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G.R. No.

L-67485 April 10, 1992 union had been certified as the sole collective bargaining agent, for over a year
it failed to conclude a collective bargaining agreement with private respondent
NATIONAL CONGRESS OF UNIONS IN THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF THE company. Petitioner union filed a motion to intervene in the petition for
PHILIPPINES (NACUSIP)-TUCP, petitioner, certification election filed by private respondent union.
vs.
DIR. CRESENCIANO B. TRAJANO, Bureau of Labor Relations, Ministry of By order dated July 23, 1982, the Acting Med-Arbiter Pacifico V. Militante
Labor and Employment, Manila, FEDERATION OF UNIONS OF RIZAL dismissed the petition for certification election for lack of merit since the
(FUR)-TUCP, and CALINOG REFINERY CORPORATION petition is barred by a pending bargaining deadlock.
(NASUREFCO), respondents.
On August 25, 1982, private respondent union filed an appeal to the Bureau of
This petition for certiorari seeks to annul and set aside the decision rendered Labor Relations, Manila.
by the respondent Director Cresenciano B. Trajano of the Bureau of Labor
Relations, Ministry of Labor and Employment, dated November 18, 1983 The Bureau of Labor Relations through respondent Director Cresenciano B.
affirming the order of Med-Arbiter Demetrio Correa dated May 2, 1983 giving Trajano rendered a decision on September 30, 1982 setting aside the order of
due course to the petition for certification election filed by private respondent the Acting Med-Arbiter and remanding the case to Regional Office VI, Iloilo
Federation of Unions of Rizal (FUR)-TUCP; and the order dated March 21, City for hearing and reception of evidence.
1984 denying the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.
On May 2, 1983, Honorable Med-Arbiter Demetrio Correa issued an order in
The antecedent facts are as follows: LRD Case No. 4293 giving due course to the petition of private respondent
FUR-TUCP and ordering that an election be held within 20 days from receipt of
Petitioner National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines the order.
(NACUSIP)-TUCP is the certified exclusive bargaining representative of the
rank and file workers of Calinog Refinery Corporation. Private respondent From the order of Med-Arbiter Correa, petitioner interposed an appeal to the
Federation of Unions of Rizal (FUR)-TUCP is a labor organization duly Bureau of Labor Relations.
registered with the Department of Labor and Employment while private
respondent Calinog Refineries Employees Union (CREU)-NACUSIP is the During the pendency of the appeal or on September 10, 1983, a collective
certified exclusive bargaining representative of the rank and file workers of the bargaining agreement was entered and executed by the management of the
private respondent Calinog Refinery Corporation by virtue of the certification National Sugar Refineries Co., Inc. and petitioner union and was subsequently
election held on March 30, 1981. ratified by a majority of the rank and file employees. On the basis of the
concluded CBA, the Honorable Executive Labor Arbiter Celerino Grecia II
On June 21, 1982, petitioner union filed a petition for deadlock in collective issued an award dated September 12, 1983 adopting the submitted agreement
bargaining with the Ministry of Labor and Employment (now Department of as the CBA between the parties.
Labor and Employment). In order to obviate friction and tension, the parties
agreed to submit the petition for deadlock to compulsory arbitration on July 14, On November 18, 1983, respondent Director Trajano rendered a decision
1982 and was docketed as RAB Case No. VI-0220-82. affirming with qualification the order of Med-Arbiter Correa dated May 2, 1983,
the pertinent portions of which provide as follows:
On July 21, 1982, private respondent FUR-TUCP filed with the Regional Office
No. VI, MOLE (now DOLE), Iloilo City a petition for certification election among It appears that the Calinog Refinery Employees, Union-
the rank and file employees of private respondent company, alleging that: (1) NACUSIP-TUCP no longer commands the support of the
about forty-five percent (45%) of private respondent company's employees had majority of the employees. This observation is buttressed by
disaffiliated from petitioner union and joined private respondent union; (2) no the fact that more than seventy five percent (75%) of the
election had been held for the past twelve (12) months; and (3) while petitioner
workers have disaffiliated from the intervenor and joined the Petitioner maintains that respondent Director Trajano committed grave abuse
ranks of the petitioner. Thus, intervenor's status as sole and of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when it rendered a decision
exclusive bargaining representative is now of doubtful validity. affirming the order of Med-Arbiter Correa finding that the deadlock is "nothing
but a mere subterfuge to obstruct the exercise of the workers of their legitimate
For the above-mentioned reason, we stand obliged to resort to right to self-organization, a last minute maneuver to deny the workers the
the most expeditious, practical and democratic option open to exercise of their constitutional rights" (Rollo, p. 28) and ordering a certification
us, that is, the conduct of a certification election. Through this election among the rank and file workers of respondent company.
forum, the true sentiments of the workers as to which labor
organization deserves their loyalty can be fairly ascertained. In Furthermore, petitioner stresses that the finding that the contract (deadlock)
any event, it is our view that the 10 September 1983 collective bar rule has no room for application in the instant case, runs counter to the
agreement should be respected by the union that shall prevail provision of Section 3 of the Rules Implementing Batas Pambansa Blg. 130
in the election not only because it is an arbitration award but which prohibits the filing of a petition for certification election during the
also because substantial benefits are provided thereunder. pendency of a bargaining deadlock.
Otherwise stated, the winning union shall administer said
agreement. In passing, it may be pointed out that CAREFCO In conformity with the petitioner's contentions, the Solicitor General insists that
has been included as one of the contending parties in the the respondent Director has acted arbitrarily in issuing the assailed decision
election. We feel that it is error for the acting Med-Arbiter to do and order. In addition, it argues that the CBA concluded on September 10,
so considering that the company is a mere bystander in this 1983 has a life span of three (3) years and constitutes a bar to the petition for
representation dispute. certification election pursuant to Section 3 of the Rules Implementing Batas
Pambansa Blg. 130.
WHEREFORE, as above qualified, the Order dated 2 May
1983 is affirmed. The pivotal issue therefore, is whether or not a petition for certification election
may be filed during the pendency of a bargaining deadlock submitted to
SO DECIDED. (Rollo, pp. 40-41) arbitration or conciliation.

From the decision of respondent Director Trajano, petitioner filed a motion for After a careful review of the records of this case, the Court finds the petition
reconsideration dated December 6, 1983. meritorious and holds that the respondent Director gravely abused his
discretion when he affirmed the order of Med-Arbiter Correa calling for a
The respondent Director in his order dated March 21, 1984 denied the motion certification election among the rank and file workers of private respondent
for reconsideration for lack of merit and affirmed the Bureau's decision of company.
November 18, 1983.
The law on the matter is Section 3, Book V, Rule V of the Omnibus Rules
Hence, this petition. Implementing the Labor Code, to wit:

This Court in a resolution dated December 10, 1984 resolved to grant the Sec. 3. When to file. — In the absence of a collective
urgent motion of petitioner for the issuance of a restraining order and issued a bargaining agreement duly registered in accordance with
temporary restraining order enjoining the respondents from conducting and Article 231 of the Code, a petition for certification election may
holding the certification election on December 17, 1984 among the rank and be filed at any time. However, no certification election may be
file employees of respondent company (see Rollo, p. 99). held within one year from the date of issuance of a final
certification election result. Neither may a representation
question be entertained if, before the filing of a petition for
certification election, a bargaining deadlock to which an
incumbent or certified bargaining agent is a party had been The law demands that the petition for certification election should fail in the
submitted to conciliation or arbitration or had become the presence of a then pending bargaining deadlock.
subject of valid notice or strike or lockout.
A director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, by the nature of his functions, acts
If a collective bargaining agreement has been duly registered in in a quasi-judicial capacity. We find no reason why his decision should be
accordance with Article 231 of the Code, a petition for beyond this Court's review. Administrative officials, like the director of the
certification election or a motion for intervention can only be Bureau of Labor Relations are presumed to act in accordance with law but this
entertained within sixty (60) days prior to the expiry date of Court will not hesitate to pass upon their work where there is a showing of
such agreement. abuse of authority or discretion in their official acts or when their decisions or
orders are tainted with unfairness or arbitrariness.
The clear mandate of the aforequoted section is that a petition for certification
election may be filed at any time, in the absence of a collective bargaining Noteworthy is the fact that a certification was issued by Executive Labor Arbiter
agreement. Otherwise put, the rule prohibits the filing of a petition for Celerino Grecia II on October 21, 1982 certifying that the petition for deadlock
certification election in the following cases: in RAB Case No. VI-0220-82 was forwarded to the Executive Labor Arbiter for
compulsory arbitration (see Rollo, p. 19). The respondent Director erred in
(1) during the existence of a collective bargaining agreement except within the finding that the order issued by the Med-Arbiter dismissing the petition for
freedom period; certification election was irregular and was merely based on information.

(2) within one (1) year from the date of issuance of declaration of a final All premises considered, the Court is convinced that the assailed decision and
certification election result; or order of the respondent Director is tainted with arbitrariness that would amount
to grave abuse of discretion.
(3) during the existence of a bargaining deadlock to which an incumbent or
certified bargaining agent is a party and which had been submitted to ACCORDINGLY, the petition is GRANTED; the decision dated November 18,
conciliation or arbitration or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike 1983 and order dated March 21, 1984 of the respondent Director Cresenciano
or lockout. B. Trajano are hereby nullified and the order of Med-Arbiter Militante dated
July 23, 1982 dismissing the petition for certification election is hereby
The Deadlock Bar Rule simply provides that a petition for certification election reinstated.
can only be entertained if there is no pending bargaining deadlock submitted to
conciliation or arbitration or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike SO ORDERED.
or lockout. The principal purpose is to ensure stability in the relationship of the
workers and the management.

