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CARMELITO L. PALACOL, ET AL.,petitioners, vs.

PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations,MANILA CCBPI SALES FORCE UNION, and COCA-COLA G.R. No. 85333 February 26, 1990BOTTLERS (PHILIPPINES), INC.respondents. Facts: On October 12, 1987, the respondent Manila CCBPI Sales Force Union (hereinafter referred to as the Union), as the collectivebargaining agent of all regular salesmen, regular helpers, and relief helpers of the Manila Plant and Metro Manila Sales Office of therespondent Coca-Cola Bottlers (Philippines), Inc. (hereinafter referred to as the Company) concluded a new collective bargainingagreement with the latter. Among the compensation benefits granted to the employees was a general salary increase to be given in lumpsum including recomputation of actual commissions earned based on the new rates of increase.On the same day, the president of the Union submitted to the Company the ratification by the union members of the new CBA andauthorization for the Company to deduct union dues equivalent to P10.00 every payday or P20.00 every month and, in addition, 10% byway of special assessment, from the CBA lump-sum pay granted to the union members.As embodied in the Board Resolution of the Union dated September 29, 1987, the purpose of the special assessment sought to be leviedis "to put up a cooperative and credit union; purchase vehicles and other items needed for the benefit of the officers and the generalmembership; and for the payment for services rendered by union officers, consultants and others."This "Authorization and CBA Ratification" was obtained by the Union through a secret referendum held in separate local membershipmeetings on various dates. 3 The total membership of the Union was about 800. Of this number, 672 members originally authorized the10% special assessment, while 173 opposed the same. 4 Subsequently however, one hundred seventy (170) members of the Union submitted documents to the Company stating that althoughthey have ratified the new CBA, they are withdrawing or disauthorizing the deduction of any amount from their CBA lump sum. Later,185 other union members submitted similar documents expressing the same intent. These members, numbering 355 in all (170 + 185),added to the original oppositors of 173, turned the tide in favor of disauthorization for the special assessment, with a total of 528objectors and a remainder of 272 supporters.Petitioners assailed the 10% special assessment as a violation of Article 241in relation to Article 222(b) of the Labor Code. The Unionhowever contended that the deductions not only have the popular indorsement and approval of the general membership, but likewisecomplied with the legal requirements of Article 241.ISSUE: Whether or not a special assessment be validly deducted by a labor union from the lump-sum pay of its members, granted undera collective bargaining agreement (CBA), notwithstanding a subsequent disauthorization of the same by a majority of the unionmembers.The deduction of the 10% special assessment by the Union was not made in accordance with the requirements provided by law.Under Article 241, the Union must submit to the Company a written resolution of a majority of all the members at a general membershipmeeting duly called for the purpose. In addition, the secretary of the

organization must record the minutes of the meeting which, in turn,must include, among others, the list of all the members present as well as the votes cast.The Union, however, failed to comply with the requirements of Article 241 of the Labor Code. It held local membership meetings onseparate occasions, on different dates and at various venues, contrary to the express requirement that there must be a general membershipmeeting. The contention of the Union that "the local membership meetings are precisely the very general meetings required by law" isuntenable because the law would not have specified a general membership meeting had the legislative intent been to allow local meetingsin lieu of the latter.It submitted only minutes of the local membership meetings when what is required is a written resolution adopted at the general meeting.

Worse still, the minutes of three of those local meetings held were recorded by a union director and not by the union secretary. Theminutes submitted to the Company contained no list of the members present and no record of the votes cast. Since it is quite evident thatthe Union did not comply with the law at every turn, the only conclusion that may be made therefrom is that there was no valid levy of the special assessmentEven assuming that the special assessment was validly levied, and granting that individual written authorizations were obtained by theUnion, nevertheless there can be no valid checkoff considering that the majority of the union members had already withdrawn theirindividual authorizations. A withdrawal of individual authorizations is equivalent to no authorization at all. This is so even if thewithdrawal of authorization was done in collective form. There is nothing in the law which requires that the disauthorization must be inindividual form