employment, his/its

- Art. 263. Strikes, picketing and lockouts. Xxx (g) When, in his opinion, there exists a labor dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the national interest, the Secretary of Labor and Employment may assume jurisdiction over the dispute and decide it Such assumption shall have the effect of automatically enjoining the intended or impending strike or lockout as specificed If one has already taken place at the time of assumption , all striking or locked out employees shall immediately return to work and the employer shall immediately resume operations and readmit all workers under the same terms and conditions prevailing before the strike or lockout. Xxx - Article 264. Prohibited Activities. (a) xxx No strike or lockout shall be declared after the assumption of jurisdiction by .. the Secretary or during the pendency of cases involving the same grounds for the strike or lockout. xxx. Any union officer who knowingly participates in illegal strike and any worker or union officer who knowingly participates in the
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the Union officers were reinstated to their former positions without backwages, the one-month suspension imposed in lieu thereof being deemed served. - The CA affirmed the DOLE Secretary.

option is not as wide with respect to union members or workers for the law itself draws a line and makes a distinction between union officers and members/ordinary workers. An ordinary striking worker or union member cannot, as a rule, be terminated for mere participation in an illegal strike; there must be proof that he committed illegal acts during the strike. The law invests the DOLE Secretary the prerogative of tempering the consequence of the defiance to the assumption order; thus, the option of suspending rather than dismissing the employee involved. As held in Solvic Industrial v. NLRC penned by former Chief Justice Panganiban, our labor laws frown upon dismissal except for the most serious causes affecting the business of the employer. Where a penalty less punitive would suffice, an employee should not be sanctioned with a consequence so severe. The DOLE Secretarys disposition of the case takes stock of the following circumstances justifying a less drastic penalty for ordinary striking workers: a) the employees who engaged in slowdown actually reported for work and continued to occupy their respective posts, or, in fine, did not abandon their jobs; b) they were only following the orders of their leaders; and c) no evidence has been presented to prove their participation in the commission of illegal activities during the strike. Nissan was no less guilty of violating

commission of illegal acts during a strike may be declared to have lost his employment status. - While the employer is authorized to declare a union officer who participated in an illegal strike as having lost his employment, his/its option is not as wide with respect to union members or workers for the law itself draws a line and makes a distinction between union officers and members/ordinary workers. - An ordinary striking worker or union member cannot, as a rule, be terminated for mere participation in an illegal strike; there must be proof that he committed illegal acts during the strike. - The following circumstances justifying a less drastic penalty for ordinary striking workers: a) the employees who engaged in slowdown actually reported for work and continued to occupy their respective posts, or, in fine, did not abandon their jobs; b) they were only following the orders of their leaders; and c) no evidence has been presented to prove their participation in the commission of illegal activities during the strike. 9

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Philippine Diamond Hotel & Resort, Inc. v. Manila Diamond Hotel Employees Union

- The respondent union notified the petitioner hotel of its intention to negotiate a CBA for its members. - The HR Dept. of the hotel advised the union that since it was not certified by the DOLE as the exclusive bargaining representative (EBR), it could not be recognized as such. - The union clarified that it was negotiating only for its members and warned that they would go on strike if the hotel refused to bargain. - The union later filed a Notice of Strike. Conciliation conferences were then conducted by the NCMB. In the meantime, the union filed a complaint for ULP against the hotel. - The union demanded the conduct of a consent election, to which the hotel interposed no objection. - The parties agreed to meet again on 01 December 1997. But on 29 November 1996, the union suddenly went on strike. - Later, the NLRC issued a TRO for the strikers to cease and desist from obstructing the free ingress and egress from the hotel premises. The strikers, however, refused to dismantle the tent they put up. The hotels guards attempted to dismantle the same but were hit by rocks. - The hotel filed a petition to declare the strike illegal. The DOLE Secretary

- WON the strike was legal.

- WON the union can bargain collectively in behalf of its members (and not in behalf of all the employees in the bargaining unit).

- WON the CA acted correctly in ordering the reinstatement with backwages of the union members who participated in the strike.

the Secretarys order by engaging in exacerbating acts as the en masse termination of most of the Union members, albeit it may be conceded that the employer has the prerogative of imposing disciplinary sanctions against assumption-order-defying employees. - NO. It must be remembered that the strike was held because of the hotels alleged refusal to bargain. The union is admitted that it is not the EBR of the employees in the hotel. Hence it cannot demand that the employer collectively bargain with it. - NO. This would only fragment the employees of the hotel. What the union will be achieving is to divide the employees, more particularly, the R&F employees. - The other workers who are not members are at a serious disadvantage, because if the same shall be allowed, employees who are non-union members will be economically impaired and will not be able to negotiate their terms and conditions of work, thus defeating the very essence and reason of collective bargaining, which is an effective safeguard against the evil schemes of employers in terms and conditions of work. - NO. Evidence shows that the strikers used ropes and footed placards to block the entry and exit points of the hotel; also, they held a noise barrage to and threatened guests with bodily harm. Police reports also show the strikers exploding firecrackers, thus causing panic.

- Article 242 (a) must be read in


relation to above-quoted Article 255. Only the labor organization designated or selected by the majority of the employees in an appropriate collective bargaining unit is the exclusive representative of the employees in such unit for the purpose of collective bargaining. - The philosophy is to avoid fragmentation of the bargaining unit so as to strengthen the employees bargaining power with the management. - The right to strike is not absolute. - Even if the purpose of a strike is valid, the strike may still be held illegal where the means employed are illegal. Thus, the employment of violence, intimidation, restraint or coercion in carrying out concerted activities which are injurious to the rights to property renders a strike illegal. - A union officer who knowingly participates in an illegal strike and any worker
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later assumed jurisdiction and issued a return-to-work order. - NLRC declared the strike illegal and that the union officers and members were deemed to have lost their employment status. - CA modified the decision and ordered the reinstatement with backwages of union members.

- The union members who committed


illegal acts should be deemed to have lost their employment status. (see doctrine part) - The SC thus remanded the case to the LA, through the NLRC, for the purpose only of determining the respective liabilities of the strikers. - SC held that as a general rule, when employees voluntarily go on strike, even if in protest against ULP, no backwages during the strike is awarded.

or union officer who knowingly participates in the commission of illegal acts during strike may be declared to have lost his employment status. An ordinary striking worker cannot, thus be dismissed for mere participation in an illegal strike. There must be proof that he committed illegal acts during a strike, unlike a union officer who may be dismissed by mere knowingly participating in an illegal strike and/or committing an illegal act during a strike.

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