In the case at bar, a bargaining deadlock was already submitted to arbitration


when private respondent FUR-TUCP filed a petition for certification election.
The same petition was dismissed for lack of merit by the Acting Med-Arbiter in
an order dated July 23, 1982 on the sole ground that the petition is barred by a
pending bargaining deadlock. However, respondent Director set aside the
same order and subsequently affirmed an order giving due course to the
petition for certification election and ordering that an election be held.
SEC. 3. When to file. — In the absence of a collective bargaining
agreement submitted in accordance with Article 231 of the Code, a
petition for certification election may be filed at any time. However, no
certification election may be held within one year from the date of
issuance of declaration of a final certification election result. Neither
may a representation question be entertained if, before the filing of a
petition for certification election, a bargaining deadlock to which an
G.R. No. 75810 September 9, 1991
incumbent or certified bargaining agent is a party had been submitted
to conciliation or arbitration or had become the subject of a valid notice
KAISAHAN NG MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO (KAMPIL- of strike or lockout.
KATIPUNAN), petitioner,
vs.
If a collective bargaining agreement has been duly registered in
HON. CRESENCIANO B. TRAJANO in his capacity as Director, Bureau of
accordance with Article 231 of the Code, a petition for certification
Labor Relations, and VIRON GARMENTS MFG., CO., INC., respondents.
election or a motion for intervention can only be entertained within sixty
(60) days prior to the expiry date of such agreement.
The propriety of holding a certification election is the issue in the special civil
action of certiorari at bar.
Finding merit in a NAFLU's appeal, the Director of Labor Relations rendered a
Resolution on April 30, 1986 setting aside the Med-Arbiter's Order of June 14,
By virtue of a Resolution of the Bureau of Labor Relations dated February 27, 1985 and dismissing KAMPIL's petition for certification election. This
1981, the National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU) was declared the disposition is justified in the Resolution as follows:
exclusive bargaining representative of all rank-and-file employees of Viron
Garments Manufacturing Co., Inc. (VIRON).
... While it may be true that the one-year period (mentioned in Section
3 above quoted) has long run its course since intervenor NAFLU was
More than four years thereafter, or on April 11, 1985, another union, the certified on February 27, 1981, it could not be said, however, that
Kaisahan ng Manggagawang Pilipino KAMPIL Katipunan filed with the Bureau NAFLU slept on its right to bargain collectively with the employer. If a
of Labor Relations a petition for certification election among the employees of closer look was made on the history of labor management relations in
VIRON. The petition allegedly counted with the support of more than thirty the company, it could be readily seen that the delay in the negotiations
percent (30%) of the workers at VIRON. for and conclusion of a collective agreement — the object of the one-
year period — could be attributed first, on the exhaustion of all legal
NAFLU opposed the petition, as might be expected. The Med-Arbiter however remedies in the representation question twice initiated in the company
ordered, on June 14, 1985, that a certification election be held at VIRON as before the filing of the present petition and second, to management
prayed for, after ascertaining that KAMPIL had complied with all the who had been resisting the representations of NAFLU in collective
requirements of law and that since the certification of NAFLU as sole bargaining.
bargaining representative in 1981, no collective bargaining agreement had
been executed between it and VIRON. The one-year period therefore, should not be applied literally to the
present dispute, especially considering that intervenor had to undergo
NAFLU appealed. It contended that at the time the petition for certification a strike to bring management to the negotiation table. ...
election was filed on April 11, 1985, it was in process of collective bargaining
with VIRON; that there was in fact a deadlock in the negotiations which had KAMPIL moved for reconsideration, and when this was denied, instituted in
prompted it to file a notice of strike; and that these circumstances constituted a this Court the present certiorari action.
bar to the petition for election in accordance with Section 3, Rule V, Book V of
the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code, reading as follows:
1
It is evident that the prohibition imposed by law on the holding of a certification The respondents advert to a strike declared by NAFLU on October 26, 1986
election "within one year from the date of issuance of declaration of a final for refusal of VIRON to bargain and for violation of terms and conditions of
certification election result' — in this case, from February 27, 1981, the date of employment, which was settled by the parties' agreement, and to another
the Resolution declaring NAFLU the exclusive bargaining representative of strike staged on December 6, 1986 in connection with a claim of violation of
rank-and-file workers of VIRON — can have no application to the case at bar. said agreement, a dispute which has since been certified for compulsory
That one-year period-known as the "certification year" during which the arbitration by the Secretary of Labor & Employment. Obviously, however,
4

certified union is required to negotiate with the employer, and certification these activities took place after the initiation of the certification election case by
election is prohibited — has long since expired.
2
KAMPIL, and it was grave abuse of discretion to have regarded them as
precluding the holding of the certification election thus prayed for.
Thus the question for resolution is whether or not KAMPIL's petition for
certification election is barred because, before its filing, a bargaining deadlock WHEREFORE, it being apparent that none of the proscriptions to certification
between VIRON and NAFLU as the incumbent bargaining agent, had been election set out in the law exists in the case at bar, and it was in the premises
submitted to conciliation or arbitration or had become the subject of a valid grave abuse of discretion to have ruled otherwise, the contested Resolution of
notice of strike or lockout, in accordance with Section 3, Rule V, Book V of the the respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations dated April 30, 1986
Omnibus Rules above quoted. in BLR Case No. A-7-139-85 (BZEO-CE-04-004-85) is NULLIFIED AND SET
ASIDE. Costs against private respondent.
Again it seems fairly certain that prior to the filing of the petition for election in
this case, there was no such "bargaining deadlock ... (which) had been SO ORDERED
submitted to conciliation or arbitration or had become the subject of a valid
notice of strike or lockout." To be sure, there are in the record assertions by
NAFLU that its attempts to bring VIRON to the negotiation table had been
unsuccessful because of the latter's recalcitrance and unfulfilled promises to
bargain collectively; but there is no proof that it had taken any action to legally
3

coerce VIRON to comply with its statutory duty to bargain collectively. It could
have charged VIRON with unfair labor practice; but it did not. It could have
gone on a legitimate strike in protest against VIRON's refusal to bargain
collectively and compel it to do so; but it did not. There are assertions by
NAFLU, too, that its attempts to bargain collectively had been delayed by
continuing challenges to the resolution pronouncing it the sole bargaining
representative in VIRON; but there is no adequate substantiation thereof, or of
how it did in fact prevent initiation of the bargaining process between it and
VIRON.

The stark, incontrovertible fact is that from February 27, 1981 — when NAFLU
was proclaimed the exclusive bargaining representative of all VIRON
employees — to April 11, 1985 — when KAMPIL filed its petition for
certification election or a period of more than four (4) years, no collective
bargaining agreement was ever executed, and no deadlock ever arose from
negotiations between NAFLU and VIRON resulting in conciliation proceedings
or the filing of a valid strike notice.
On December 9, 1992, elections were finally held with respondent union
garnering 204 votes, 168 in favor of no union and 8 spoiled ballots out of a
total of 380 votes cast. Thereafter, on January 4, 1993, Med-Arbiter Cruz
issued an Order certifying respondent union as the sole and exclusive
bargaining representative of the rank and file employees at CMC. 5

G.R. No. 118915 February 4, 1997 Unsatisfied with the outcome of the elections, respondent CMC again
appealed to the Office of the Secretary of Labor which appeal was denied on
February 26, 1993. A subsequent motion for reconsideration filed by
6

CAPITOL MEDICAL CENTER OF CONCERNED EMPLOYEES-UNIFIED


respondent CMC was likewise denied on March 23, 1993. 7

FILIPINO SERVICE WORKERS, (CMC-ACE-UFSW), petitioners,


vs.
HON. BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, Undersecretary of the Department of Respondent CMC's basic contention was the supposed pendency of its
Labor and Employment; CAPITOL MEDICAL CENTER EMPLOYEES petition for cancellation of respondent union's certificate of registration in Case
ASSOCIATION-ALLIANCE OF FILIPINO WORKERS AND CAPITOL No. NCR-OD-M-92211-028. In the said case, Med-Arbiter Paterno Adap issued
MEDICAL CENTER INCORPORATED AND DRA. THELMA CLEMENTE, an Order dated February 4, 1993 which declared respondent union's certificate
President, respondents. of registration as null and void. However, this order was reversed on appeal by
8

the Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau of Labor Relations in her Order issued on


April 13, 1993. The said Order dismissed the motion for cancellation of the
This petition for certiorari and prohibition seeks to reserves and set aside the
certificate of registration of respondent union and declared that it was not only
Order dated November 18, 1994 of public respondent Bienvenido E.
a bona fide affiliate or local of a federation (AFW), but a duly registered union
Laguesma, Undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment in
as well. Subsequently, this case reached this Court in Capitol Medical Center,
Case No. OS.-A-136-94 which dismissed the petition for certification election
1

Inc. v. Hon. Perlita Velasco, G.R. No. 110718, where we issued a Resolution
filed by petitioner for lack of merit and further directed private respondent
dated December 13, 1993, dismissing the petition of CMC for failure to
hospital to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with respondent union,
sufficiently show that public respondent committed grave abuse of
Capitol Medical Center Employees Association-Alliance of Filipino Workers.
discretion. The motion for reconsideration filed by CMC was likewise denied in
9

our Resolution dated February 2, 1994. Thereafter, on March 23, 1994, we


10

The antecedent facts are undisputed. issued an entry of judgment certifying that the Resolution dated December 13,
1993 has become final and executory. 11

On February 17, 1992, Med-Arbiter Rasidali C. Abdullah issued an Order


which granted respondent union's petition for certification election among the Respondent union, after being declared as the certified bargaining agent of the
rank-and-file employees of the Capitol Medical Center. Respondent CMC
2
rank-and-file employees of respondent CMC by Med-Arbiter Cruz, presented
appealed the Order to the Office of the Secretary by questioning the legal economic proposals for the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement
status of respondent union's affiliation with the Alliance of Filipino Workers (CBA). However, respondent CMC contended that CBA negotiations should be
(AFW). To correct any supposed infirmity in its legal status, respondent union suspended in view of the Order issued on February 4, 1993 by Med-Arbiter
registered itself independently and withdrew the petition which had earlier Adap declaring the registration of respondent union as null and void. In spite of
been granted. Thereafter, it filed another petition for certification election. the refusal of respondent CMC, respondent union still persisted in its demand
for CBA negotiations, claiming that it has already been declared as the sole
On May 29, 1992, Med-Arbiter Manases T. Cruz issued an order granting the and exclusive bargaining agent of the rank-and-file employees of the hospital.
petition for certification election. Respondent CMC again appealed to the Office
3

of the Secretary which affirmed the Order of the Med-Arbiter granting the
4
Due to respondent CMC's refusal to bargain collectively, respondent union filed
certification election. a notice of strike on March 1, 1993. After complying with the other legal
requirements, respondent union staged a strike on April 15, 1993. On April 16,
1993, the Secretary of Labor assumed jurisdiction over the case and issued an CMC employed "legal obstructionism's" in order to let twelve months pass
order certifying the same to the National Labor Relations Commission for without a CBA having been concluded between them so as to pave the way for
compulsory arbitration where the said case is still pending. 12
the entry of petitioner union.

