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1. Ikaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa vs.

NLRC
[GR No. 91980. June 27, 1991] schedule of work and reversion to the eight-hour shift
substantial losses were incurred by SMC.
5. SMC filed a complaint with arbitration branch of NLRC
1. The Union known as Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa (IBM) then before the NLRC for the latter to declare the
said to represent 4,500 employees of San Miguel strike illegal.
Corporation, presented to the company a demand for 6. Unions contention: workers refusal to work beyond 8
correction of the significant distortion in wages. hours was a legitimate means of compelling SMC to correct
2. In that demand, the Union explicitly invoked Section 4 of distortion.
RA 6727, The Wage Rationalization Act, which reads as 7. SMC: The coordinated reduction by the Unions members of
follows: the work time in order to compel SMC to yield to the
Where the application of the increases in the wages demand was an illegal and unprotected activity.
rates under this section results in distortions as defined
under existing laws in the wage structure within an ISSUE: W/N the strike was legal? ILLEGAL. The strike invoking
establishment and gives rise to dispute therein, such the issue of wage distortion is illegal. The legality of these activities
dispute shall first be settled voluntarily between depends on the legality of the purposes sought to be attained.
the parties and in the event of a deadlock, the same These joint or coordinated activities may be forbidden or
shall be finally resolved through compulsory arbitration restricted by law or contract.
by the regional branches of the National Labor Relations
Commission having jurisdiction over the workplace. HELD:
It shall be mandatory for the NLRC to conduct Among the rights guaranteed to employees by the Labor Code
continuous hearings and decide any dispute arising is that of engaging in concerted activities in order to attain
under this section within twenty (20) calendar days their legitimate objectives. Article 263 of the Labor Code
from the time said dispute is formally submitted declares that in line with the policy of the State to encourage free
to it for arbitration. The pendency of a dispute arising trade unionism and free collective bargaining, x x (w)orkers shall
from a wage distortion shall not in any way delay the have the right to engage in concerted activities for purposes of
applicability of the increase in the wage rates prescribed collective bargaining or for their mutual benefit and
under this section. protection. A similar right to engage in concerted
3. The Union claims that the demand was ignored. When the activities for mutual benefit and protection is tacitly and
Company rejected the reduced proposal of the Union traditionally recognized in respect of employers.
the members thereof, on their own accord, refused to
render overtime services, most especially at the Beer More common of these concerted activities as far as employees
Bottling Plants at Polo, starting October 16, 1989. In this are concerned are strikes, picketings and boycotts:
connection, the workers involved issues a joint notice
reading as follows: strikesthe temporary stoppage of work as a result of
Sama-samang pahayag: Kaming arawang manggagawa an industrial or labor dispute
ng Polo Brewery pawang kasapi ng Ilaw at Buklod ng picketingthe marching to and fro at the employers
Manggagawa (IBM) ay nagkakaisang nagpasya na premises, usually accompanied by the display of
ipatupad muna ang eight hours work shift pansamantala placards and other signs making known the facts
habang hindi ipinapatupad ng SMC Management ang involved in a labor dispute
tamang Wage Distortion. boycottsthe concerted refusal to patronize an
4. It appears that the employees working hours/schedule has employers goods or services and to persuade others to
been freely observed by the employees for the past 5 a like refusal.
years and due to the abandonment of the longstanding
As for the Employers:
lockoutthe temporary refusal to furnish work on account of
a labor dispute.

The same Article 263 provides that the right of legitimate labor
organizations to strike and picket, and of employer to lockout,
consistent with the national interest, shall continue to be
recognized and respected. The legality of these activities is
usually dependent on the legality of the purposes sought to
be attained and the means employed therefor.
The law or contract may however forbid or restrict these joint which they had therefore been observing, resorted to as a
or coordinated activities. means of coercing correction of wage distortions,
as therefore forbidden by law and contract and, on this
LAW: account, illegal.
Section 3 of Republic Act No. 6727 prescribes a specific,
detailed and comprehensive procedure for the correction The wage distortion issue motivated the Unions
thereof, thereby implicitly excluding strikes or lockouts or partial/limited strike.
other concerted activities as modes of settlement of the The work schedule w/ built in overtime was not forced
issue. upon them since it was agreed b/w the company & the
In cases where there are no collective agreements or workers and was religiously followed by the latter for the
recognized labor unions, the employers and workers shall past 5 years w/ mutually beneficial results. Hence, it cant
endeavor to correct such distortions. Any dispute arising be a matter of such great prejudice to the workers as to give
therefrom shall be settled through the National rise to a controversy b/w them & the management.
Conciliation and Mediation Board and, if it remains
unresolved after ten (10) calendar days of conciliation, The workers never asked nor were there ever any
shall be referred to the appropriate branch of the negotiations at their instance, for a change in that work
National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). It shall schedule prior to the strike. What really bothered them was the
be mandatory for the NLRC to conduct continuous hearings issue on the wage distortion & not the number of hours. This was
and decide the dispute within twenty (20) calendar days apparent by the joint notice they circulated before the strike
from the time said dispute is submitted for compulsory wherein they stated that they would adopt the 8-hr work shift for a
arbitration. while pending the correction by the company of the wage
The legislative intent that solution of the problem of distortion.
wage distortions shall be sought by voluntary
negotiation or abitration, and not by strikes, lockouts, or Even if there was no legal prohibition & assuming it really
other concerted activities of the employees or didnt involve the wage distortions caused by RA 6727, the
management, is made clear in the rules implementing concerted activity would still be illicit because it was
RA 6727. Wherein wage distortions be first settled expressly stated in their contract/CBA that there would be no
voluntarily by the parties and eventually by compulsory strikes, slowdown, boycotts or any other interference w/ the
arbitration, declares that, Any issue involving wage operations of the company during the term of the CBA.
distortion shall not be a ground for a strike/lockout.
Slowdown as a strike on the installment plan; as a willful
CONTRACT/CBA: reduction in the rate of work by concerted action of workers
The CBA prescribes a similar eschewal of strikes or other for the purpose of restricting the output of the employer, in
similar or related concerted activities as a mode of relation to a labor dispute; as an activity by which workers,
resolving disputes or controversies, it clearly stated that without a complete stoppage of work, retard production or their
settlement of all disputes, disagreements or controversies of any performance of duties and functions to compel management to
kind should be achieved by the stipulated grievance procedure and grant their demands
ultimately by arbitration.
Hence, the Union was prohibited to declare & hold a strike or Slowdown is generally condemned as inherently illicit and
engage in a non-peaceful concerted activities for the unjustifiable, because while the employees continue to work and
settlement of its controversy w/ SMC as to wage distortions remain at their positions and accept the wages paid to them, they
or any other issue involving wages, hours of work, at the same time select what part of their allotted tasks they care
conditions of employment & ER-EE relations. to perform of their own volition or refuse openly or secretly, to the
In this case, the partial strike or concerted refusal by employers damage, to do other work; in other words, they
the Union members to follow the five-year-old work schedule work on their own terms.
constitutes a slowdown need not be gone into. Since the activity is
The question if the concerted adoption of different work schedule contrary to law (RA 6727) & the parties collective bargaining
than that prescribed by the management & adhered to for 5 yrs agreement.