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REYES v.

TRAJANO
FACTS: Certification elections were authorized by the Bureau of Legal Relations (BLR) among the employees of
Tri-union Industries Corporation.
Two labor organizations Tri-union Employees Union (TUEU-Olalia) and Trade Union of the Philippines
(TUPAS) were contesting the right to be the exclusive representative of the employees in the bargaining unit.
Of the 348 workers qualified to vote in the election, only 240 voted. Of the 240 who took part, 141 were members
of Iglesia ni Kristo (INK).
After the votes were canvassed, TUEU-Olalia had 95 votes and TUPAS had only 1 vote. Only one employee
voted for 'NO UNION. 141 votes were, however, challenged, and these were the votes of the INK workers. (It
appears that the INK members also voted for 'NO UNION' because INK prohibits its followers from affiliating
themselves with labor organizations.)
The INK workers' votes were excluded by virtue of an agreement between the competing unions at a preelection conference that INK members should not be allowed to vote because they are not members of any
union and because the refused to participate in previous certification elections.
The INK employees filed a petition before the Med Arbiter to cancel the election. TUEU-Olalia opposed the
petition, contending that the INK employees have no legal personality to sue for not being members of any
legitimate labor union.
Med-Arbiter denied the petition and certified TUEU-Olalia as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of
the rank and file employees.
The INK employees appealed before the BLR, but Acting OIC Trajano denied the appeal, declaring that the INK
employees had no legal personality to sue, that they refused to participate in the previous elections, and
because their religious beliefs do not allow them to join or form labor unions (same arguments as the MedArbiter and TUEU-Olalia).
Hence this petition before the SC.
Issue: WON the INK employees had the right to vote in the certification election? YES.
Guaranteed to all employees or workers is the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organization
of their own choosing for purposes of collective bargaining.
Art 243 of the Labor Code and Sec 1, Rule II, Book V of the Omnibus rules provide for this right. Art 248(a)
makes it an Unfair Labor Practice for the employer to interfere with the employees' right to self-organization. Art
249(a) likewise prohibits labor organizations from restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of this right.
No law, administrative rule, or jurisprudence requires that only employees affiliated with legitimate labor
organizations may take part in certification elections. The right to vote is granted to all bona fide employees in a
bargaining unit, whether probationary or permanent, and whether or not members of a labor organization.
Likewise, no law, administrative rule, or jurisprudence prescribes the forfeiture of the right by reason of neglect to
exercise the right in previous certification elections.
Issue 2: WON employees also have the right NOT to vote for any contending union in the certification elections?
YES.
The right of self-organization includes the right to organize with labor unions or to determine which of 2 or more
unions in an establishment to join.
It logically includes the right NOT to join, affiliate, or assist any union or to DISAFFILIATE or resign from the labor
organization. Thus employees have the right to refuse or to refrain from exercising their right to self-organization.

Just as no one should be denied the exercise of a right granted by law, no is also compelled to exercise said
right.
The fact that an employee has opted to acquire membership in a union does not preclude a subsequent
renouncing of his membership.
This principle is recognized by the original rules on certification promulgated by the CIR, which required ballots
to contain an option that an employee does not desire to be represented by a union.
Although this is no longer explicitly required in the present rules, it is provided in Sec 8, Rule VI, Book V of the
Omnibus Rules, on marking and canvassing of votes, that the voter must write a check or cross mark opposite
the union of his choice, and that if only one union runs in the election, the voter shall cross or check either a YES
or a NO.
This is an acknowledgement of the alternative possibility that NO votes may outnumber YES votes, indicating
that the majority of the employees do not wish to be represented. In such a case, no union can represent the
employees in collective bargaining. Whether or not the NO votes were inspired by religious considerations
should not even be inquired at all.
Petition granted.