It is at this juncture that petitioner union, on March 24, 1994, filed a petition for On May 12, 1994, Med-Arbiter Brigida Fadrigon, issued an Order granting the
certification election among the regular rank-and-file employees of the Capitol petition for certification election among the rank and file
Medical Center Inc. It alleged in its petition that: 1) three hundred thirty one employees. It ruled that the issue was the majority status of respondent
13

(331) out of the four hundred (400) total rank-and-file employees of respondent union. Since no certification election was held within one year from the date of
CMC signed a petition to conduct a certification election; and 2) that the said issuance of a final certification election result and there was no bargaining
employees are withdrawing their authorization for the said union to represent deadlock between respondent union and the employees that had been
them as they have joined and formed the union Capitol Medical Center submitted to conciliation or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike or
Alliance of Concerned Employees (CMC-ACE). They also alleged that a lock out, there is no bar to the holding of a certification election.
14

certification election can now be conducted as more that 12 months have


lapsed since the last certification election was held. Moreover, no certification Respondent union appeared from the said Order, alleging that the Med-Arbiter
election was conducted during the twelve (12) months prior to the petition, and erred in granting the petition for certification election and in holding that this
no collective bargaining agreement has as yet been concluded between case falls under Section 3, Rule V Book V of the Rules Implementing the Labor
respondent union and respondent CMC despite the lapse of twelve months Code. It also prayed that the said provision must not be applied strictly in
15

from the time the said union was voted as the collective bargaining view of the facts in this case.
representative.
Petitioner union did not file any opposition to the appeal.
On April 12, 1994, respondent union opposed the petition and moved for its
dismissal. It contended that it is the certified bargaining agent of the rank-and- On November 18, 1994, public respondent rendered a Resolution granting the
file employees of the Hospital, which was confirmed by the Secretary of Labor appeal. He ratiocinated that while the petition was indeed filed after the lapse
16

and Employment and by this Court. It also alleged that it was not remiss in of one year form the time of declaration of a final certification result, and that
asserting its right as the certified bargaining agent for it continuously no bargaining deadlock had been submitted for conciliation or arbitration,
demanded the negotiation of a CBA with the hospital despite the latter's respondent union was not remiss on its right to enter into a CBA for it was the
avoidance to bargain collectively. Respondent union was even constrained to CMC which refused to bargain collectively. 17

strike on April 15, 1993, where the Secretary of Labor intervened and certified
the dispute for compulsory arbitration. Furthermore, it alleged that majority of
CMC and petitioner union separately filed motions for reconsideration of the
the signatories who supported the petition were managerial and confidential
said Order.
employees and not members of the rank-and-file, and that there was no valid
disaffiliation of its members, contrary to petitioner's allegations.
CMC contended that in certification election proceedings, the employer cannot
be ordered to bargain collectively with a union since the only issue involved is
Petitioner, in its rejoinder, claimed that there is no legal impediment to the
the determination of the bargaining agent of the employees.
conduct of a certification election as more than twelve (12) months had lapsed
since respondent union was certified as the exclusive bargaining agent and no
CBA was as yet concluded. It also claimed that the other issues raised could Petitioner union claimed that to completely disregard the will of the 331 rank-
only be resolved by conducting another certification election. and-file employees for a certification election would result in the denial of their
substantial rights and interests. Moreover,it contended that public respondent's
"indictment" that petitioner "capitalize (sic) on the ensuing delay which was
In its surrejoinder, respondent union alleged that the petition to conduct a
caused by the Hospital, . . ." was unsupported by the facts and the records.
certification election was improper, immoral and in manifest disregard of the
decisions rendered by the Secretary of Labor and by this Court. It claimed that
On January 11, 1995, public respondent issued a Resolution which denied the It was given an opportunity to be heard but lost it when it refused to file an
two motions for reconsideration hence this petition. 18
appellee's memorandum.

The pivotal issue in this case is whether or not public respondent committed Petitioner insists that the circumstances prescribed in Section 3, Rule V, Book
grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the petition for certification election, V Of the Rules Implementing the Labor Code where a certification election
and in directing the hospital to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement should be conducted, viz: (1) that one year had lapsed since the issuance of a
with the said respondent union. final certification result; and (2) that there is no bargaining deadlock to which
the incumbent or certified bargaining agent is a party has been submitted to
Petitioner alleges that public respondent Undersecretary Laguesma denied it conciliation or arbitration, or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike
due process when it ruled against the holding of a certification election. It or lockout, are present in this case. It further claims that since there is no
further claims that the denial of due process can be gleaned from the manner evidence on record that there exists a CBA deadlock, the law allowing the
by which the assailed resolution was written, i.e., instead of the correct name conduct of a certification election after twelve months must be given effect in
of the mother federation UNIFIED, it was referred to as UNITED; and that the the interest of the right of the workers to freely choose their sole and exclusive
respondent union's name CMCEA-AFW was referred to as CMCEA-AFLO. bargaining agent.
Petitioner maintains that such errors indicate that the assailed resolution was
prepared with "indecent haste." While it is true that, in the case at bench, one year had lapsed since the time of
declaration of a final certification result, and that there is no collective
We do not subscribe to petitioner's contention. bargaining deadlock, public respondent did not commit grave abuse of
discretion when it ruled in respondent union's favor since the delay in the
The errors pointed to by petitioner can be classified as mere typographical forging of the CBA could not be attributed to the fault of the latter.
errors which cannot materially alter the substance and merit of the assailed
resolution. A scrutiny of the records will further reveal that after respondent union was
certified as the bargaining agent of CMC, it invited the employer hospital to the
Petitioner cannot merely anchor its position on the aforementioned erroneous' bargaining table by submitting its economic proposal for a CBA. However,
names just to attain a reversal of the questioned resolution. As correctly CMC refused to negotiate with respondent union and instead challenged the
observed by the Solicitor General, petitioner is merely "nit-picking vainly trying latter's legal personality through a petition for cancellation of the certificate of
to make a monumental issue out of a negligible error of the public registration which eventually reached this Court. The decision affirming the
respondent." 19 legal status of respondent union should have left CMC with no other recourse
but to bargain collectively; but still it did not. Respondent union was left with no
other recourse but to file a notice of strike against CMC for unfair labor practice
Petitioner also assails public respondents' findings that the former "capitalize
with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board. This eventually led to a
(sic) on the ensuing delay which was caused by the hospital and which
strike on April 15, 1993.
resulted in the non-conclusion of a CBA within the certification year.'' It further
20

argues that the denial of its motion fro a fair hearing was clear case of denial of
its right to due process. Petitioner union on the other hand, after this Court issued an entry of judgment
on March 23, 1994, filed the subject petition for certification election on March
24, 1994, claiming that twelve months had lapsed since the last certification
Such contention of petitioner deserves scant consideration.
election.
A perusal of the record shows that petitioner failed to file its opposition to
Was there a bargaining deadlock between CMC and respondent union, before
oppose the grounds for respondent union's appeal.
the filing of petitioner of a petition for certification election, which had been
submitted to conciliation or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike or
lockout?
In the case of Divine Word University of Tacloban v. Secretary of Labor and The duly certified bargaining agent, CMCEA-AFW, should not
Employment, we had the occasion to define what a deadlock is, viz:\
21
be made to further bear the brunt flowing from the respondent
hospital's reluctance and thinly disguised refusal to bargain. 23

A "deadlock" is . . . the counteraction of things producing entire


stoppage; . . . . There is a deadlock when there is a complete If the law proscribes the conduct of a certification election when there is a
blocking or stoppage resulting from the action of equal and bargaining deadlock submitted to conciliation or arbitration, with more reason
opposed forces . . . . The word is synonymous with the word should it not be conducted if, despite attempts to bring an employer to the
impasse, which . . "presupposes reasonable effort at good faith negotiation table by the "no reasonable effort in good faith" on the employer
bargaining which, despite noble intentions, does not conclude certified bargaining agent, there was to bargain collectively.
in agreement between the parties."
In the case of Kaisahan ng Manggagawang Pilipino vs. Trajano 201 SCRA 453
Although there is no "deadlock" in its strict sense as there is no "counteraction" (1991), penned by Chief Justice Andres R. Narvasa, the factual milieu of which
of forces present in this case nor "reasonable effort at good faith bargaining," is similar to this case, this Court allowed the holding of a certification election
such can be attributed to CMC's fault as the bargaining proposals of and ruled that the one year period known as the "certification year" has long
respondent union were never answered by CMC. In fact, what happened in since expired. We also ruled, that:
this case is worse than a bargaining deadlock for CMC employed all legal
means to block the certification of respondent union as the bargaining agent of . . . prior to the filing of the petition for election in this case,
the rank-and-file; and use it as its leverage for its failure to bargain with there was no such "bargaining deadlock . . (which) had been
respondent union. Thus, we can only conclude that CMC was unwilling to submitted to conciliation or arbitration or had become the
negotiate and reach an agreement with respondent union. CMC has not at any subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout." To be sure, there
instance shown willingness to discuss the economic proposals given by are in the record assertions by NAFLU that its attempts to bring
respondent union. 22
VIRON to the negotiation table had been unsuccessful
because of the latter's recalcitrance, and unfulfilled promises to
As correctly ratiocinated by public respondent, to wit: bargain collectively; but there is no proof that it had taken tiny
action to legally coerce VIRON to comply with its statutory duty
For herein petitioner to capitalize on the ensuing delay which to bargain collectively. It could have charged VIRON with unfair
was caused by the hospital and which resulted in the non- labor practice; but it did not. It could have gone on a legitimate
conclusion of a CBA within the certification year, would be to strike in protest against VIRON's refusal to bargain collectively
negate and render a mockery of the proceedings undertaken and compel it to do so; but it did not. There are assertions by
before this Department and to put an unjustified premium on NAFLU, too, that its attempts to bargain collectively had been
the failure of the respondent hospital to perform its duty to delayed by continuing challenges to the resolution pronouncing
bargain collectively as mandated in Article 252 of the Labor it the sole bargaining representative in VIRON; but there is no
Code, as amended, which states". adequate substantiation thereof, or of how it did in fact prevent
initiation of the bargaining process between it and VIRON. 24

"Article 252. Meaning of duty to bargain collectively — the


duty to bargain collectively means the performance of a mutual obligation to Although the statements pertinent to this case are merely obiter, still the fact
meet and convene promptly and expeditiously in good faith for the purpose of remains that in the Kaisahan case, NAFLU was counselled by this Court on
negotiating an agreement with respect to wages, hours of work and all other the steps that it should have undertaken to protect its interest, but which it
terms and conditions of employment including proposals for adjusting any failed to do so.
grievance or questions arising under such agreement and executing a contract
incorporating such agreements if requested by either party but such duty does This is what is strikingly different between the Kaisahan case and the case at
not compel any party to agree to a proposal or to make any concession." bench for in the latter case, there was proof that the certified bargaining agent,
respondent union, had taken an action to legally coerce the employer to
comply with its statutory duty to bargain collectively, i.e., charging the employer
with unfair labor practice and conducting a strike in protest against the
employer's refusal to bargain. It is only just and equitable that the
25

circumstances in this case should be considered as similar in nature to a


"bargaining deadlock" when no certification election could be held. This is also
to make sure that no floodgates will be opened for the circumvention of the law
by unscrupulous employers to prevent any certified bargaining agent from
negotiating a CBA. Thus, Section 3, Rule V, Book V of the Implement Rules
should be interpreted liberally so as to include a circumstance, e.g. where a
CBA could not be concluded due to the failure of one party to willingly perform
its duty to bargain collectively.

The order for the hospital to bargain is based on its failure to bargain
collectively with respondent union.

WHEREFORE, the Resolution dated November 18, 1994 of public respondent


Laguesma is AFFIRMED and the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED.

SO ORDERED
On August 16, 1991, Samahang Manggagawa sa Permex-Philippine
Integrated Industries Labor Union (SMP-PIILU), wrote the respondent
company requesting recognition as the sole and exclusive bargaining
representative of employees at the Permex Producer. On October 19, 1991
Permex Producer recognized SMP-PIILU and, on December 1, entered into a
collective bargaining agreement with it. The CBA was ratified between
December 9 and 10, 1991 by the majority of the rank and file employees of
G.R. No. 107792 March 2, 1998
Permex Producer. On December 13, 1991, it was certified by the DOLE.
SAMAHANG MANGGAGAWA SA PERMEX (SMP-PIILU-TUCP), petitioners,
On February 25, 1992, respondent NFL filed a petition for certification election,
vs.
but it was dismissed by Med-Arbiter Edgar B. Gongalos in an order dated
THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LABOR,
August 20, 1992. Respondent NFL then appealed the order to the Secretary of
PERMEX PRODUCER AND EXPORTER CORPORATION, respondents.
Labor and Employment. On October 8, 1992, the Secretary of Labor, through
Undersecretary Bienvenido Laguesma, set aside the order of the Med-Arbiter
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision, dated October 8, 1992 and ordered a certification election to be conducted among the rank and file
and order dated November 12, 1992, of Undersecretary of Labor and employees at the Permex Producer, with the following choices:
Employment Bienvenido Laguesma, ordering a certification election to be
conducted among the employees of respondent company.
1. National Federation of Labor
The facts of the case are as follows. On January 15, 1991, a certification election
2. Samahang Manggagawa sa Permex
was conducted among employees of respondent Permex Producer and Exporter
Corporation (hereafter referred to as Permex Producer). The results of the 3. No union
elections were as follows:
Petitioner moved for a reconsideration but its motion was denied in an order
National Federation of Labor 235 dated November 12, 1992. Hence, this petition.
(NFL)
Two arguments are put forth in support of the petition. First, it is contended that
No Union 466 petitioner has been recognized by the majority of the employees at Permex
Producer as their sole collective bargaining agent. Petitioner argues that when
Spoiled Ballots 18 a group of employees constituting themselves into an organization and
claiming to represent a majority of the work force requests the employer to
Marked Ballots 9 bargain collectively, the employer may do one of two things. First, if the
employer is satisfied with the employees' claim the employer may voluntarily
Challenged Ballots 7
recognize the union by merely bargaining collectively with it. The formal written
confirmation is ordinarily stated in the collective bargaining agreement.
However, some employees of Permex Producer formed a labor organization Second, if on the other hand, the employer refuses to recognize the union
known as the Samahang Manggagawa sa Permex (SMP) which they voluntarily, it may petition the Bureau of Labor Relations to conduct a
registered with the Department of Labor and Employment on March 11, 1991. certification election. If the employer does not submit a petition for certification
The union later affiliated with the Philippine Integrated Industries Labor Union election, the union claiming to represent the employees may submit the
(PIILU). petition so that it may be directly certified as the employees' representative or
a certification election may be held.
The case of Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa v. Ferrer-Calleja, 1 cited by the But it is not enough that a union has the support of the majority of the
Solicitor General in his comment filed in behalf of the NLRC, is employees. It is equally important that everyone in the bargaining unit be given
particularly apropos. There, the union also requested voluntary recognition by the opportunity to express himself. 4
the company. Instead of granting the request, the company petitioned for a
certification election. The union moved to dismiss on the ground that it did not This is especially so because, in this case, the recognition given to the union
ask the company to bargain collectively with it. As its motion was denied, the came barely ten (10) months after the employees had voted "no union" in the
union brought the matter to this Court. In sustaining the company's stand, this certification election conducted in the company. As pointed out by respondent
Court ruled: Secretary of Labor in his decision, there can be no determination of a
bargaining representative within a year of the proclamation of the results of the
. . . Ordinarily, in an unorganized establishment like the certification election. 5 Here the results, which showed that 61% of the
Calasiao Beer Region, it is the union that files a petition for a certification employees voted for "no union," were certified only on February 25, 1991 but
election if there is no certified bargaining agent for the workers in the on December 1, 1991 Permex Producer already recognized the union and
establishment. If a union asks the employer to voluntarily recognize it as entered into a CBA with it.
the bargaining agent of the employees, as the petitioner did, it in effect
asks the employer to certify it as the bargaining representative of the There is something dubious about the fact that just ten (10) months after the
employees — A CERTIFICATION WHICH THE EMPLOYER HAS NO employees had voted that they did not want any union to represent them, they
AUTHORITY TO GIVE, for it is the employees' prerogative (not the would be expressing support for petitioner. The doubt is compounded by the
employer's) to determine whether they want a union to represent them, fact that in sworn affidavits some employees claimed that they had either been
and, if so, which one it should be. (emphasis supplied) coerced or misled into signing a document which turned out to be in support of
petitioner as its collective bargaining agent. Although there were retractions,
In accordance with this ruling, Permex Producer should not have given its we agree with the Solicitor General that retractions of statements by
voluntary recognition to SMP-PIILU-TUCP when the latter asked for employees adverse to a company (or its favored union) are oftentimes tainted
recognition as exclusive collective bargaining agent of the employees of the with coercion and intimidation. For how could one explain the seeming flip-
company. The company did not have the power to declare the union the flopping of position taken by the employees? The figures claimed by petitioner
exclusive representative of the workers for the purpose of collective to have been given to it in support cannot readily be accepted as true.
bargaining,
Second. Petitioner invokes the contract-bar rule. They contend that under Arts.
Indeed, petitioner's contention runs counter to the trend towards the holding of 253, 253-A and 256 of the Labor Code and Book V, Rule 5, §3 of its
certification election. By virtue of Executive Order No. 111, which became Implementing Rules and Regulations, a petition for certification election or
effective on March 4, 1987, the direct certification previously allowed under the motion for intervention may be entertained only within 60 days prior to the date
Labor Code had been discontinued as a method of selecting the exclusive of expiration of an existing collective bargaining agreement. The purpose of
bargaining agents of the workers. 2 Certification election is the most effective the rule is to ensure stability in the relationships of the workers and the
and the most democratic way of determining which labor organization can truly management by preventing frequent modifications of any collective bargaining
represent the working force in the appropriate bargaining unit of a company. 3 agreement earlier entered into by them in good faith and for the stipulated
original period. Excepted from the contract-bar rule are certain types of
Petitioner argues that of the 763 qualified employees of Permex Producer, 479 contracts which do not foster industrial stability, such as contracts where the
supported its application for registration with the DOLE and that when identity of the representative is in doubt. Any stability derived from such
petitioner signed the CBA with the company, the CBA was ratified by 542 contracts must be subordinated to the employees' freedom of choice because
employees. Petitioner contends that such support by the majority of the it does not establish the kind of industrial peace contemplated by the
employees justifies its finding that the CBA made by it is valid and binding. law. 6 Such situation obtains in this case. The petitioner entered into a CBA
with Permex Producer when its status as exclusive bargaining agent of the
employees had not been established yet.
WHEREFORE, the challenged decision and order of the respondent Secretary manifested its willingness to let the investigation proceed; and answering the
of Labor are AFFIRMED. Employees' Union's motion to dismiss, it contended that the existing collective
bargaining agreement constituted no legal objection, inasmuch as no
SO ORDERED. certification election had been held within the preceding twelve months. As to
the alleged impairment of the existing collective contract, it argued there was
no such impairment, because 'the contract is between the company and the
employees represented by the intervenor union who are the principals and can
change their agent at will" by a majority which it is desired to ascertain.

After considering the pleadings and the arguments, the Hon. Arsenio Roldan,
G.R. No. L-8138 August 20, 1955
Presiding Judge, dismissed the petition in December 1953 principally for the
reason that the collective bargaining agreement between the intervenor and
PLDT EMPLOYEES' UNION, petitioner, the company will expire on September 14, 1954, and that before such date it
vs. may not be changed nor amended.
PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY FREE
TELEPHONE WORKERS' UNION, (PAPLU),respondents.
The respondent Workers' Union asked for reconsideration, which the
intervenor opposed. On August 9, 1954 the Court of Industrial Relations in
On September 30, 1953, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, a banc, by majority vote, set aside the order of dismissal and remanded the case
public utility corporation locally organized, filed in the Court of Industrial for "determination of the appropriate collective bargaining unit, (agency) after
Relations a petition for certificate under section 12 of Republic Act No. 875. It which the holding of a certification election in accordance with law should be
alleged that, a week before, it received from the Free Telephone Workers' ordered", (if necessary).
Union notice of its desire to bargain collectively; that until the receipt of such
notice, the Company believed the only legitimate labor organization existing
Hence this petition for review—which takes the place of an appeal from the
therein was the PLDT Employees Union with which it had signed a collectively
order of the Court of Industrial Relations.
bargaining agreement still in operation; and that said Company was in no
position to determine which of the two Unions represented the majority of the
workers. Therefore it requested that an investigation be conducted for the It is the general rule that only final judgments or orders are appealable to this
purpose of determining the proper collective bargaining agency for its Court. An interlocutory order may not be appealed. (Rule 41 sec. 2) "An order
employees, and in the event such investigation fails to determine the proper or judgment is deemed final when it finally disposes of the pending action so
agency that an order be issued requiring the holding of a certification election. that nothing more can be done with it in the trial court. In other words, a final
order is that which gives an end to the litigation . . . when the order or
judgment does not dispose of the case completely but leaves something to be
Upon its petition, the PLDT Employees Union was allowed to intervene, and on
done upon the merits, it is merely interlocutory. For instance an order denying
October 21, 1953 it submitted a motion to dismiss, which as amended, claimed
a motion of dismissal founded on lack of jurisdiction . . .is merely
that it had a collective bargaining agreement in force until September 14, 1954,
interlocutory,"1 and is not appealable.
and that a favorable action by the Court on the petition would permit another
labor organization in the same establishment to present to the employer
another set of demands and compel said employer to bargain with it during the It would seem from the foregoing that this petition for review or appeal of the
lifetime of an existing bargaining agreement, thereby infringing the intervenor is premature, the order denying its motion to dismiss not being a
constitutional provision against impairment of contracts. final order. The Industrial Court still had to determine the proper bargaining
agency or direct a certification election. There was something to be done in the
Industrial Court.
The Free Telephone Workers' Union-hereafter designated respondent—
asserting that it represented the preponderant majority of the employees,
We are aware, of course, that the law permitting appeals to this Court from used as an argument to bar the subsequent holding of a certification election.
"any order" of the Court of Industrial Relations does not in any line employ the The result would be to deprive entirely the Free Telephone Workers' Union
word "final". But it is reasonable to suppose that Congress did not intend to (PAFLU) of an opportunity to prove that it, and not the PLDT Employees Union,
disregard such well-known rule of orderly procedure, which is based partly has the majority status and, therefore, entitled to represent all the employees
upon the convenience of the appealing party itself, in the sense of forestalling of the Company for collective bargaining purposes.
useless appeals. In this case for example, if instead of appealing, the
intervenor allowed the investigation to continue, and later it is declared to be It is interesting to note in this regard that in the United States, where we copied
the proper bargaining agency, then this appeal would have been useless. If it the present Industrial Peace Act an existing collective bargaining contract with
is not so declared—then perhaps 2 it is time to appeal; not before. Before that a union is a bar to subsequent certification election when . . . it has a definite
time it may not claim to be aggrieved by the order remanding the case for and reasonable period to run and has not been in existence for too long a
ascertainment of the labor union which represents the majority. period (history, industry and customs may affect reasonablesness of the
contract term . . ..) (Werne Law of Labor Relations p. 27 citing U. S. Finishing
The assertion that the appealed order impairs petitioner's collective bargaining Co. 63 NLRB 575.) Normally, the National Labor Relations Board is inclined to
agreement is unfounded, because the tenor of the order precisely regard long-term contracts, which have been in existence for more than two
contemplates that any bargaining agreement between the Telephone years, as no obstacle to determining bargaining representatives. (Werne op. cit
Company and the newly-found bargaining agency will have effect only after pp. 28-29 citing several cases.)
September 14, 1954 when the (then) existing collective agreement could be
properly terminated. A contract which provides for automatic renewal in the absence of
notice by one of the contracting parties of intention to alter, modify or
On this point petitioner insists the respondent Court could not say the contract terminate it prior to a specified period preceding the termination date,
would expire on September 14, 1954, in view of the following stipulation in the will operate as a bar to an election. However, this rule does not apply
bargaining agreement: where a contesting union has given timely notice to the employer or
filed a petition with the Board reasonably prior to the specified date for
that it is hereby mutually agreed upon by the parties that the duration automatic renewal. (Werne, op. cit p. 29 citing several Labor Board
of this Agreement shall be for a period of one year, counting from the cases.)
date of its signing by said parties, with the understanding that it shall
be considered renewed or extended from year to year thereafter, Explaining its position in detail, the National Labor Relations Board said in the
unless it is terminated by any one of the parties in writing to the other case of Reed Roller Bit Co. 72 N. L. R. B. 927:
at least thirty days before it is proposed to expire.
Whenever a contract is urged as a bar, the Board is faced with the
Petitioner takes the position that, far from automatically ceasing on September problem of balancing two separate interests of employees and society
14, 1954, the contract is automatically renewed—unless it is denounced by which the Act was designed to protect: the interest in such stability as
one of the parties. Yet when the court mentioned September 14, 1954, it is essential to encourage effective collective bargaining, and the
merely meant that according to the contract on that date it may be denounced sometimes conflicting interest in the freedom of the employees to
or substituted by one of the parties; and the Telephone Company by filing the select and change their representatives. In furtherance of the purposes
petition obviously and foresightedly manifested its intention to terminate such of the Act, we have repeatedly held that employees are entitled to
contract with petitioner, if and when, it is found that said petitioner no longer change their representatives, if they so desire, at reasonable intervals;
represented the majority of the Company's employees. 3 Furthermore, as or conversely, that a collective bargaining contract may preclude a
explained by the Industrial Court. determination of representatives for a reasonable period.

"If a certification election is not held immediately, the agreement may be In the light of our experience in administering the Act, we believe that a
renewed with or without modification by the parties thereto and again it may be contract for a term of 2 years cannot be said to be of unreasonable
duration. We have already held that 2-year contracts are presumptively Anent the alleged impairment of its contract, petitioner should keep in mind the
of reasonable duration. In applying this rule, we have not discovered modern concept embodied in the New Civil Code, that labor contracts being
any compelling conditons which indicate that such agreements unduly impressed with common interest are subject to the special laws on labor
limit the right of employees to change their representatives. Moreover, unions, collective bargaining, strikes, lockouts etc. (Art. 1700.)
in entertaining rival petitions several months before the expiration of
the numerous 1-year contracts which are made, we have found in In view of the foregoing, this petition for review should be denied. To avoid
many instances the contracting parties, having composed their misunderstandings however, it should be made clear that the next step is for
differences and executed collective bargaining contracts after the the court a quo to determine after a speedy and appropriate hearing upon
expenditure of much time, effort and money, can feel truly secure in notice, the labor union that represents the majority of the such majority, then
their respective positions only for the brief period of approximately 8 to said court may order a cetification election in accordance with legal provisions.
9 months.
Petition denied with costs.
For large masses of employees collective bargaining has but recently
emerged from a stage of trial and error, during which its techniques
and full potentialities were being slowly developed under the
encouragement and protection of the Act. To have insisted in the past
upon prolonged adherence to a bargaining agent, once chosen, would
have been wholly incompatible with this experimental and transitional
period. It was especially necessary, therefore, to lay emphasis upon
the right of workers to select and change their representatives. Now,
however, the emphasis, can better be placed elsewhere. We think that
the time has come when stability of industrial relations can be better
served, without unreasonably restricting employees in their right to
change representatives, by refusing to interfere with bargaining
relations secured by collective agreements of 2 years' duration.
(Mathews, Labor Relations And The Law (1953) p. 191-192.)

Now then, as this contract between the Company and the petitioner was
signed December 1, 1951, it had been in operation more than two years in
August 1954 when the certification election was ordered. It is therefore no bar
to the certification even under American labor views.

By the way, this is not to hold that as a matter of law in this jurisdiction the two-
year period is a definite term within which bargaining contracts are not to be
disturbed. Indeed, the statute providing that certification elections shall not be
ordered oftener than once a year, (Sec. 12 (b) R. A. 875) might give ground to
the argument that a collective bargaining agreement between the employer
and a labor union representing the majority of the laborers may be terminated,
after a year, by a new majority organization. The quotations are herein made
merely to exhibit some considerations that have influenced or may influence
the courts in the exercise of their discretion in the matter.
recognized supervisors union existing in the company; that the petition is filed
in accordance with Article 257 of the Labor Code, as amended by Republic Act
No. 6715; and that the petition is nevertheless supported by a substantial
member of signatures of the employees concerned (Annexes "E" and "F", Ibid.,
pp. 28-29).

In its answer, CMC, now petitioner herein, alleged among others, that the
petition for the holding of a certification election should be denied as it is not
supported by the required twenty-five percent (25%) of all its supervisors and
G.R. No. 97020 June 8, 1992
that a big number of the supposed signatories to the petition are not actually
supervisors as they have no subordinates to supervise, nor do they have the
CALIFORNIA MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, petitioner, powers and functions which under the law would classify them as supervisors
vs. (Annex "D", Ibid., P. 25).
THE HONORABLE UNDERSECRETARY OF LABOR BIENVENIDO E.
LAGUESMA, ABD FEDERATION OF FREE WORKERS (FFW),
On July 24. 1990, FFW—CALMASUCO filed its reply maintaining that under
CALIFORNIA MFG. CORP. SUPERVISORS UNION CHAPTER
the law, when there is no existing unit yet in a particular bargaining unit at the
(CALMASUCO), respondents.
time a petition for certification election is filed, the 25% rule on the signatories
does not apply; that the "organized establishment" contemplated by law does
This is a petition for review on certiorari with prayer for preliminary injunction not refer to a "company"per se but rather refers to a "bargaining unit" which
and/or temporary restraining order seeking to annul and set aside the (a) may be of different classifications in a single company; that CMC has at least
resolution * of the Department of Labor and Employment dated October 16, two (2) different bargaining units, namely, the supervisory (unorganized) and
1990 in OS-A-10-283-90 (NCR-OD-M-90-05-095) entitled "In Re: Petition for the rank-and-file (organized); that the signatories to the petition have been
Certification Election Among the Supervisors of California Manufacturing performing supervisory functions; that since it is CMC which promoted them to
Corporation, Federation of Free Workers (FFW) California Mfg. Corp. the positions, of supervisors. it is already estopped from claiming that they are
Supervisors Union Chapter (CALMASUCO), petitioner-appellee, California not supervisors; that the said supervisors were excluded from the coverage of
Manufacturing Corporation, employer-appellant" which denied herein the collective bargaining agreement of its rank-and-file employees; and that
petitioner's appeal and affirmed the order of Med-Arbiter Arsenia Q. Ocampo the contested signatories are indeed supervisors as shown in the "CMC
dated August 22, 1990 directing the conduct of a certification election among Master List of Employees" of January 2, 1990 and the CMS Publication (Annex
the supervisory employees of California Manufacturing Corporation, and (b) "G", Ibid., p 30).
the Order ** of the same Department denying petitioner's motion for
reconsideration.
On August 12, 1990, the Med-Arbiter issued an order, the decretal portion of
which reads:
As culled from the records, the following facts appear undisputed:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is hereby ordered that
On May 24, 1990, a petition for certification election among the supervisors of a certification election be conducted among the supervisory employees
California Manufacturing Corporation (CMC for brevity) was filed by the of California Manufacturing Corporation within twenty (20) days from
Federation of Free Workers (FFW) — California Manufacturing Corporation receipt hereof with the usual pre-election conference of the parties to
Supervisors Union Chapter (CALMASUCO), alleging inter alia, that it is a duly thresh out the mechanics of the election The payroll of the company
registered federation with registry certificate no. 1952-TTT-IP, while FFW- three (3) months prior to the filing of the petition shall be used as the
CALMASUCO Chapter is a duly registered chapter with registry certificate no. basis in determining the list of eligible voters.
1-AFBI-038 issued on May 21, 1990 (Annex "A", Rollo, p. 63); that the
employer CMC employs one hundred fifty (150) supervisors; that there is no
The choices are:
1. Federation of Free Workers (FFW) California is presently prescribed only in organized establishments, that is, those with
Manufacturing Corporation Supervisors Union Chapter (CALMASUCO); existing bargaining agents. Compliance with the said requirement need not
and even be established with absolute certainty. The Court has consistently ruled
that "even conceding that the statutory requirement of 30% (now 25%) of the
2. No union. labor force asking for a certification election had not been strictly compiled
with, the Director (now the Med-Arbiter) is still empowered to order that it be
SO ORDERED. (Annex "H" Ibid., p. 33). held precisely for the purpose of ascertaining which of the contending labor
organizations shall be the exclusive collective bargaining agent (Atlas Free
Workers Union (AFWU)-PSSLU Local v. Noriel, G.R. No. L-51905, May 26,
CMC thereafter appealed to the Department of Labor and Employment which,
1981, 104 SCRA 565). The requirement then is relevant only when it
however, affirmed the above order in its assailed resolution dated October 16,
becomes mandatory to conduct a certification election. In all other instances,
1990 (Annex, "B", Ibid, a 18) CMC's subsequent motion for reconsideration
the discretion, according to the rulings of this Tribunal, ought to be ordinarily
was also denied in its order dated November 17, 1990 (Annex "A", Ibid., p. 15),
exercised in favor of a petition for certification (National Mines and Allied
hence, his petition.
Workers Union (NAMAWU-UIF) v. Luna, et al., G.R. No. L-46722, June 15,
1978, 83 SCRA 607).
a) whether or not the term "unorganized establishment' in
Article 257 of the tabor Code refers to a bargaining unit or a
In any event, CMC as employer has no standing to question a certification
business establishment;
election (Asian Design and Manufacturing Corporation v. Calleja, et al., G.R.
No. 77415, June 29, 1989, 174 SCRA 477). Such is the sole concern of the
b) whether or not non-supervisors can participate in a workers. The only exception is where the employer has to file the petition for
supervisor's certification election; and certification election pursuant to Article 259 (now 258) of the Labor Code
because it was requested to bargain collectively. Thereafter, the role of the
c) whether or not the two (2) different and separate plants of employer in the certification process ceases. The employer becomes merely a
herein petitioner in Parañaque and Las Piñas can be treated as bystander. Oft-quoted is the pronouncement of the Court on management
a single bargaining unit. interference in certification elections, thus:

The petition must be denied. On matters that should be the exclusive concern of labor, the
choice of a collective bargaining representative, the employer
The Court has already categorically ruled that Article 257 of the Labor code is is definitely an intruder, His participation, to say the least,
applicable to unorganized labor organizations and not to establishments where deserves no encouragement. This Court should be the last
there exists a certified bargaining agent which had previously entered into a agency to lend support to such an attempt at interference with
collective bargaining agreement with the management (Associated Labor purely internal affair of labor. (Trade Unions of the Philippines
Unions [ALU] v. Calleja, G.R. No. 85085, November 6, 1989, 179 SCRA 127) and Allied Services (TUPAS) v. Trajano. G.R. No. L-61153
(Emphasis supplied). Otherwise stated, the establishment concerned must January 17, 1983, 120 SCRA 64 citing Consolidated Farms,
have no certified bargaining agent (Associated Labor Unions [ALU] v. Calleja Inc. v. Noriel, G.R No. L-47752 July 31, 1978, 84 SCRA 469,
G.R. No. 82260, July 19, 1989, 175 SCRA 490). In the instant case, it is 473).
beyond cavil that the supervisors of CMC which constitute a bargaining unit
separate and distinct from that of the rank-and-file, have no such agent. thus PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petition is DISMISSED for utter lack of merit.
they correctly filed a petition for certification election thru union FFW-
CALMASUCO, likewise indubitably a legitimate labor organization. CMC's SO ORDERED.
insistence on the 25% subscription requirement, is clearly immaterial. The
same has been expressly deleted by Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6715 and
On May 14, 1991, petitioner TUPAS filed an Urgent Motion To Refer Case To
LACC Fraternal Relations Committee, citing paragraph 1(b) of the LACC
(Labor Advisory Consultative Council) Code of Ethics which provides:

1. Non-Union raiding

xxx xxx xxx

G.R. No. 102350 June 30, 1994 b. Where company is organized.

TRADE UNIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES AND ALLIED SERVICES WORLD All organized local affiliates or unions of any
FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS (TUPAS-WFTU), petitioners, LACC member must be discouraged from disaffiliating from their incumbent
vs. labor federations/national union affiliation. However, LACC recognizes the
HON. BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, in his capacity as Undersecretary of ultimate authority and right of the local unions to decide for themselves during
Labor & Employment and NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LABOR UNIONS the freedom period. In the event that said local unions intend to disaffiliate
(NAFLU), respondents. from any LACC member and to affiliate with another member, the latter must
inform the former about the intention of their said local union and to settle the
The records reveal that the rank-and-file employees of the Philippine matter by themselves. If not so settled, the matter will be brought to the
Development and Industrial Corporation (PDIC), represented by petitioner attention of the Fraternal Relations Committee of the LACC for final
Trade Unions of the Philippines and Allied Services (TUPAS), entered into a determination or settlement. 1

collective bargaining agreement with said company. The CBA expired on April
31, 1991. Said Code of Ethics was adopted and signed by four base organizations,
namely: Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), to which private respondent NAFLU is
On March 8, 1991, PDIC received a letter from the president of petitioner’s affiliated; Federation of Free Workers (FFW); Lakas ng Manggagawa Labor
local chapter union. The company was informed that the union had resolved to Center (LMLC); and Philippine World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)
disaffiliate from petitioner and affiliate with private respondent National Affiliates, which includes petitioner TUPAS. Petitioner urged the DOLE to
2

Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU). PDIC entertained reservations about the "give its imprimatur and uphold the binding effect of the Code among the
validity of the disaffiliation. It was not clear whether the union’s board LACC members." 3

resolution to disaffiliate was ratified by the majority of its members.


Furthermore, PDIC had received reports that some employees were coerced Despite the Urgent Motion, Med-Arbiter Antonio R. Cortez, on June 3, 1991,
to support the disaffiliation. issued an Order with the following dispositive portion:

On April 24, 1991, within the 60-day freedom period, PDIC and private ACCORDINGLY, let a certification election be conducted
respondent NAFLU filed separate petitions for certification election with the among the regular rank-and-file employees of the Philippine Development
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Regional Office No. 3 in San and Industrial Corporation, with the following choices, to wit:
Fernando, Pampanga. Both petitions prayed for the holding of a certification
election between NAFLU and petitioner TUPAS, to determine the collective 1. National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU);
bargaining agent of the rank-and-file employees in PDIC’s plant and quarry.
The two petitions were consolidated and docketed as Case No. R033-9104- 2. Trade Unions of the Philippines Allied Services
RU-006, with petitioner TUPAS as compulsory intervenor. (TUPAS); and
3. No Union. "Art. 256. Representation
issue in organized establishments. In organized establishments, when
The January 1991 payrolls shall be used as the basis to a verified petition questioning the majority status of the incumbent
determine the qualified voters in this election. bargaining agent is filed before the Department of Labor and
Employment within the sixty-day period before the expiration of a
A pre-election conference intended to thresh out the mechanics collective bargaining agreement, the Med-Arbiter shall automatically
of the aforesaid election will be called by this Office after ten (10) days from order an election by secret ballot when the verified petition is
receipt hereof. supported by the written consent of at least twenty-five per cent (25%)
of all the employees in the bargaining unit to ascertain the will of the
employees in the appropriate bargaining unit."
SO ORDERED.
It being not disputed that the petition of NAFLU is sufficient in
The Order was appealed to the Secretary of Labor and Employment, and the
form and in substance, a certification election is indeed
case was docketed as OS-MA-A-7-212-91. On August 15, 1991, the Secretary
warranted. 4

of Labor and Employment affirmed the Order. Labor Undersecretary


Laguesma held, viz.:
On October 7, 1991, respondent undersecretary denied petitioner’s motion for
reconsideration.
The Code of Ethics being invoked by TUPAS is internal to the
Labor Advisory and Consultative Council (LACC). In other
words, it behooves on the signatories to the Code to comply On October 27, 1991, a certification election was conducted among the rank-
and respect its provisions. This Office, therefore, can only take and-file workers of PDIC at Iba, Meycauayan, Bulacan. One hundred eighteen
cognizance of the Code and recognize its provisions if the (118) of the one hundred thirty-six (136) qualified voters participated in the
parties thereto fully and mutually respect the same Otherwise, elections. Petitioner garnered six (6) votes, while private respondent got one
we are left with no other recourse but to dispose of the instant hundred twelve (112). On November 5, 1991, Med-Arbiter Antonio R. Cortez
case on the basis of existing and applicable laws and rules. issued an Order certifying private respondent as the sole and exclusive
bargaining agent of all rank-and-file workers of PDIC. 5

It appears that total reliance on the Code of Ethics is


misplaced. It must be pointed out that no less than the Thus, on November 6, 1991, petitioners filed this original action
aforequoted provision of the Code of Ethics recognizes the for Certiorari and Mandamus with Prayer for the Issuance of Temporary
"ultimate authority and right of the local unions to decide for Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction, "seeking to ANNUL the
themselves during the freedom period." Necessarily, the Code questioned Resolution dated August 15, 1991, and the Order dated October 7,
of Ethics itself does not sanction any act that would curtail the 1991." 6

right of the workers to institute petitions for certification election


during the freedom period, as in the case at bar. On November 18, 1991, we issued a temporary restraining order enjoining
respondents from enforcing the impugned Resolution and Order.
The emphasis given by the Code of Ethics on the right of the
local unions to decide for themselves during the freedom We find no merit in the petition.
period is in accordance with the provision of the Labor Code
which allows another union to question the majority status of Public respondent did not act with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
the incumbent bargaining agent within the sixty-day freedom or excess of jurisdiction in affirming the Med-Arbiter’s Order, dated June 3,
period. This is embodied in Article 256 of the Labor code, as 1991. The order for the holding of a certification election among the rank-and-
amended by RA 6715, to wit: file employees of PDIC finds legal warrant in Art. 256 of the amended Labor
Code, as earlier quoted. Under said provision, the Med-Arbiter
shall automatically order a certification election by secret ballot in an organized agent. This democratic decision deserves utmost respect, especially since it
establishment such as PDIC, provided the following requisites are met: (1) that was not attended by any legal infirmity. Again, it bears stressing that labor
a petition questioning the majority status of the incumbent bargaining agent is legislation seeks in the main to protect the interest of the members of the
filed before the DOLE within the sixty-day freedom period; (2) that such working class. It should never be used to subvert their will.
petition is verified; and (3) that the petition is supported by the written consent
of at least twenty-five (25%) per cent of all employees in the bargaining unit. It IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The
is undisputed that all these requirements were met by private respondent Resolution dated August 15, 1991, and the Order dated October 7, 1991 of
NAFLU in its petition before the DOLE Regional Office No. 3, in San Fernando, respondent Department of Labor and Employment Undersecretary Bienvenido
Pampanga. Thus, Med-Arbiter Cortez, acting in accordance with Art. 256 of the E. Laguesma in OS-MA-A-7-212-91 is hereby AFFIRMED IN TOTO.
Labor Code, as amended, had no recourse but to automaticallyorder the
holding of a certification election at PDIC. SO ORDERED.

It bears stressing that no obstacle must be placed to the holding of certification


elections, for it is a statutory policy that should not be circumvented. We
7 8

have held that whenever there is doubt as to whether a particular union


represents the majority of the rank-and-file employees, in the absence of a
legal impediment, the holding of a certification election is the most democratic
method of determining the employees’ choice of their bargaining
representative. It is the appropriate means whereby controversies and
disputes on representation may be laid to rest, by the unequivocal vote of the
employees themselves. Indeed, it is the keystone of industrial democracy.
9

Art. 256 of the Labor Code cannot be supplanted by the Code of Ethics of the
LACC. Said Code cannot amend or repeal a law. And, as correctly observed
by the Office of the Solicitor General, it merely provides for a voluntary
mechanism to settle intra-union disputes. It only applies when both parties to
the dispute seek the mediation of said Committee. However, when one of the
parties decides to avail of the remedy provided for under Art. 256 of our Labor
Code and files the proper petition with the DOLE, jurisdiction over the dispute
is exclusively acquired by and cannot be wrenched away from the Med-Arbiter.
It is familiar learning that jurisdiction is vested by law, and not by agreement
between or among the parties. Moreover, labor disputes involve public interest,
and hence any private agreement on their settlement cannot prevail over what
is provided for by our laws.

The court also recognizes the fact that the certification election sought to be
stopped by petitioner is now fait accompli, and the rank-and-file employees of
PDIC have articulated their choice as to who shall be their collective
bargaining agent in no uncertain terms. In the certification election legally held
before we issued our temporary restraining order in the case, the PDIC
workers voted, 112 to 6 (with 18 qualified voters not participating in the
election), to make private respondent their sole and exclusive bargaining
registered federation with registry certificate no. 1952-TTT-IP, while FFW-
CALMASUCO Chapter is a duly registered chapter with registry certificate no.
1-AFBI-038 issued on May 21, 1990 (Annex "A", Rollo, p. 63); that the
employer CMC employs one hundred fifty (150) supervisors; that there is no
recognized supervisors union existing in the company; that the petition is filed
in accordance with Article 257 of the Labor Code, as amended by Republic Act
No. 6715; and that the petition is nevertheless supported by a substantial
member of signatures of the employees concerned (Annexes "E" and "F", Ibid.,
pp. 28-29).

In its answer, CMC, now petitioner herein, alleged among others, that the
petition for the holding of a certification election should be denied as it is not
supported by the required twenty-five percent (25%) of all its supervisors and
G.R. No. 97020 June 8, 1992 that a big number of the supposed signatories to the petition are not actually
supervisors as they have no subordinates to supervise, nor do they have the
CALIFORNIA MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, petitioner, powers and functions which under the law would classify them as supervisors
vs. (Annex "D", Ibid., P. 25).
THE HONORABLE UNDERSECRETARY OF LABOR BIENVENIDO E.
LAGUESMA, ABD FEDERATION OF FREE WORKERS (FFW), On July 24. 1990, FFW—CALMASUCO filed its reply maintaining that under
CALIFORNIA MFG. CORP. SUPERVISORS UNION CHAPTER the law, when there is no existing unit yet in a particular bargaining unit at the
(CALMASUCO), respondents. time a petition for certification election is filed, the 25% rule on the signatories
does not apply; that the "organized establishment" contemplated by law does
This is a petition for review on certiorari with prayer for preliminary injunction not refer to a "company"per se but rather refers to a "bargaining unit" which
and/or temporary restraining order seeking to annul and set aside the (a) may be of different classifications in a single company; that CMC has at least
resolution * of the Department of Labor and Employment dated October 16, two (2) different bargaining units, namely, the supervisory (unorganized) and
1990 in OS-A-10-283-90 (NCR-OD-M-90-05-095) entitled "In Re: Petition for the rank-and-file (organized); that the signatories to the petition have been
Certification Election Among the Supervisors of California Manufacturing performing supervisory functions; that since it is CMC which promoted them to
Corporation, Federation of Free Workers (FFW) California Mfg. Corp. the positions, of supervisors. it is already estopped from claiming that they are
Supervisors Union Chapter (CALMASUCO), petitioner-appellee, California not supervisors; that the said supervisors were excluded from the coverage of
Manufacturing Corporation, employer-appellant" which denied herein the collective bargaining agreement of its rank-and-file employees; and that
petitioner's appeal and affirmed the order of Med-Arbiter Arsenia Q. Ocampo the contested signatories are indeed supervisors as shown in the "CMC
dated August 22, 1990 directing the conduct of a certification election among Master List of Employees" of January 2, 1990 and the CMS Publication (Annex
the supervisory employees of California Manufacturing Corporation, and (b) "G", Ibid., p 30).
the Order ** of the same Department denying petitioner's motion for
reconsideration. On August 12, 1990, the Med-Arbiter issued an order, the decretal portion of
which reads:
As culled from the records, the following facts appear undisputed:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is hereby ordered that
On May 24, 1990, a petition for certification election among the supervisors of a certification election be conducted among the supervisory
California Manufacturing Corporation (CMC for brevity) was filed by the employees of California Manufacturing Corporation within
Federation of Free Workers (FFW) — California Manufacturing Corporation twenty (20) days from receipt hereof with the usual pre-election
Supervisors Union Chapter (CALMASUCO), alleging inter alia, that it is a duly conference of the parties to thresh out the mechanics of the
election The payroll of the company three (3) months prior to beyond cavil that the supervisors of CMC which constitute a bargaining unit
the filing of the petition shall be used as the basis in separate and distinct from that of the rank-and-file, have no such agent. thus
determining the list of eligible voters. they correctly filed a petition for certification election thru union FFW-
CALMASUCO, likewise indubitably a legitimate labor organization. CMC's
The choices are: insistence on the 25% subscription requirement, is clearly immaterial. The
same has been expressly deleted by Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6715 and
1. Federation of Free Workers (FFW) California is presently prescribed only in organized establishments, that is, those with
Manufacturing Corporation Supervisors Union existing bargaining agents. Compliance with the said requirement need not
Chapter (CALMASUCO); and even be established with absolute certainty. The Court has consistently ruled
that "even conceding that the statutory requirement of 30% (now 25%) of the
labor force asking for a certification election had not been strictly compiled
2. No union.
with, the Director (now the Med-Arbiter) is still empowered to order that it be
held precisely for the purpose of ascertaining which of the contending labor
SO ORDERED. (Annex "H" Ibid., p. 33). organizations shall be the exclusive collective bargaining agent (Atlas Free
Workers Union (AFWU)-PSSLU Local v. Noriel, G.R. No. L-51905, May 26,
CMC thereafter appealed to the Department of Labor and Employment which, 1981, 104 SCRA 565). The requirement then is relevant only when it
however, affirmed the above order in its assailed resolution dated October 16, becomes mandatory to conduct a certification election. In all other instances,
1990 (Annex, "B", Ibid, a 18) CMC's subsequent motion for reconsideration the discretion, according to the rulings of this Tribunal, ought to be ordinarily
was also denied in its order dated November 17, 1990 (Annex "A", Ibid., p. 15), exercised in favor of a petition for certification (National Mines and Allied
hence, his petition. Workers Union (NAMAWU-UIF) v. Luna, et al., G.R. No. L-46722, June 15,
1978, 83 SCRA 607).
a) whether or not the term "unorganized establishment' in
Article 257 of the tabor Code refers to a bargaining unit or a In any event, CMC as employer has no standing to question a certification
business establishment; election (Asian Design and Manufacturing Corporation v. Calleja, et al., G.R.
No. 77415, June 29, 1989, 174 SCRA 477). Such is the sole concern of the
b) whether or not non-supervisors can participate in a workers. The only exception is where the employer has to file the petition for
supervisor's certification election; and certification election pursuant to Article 259 (now 258) of the Labor Code
because it was requested to bargain collectively. Thereafter, the role of the
c) whether or not the two (2) different and separate plants of employer in the certification process ceases. The employer becomes merely a
herein petitioner in Parañaque and Las Piñas can be treated as bystander. Oft-quoted is the pronouncement of the Court on management
a single bargaining unit. interference in certification elections, thus:

The petition must be denied. On matters that should be the exclusive concern of labor, the
choice of a collective bargaining representative, the employer
The Court has already categorically ruled that Article 257 of the Labor code is is definitely an intruder, His participation, to say the least,
applicable to unorganized labor organizations and not to establishments where deserves no encouragement. This Court should be the last
there exists a certified bargaining agent which had previously entered into a agency to lend support to such an attempt at interference with
collective bargaining agreement with the management (Associated Labor purely internal affair of labor. (Trade Unions of the Philippines
Unions [ALU] v. Calleja, G.R. No. 85085, November 6, 1989, 179 SCRA 127) and Allied Services (TUPAS) v. Trajano. G.R. No. L-61153
(Emphasis supplied). Otherwise stated, the establishment concerned must January 17, 1983, 120 SCRA 64 citing Consolidated Farms,
have no certified bargaining agent (Associated Labor Unions [ALU] v. Calleja Inc. v. Noriel, G.R No. L-47752 July 31, 1978, 84 SCRA 469,
G.R. No. 82260, July 19, 1989, 175 SCRA 490). In the instant case, it is 473).
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petition is DISMISSED for utter lack of activity. Such act of the Union is violative of the property rights of, and would
merit.SO ORDERED cause great and irreparable injury to, Delta. No employer-employee
relationship exists between Delta and the Union members. Delta then prayed
that a writ of preliminary injunction issue and that, after hearing, such
injunction be made permanent.

As aforesaid, respondent judge issued a writ of preliminary injunction. The


Union's move to reconsider was denied on January 26, 1965.

On January 19, 1965, the Union filed a motion to dismiss on the ground, inter
alia, that the court had no jurisdiction to try the case.

Without awaiting resolution of its motion to dismiss the Union commenced in


this Court the present original petition for certiorari on September 18, 1965,
G.R. No. L-24993 December 18, 1968
claiming that respondent judge acted without or in excess of his jurisdiction in
issuing the injunctive writ "as no restraining order could be validly issued
UNITED RESTAUROR'S EMPLOYEES & LABOR UNION-PAFLU, petitioner, against the right to picket as part of freedom of speech"; that respondent judge
vs. issued the questioned writ "without the benefit of a previous hearing"; that it
HON. GUILLERMO E. TORRES, as Presiding Judge of Branch VIII, Court was issued in violation of Section 9(d) of Republic Act 875; that jurisdiction
of First Instance of Rizal, 7th Judicial District, and the DELTA over the case rests with the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR) "for the same
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, respondents. involves acts of unfair labor practice under Sec. 4(a) of Republic Act 875 in
connection with Sec. 5(a) thereof"; and that there is no appeal nor any plain,
Certiorari to annul the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Court of First speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
Instance of Rizal ordering United Restauror's Employees & Labor Union-
PAFLU (Union, for short), its attorneys, representatives, agents and any On September 29, 1965, this Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction upon
person assisting it to "REFRAIN from picketing on the property of plaintiff Delta the Union's P1,000.00-bond.
Development Corporation within the Makati Commercial Center."
On October 12, 1965, Delta answered. It alleged, amongst others, that
The case arose from a verified complaint for injunction with prayer for respondent judge validly issued the injunctive writ in question because the
preliminary injunction filed by Delta Development Corporation (Delta), against same "never enjoined petitioner from picketing against the Sulo-D & E, Inc. but
the Union on January 16, 1965. 1 It is there averred that: Delta is the owner of only from doing their picketing on the private property of respondent who is not
the Makati Commercial Center situated at Makati, Rizal. It is in the business of in any way privy to the relationship between Sulo-D & E, Inc. and petitioner";
leasing portions thereof. The center has its own thoroughfares, pedestrian that Republic Act 875 is not applicable to the case involving as it does an
lanes, parking areas for the benefit of customers and clients of its lessees. On action to protect Delta's property rights; that it has no labor relation or dispute
the other hand, the Union is an association of some employees of Sulo of any kind with the Union; and that the injunctive writ was issued after due
Restaurant, a lessee of Delta. On January 8, 1965, the Union sought hearing on January 19, 1965. Delta asked that the present petition be denied.
permission from Delta to conduct picketing activities "on the private property of
plaintiff surrounding Sulo Restaurant." On January 11, Delta denied the
After the submission of the parties' memoranda in lieu of oral argument, Delta
request because it "may be held liable for any incident that may happen in the
moved to dismiss the proceeding at bar on the ground that it has become moot
picket lines, since the picketing would be conducted on the private property
and academic. It averred that the Union lost in the consent election conducted
owned by plaintiff." Despite the denial, the Union picketed on Delta's property
by the Department of Labor on October 4, 1965 in CIR Cases 1455-MC and
surrounding Sulo Restaurant on January 16 and continued to conduct said
1464-MC, and thereby also lost its right to picket; and that in said election
cases, a rival union — Sulo Employees Labor Union (SELU, for short) was — Union's continuation of their concerted activities. The record before us does
certified by CIR as the exclusive bargaining representative of all the not reveal any other legitimate purpose. To allow said Union to continue
employees of Sulo Restaurant pursuant to CIR's order of December 23, 1965. picketing for the purpose of drawing the employer to the collective bargaining
table would obviously be to disregard the results of the consent election. To
The Union opposed. It argued that the picketing was conducted on or about further permit the Union's picketing activities would be to flaunt at the will of the
January 16, 1965, that is, around 8 months before the consent election on majority.
October 4, 1965; and that the issues that triggered the Union's labor strike of
January 16, 1965 are entirely distinct and foreign to the issues in Cases 1455- The outcome of a consent election cannot be rendered meaningless by a
MC and 1464-MC. minority group of employees who had themselves invoked the procedure to
settle the dispute. Those who voted in the consent election against the labor
The petition must be dismissed. Really, the case before us has become moot union that was eventually certified are hidebound to the results thereof. Logic
and academic. is with this view. By their very act of participating in the election, they are
deemed to have acquiesced to whatever is the consequence of the election.
When the Union struck and picketed on January 16, 1965, it might have been As to those who did not participate in the election, the accepted theory is that
true that the Union commanded a majority of Sulo's employees. Without need they "are presumed to assent to the expressed will of the majority of those
of certification, it could, under such circumstances, conclude a collective voting."6
bargaining agreement with Sulo. 2 But it is not disputed that on October 4,
1965, i.e., shortly after this case was filed on September 18, 1965, a consent Adherence to the methods laid down by statute for the settlement of industrial
election was held. Not controverted, too, is the fact that, in that consent strife is one way of achieving industrial peace; one such method is certification
election, SELU defeated the Union, petitioner herein. Because of this, SELU election.7 It is the intent and purpose of the law that this procedure, when
was certified to the Sulo management as the "collective bargaining adopted and availed of by parties to labor controversies, should end industrial
representative of the employees ... for collective bargaining purposes as disputes, not continue them.8 Pertinent is the following observation to which we
regards wages, hours of work, rates of pay and/or such other terms and fully concur: "Before an election is held by the Board 9 to determine which of
conditions of employment allowed them by law." 3 two rival unions represents a majority of the employees, one of the unions may
call a strike and demand that the employer bargain with it. A labor dispute will
The consent election, it should be noted, was ordered by CIR pursuant to the then exist. Nothing in the statute makes it illegal for a minority to strike and
Union's petition for direct certification docketed as Case 1455-MC and a similar thereby seek to obtain sufficient strength so as to become the sole bargaining
petition for certification filed by SELU docketed as Case 1464-MC. Verily, the agent. But after the Board certifies the bargaining representative, a strike by a
Union can no longer demand collective bargaining. For, it became the minority minority union to compel an employer to bargain with it is unlawful. No labor
union. As matters stand, said right properly belongs to SELU, which dispute can exist between a minority union and an employer in such a case."10
commands the majority. By law, the right to be the exclusive representative of
all the employees in an appropriate collective bargaining unit is vested in the Upon the law then, the Union's right to strike and consequently to picket
labor union "designated or selected" for such purpose "by the majority of the ceased by its defeat in the consent election. That election occurred during the
employees" in the unit concerned. 4 SELU has the right as well as the obligation pendency before this Court of this original petition for certiorari lodged by the
to hear, voice out and seek remedies for the grievances of all Sulo employees, Union the thrust of which is to challenge the power of the Court of First
including employees who are members of petitioner Union, regarding the Instance to enjoin its picketing activities. The Union may not continue to picket.
"rates of pay, wages, hours of employment, or other conditions of The object of the case before us is lost.
employment."
WE, ACCORDINGLY, vote to dismiss the petition for certiorari as moot and
Indeed, petitioner Union's concerted activities designed to be recognized as academic, and to dissolve the writ of preliminary injunction we heretofore
the exclusive bargaining agent of Sulo employees must come to a issued herein, for being functus oficio.
halt.5 Collective bargaining cannot be the appropriate objective of petitioning
No costs. So ordered. votes and GATCORD 42 votes. Eight votes were spoiled and five votes were
challenged or segregated.

As no union obtained a majority vote, CCLU and ALU, which had the two
largest number of votes, agreed in a pre-election conference on September 2,
1980 that a run-off election would be held on November 6, 1980 from six
o'clock in the morning to six o'clock in the evening. CCLU requested that the
certification election be conducted for two days but ALU objected to that
request.

On November 6, 1980, Margarita C. Enriquez, Reynaldo F. de Luna and one


Francisco, three election supervisors from the Ministry of Labor and
Employment, arrived at around seven o'clock in the morning near the Redson
G.R. No. L-56902 September 21, 1982 Textile compound but they were not allowed by the security guard to enter the
company premises in spite of the heavy rain. So, after consulting through the
CONFEDERATION OF CITIZENS LABOR UNIONS (CCLU) and REDSON phone with their chief, a certain Attorney Padilla. the said election supervisors
EMPLOYEES AND LABORERS ASSOCIATION, petitioners, decided to hold the certification election "outside the premises of the company
vs. in a small store outside of the annex building" (Annex C, Rollo, p. 27). They
Hon. CARMELO C. NORIEL, Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau of Labor used as ballot box "an improvised carton box." The union representatives did
Relations, MARGARITA C. ENRIQUEZ, Election Supervisor of the Ministry not object to the improvised polling place and ballot box.
of Labor and Employment, ASSOCIATED LABOR UNIONS (ALU) and
REDSON TEXTILE MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, respondents. Voting started at eleven o'clock. During the election and just before it was
closed at six-thirty in the evening, the ALU representative, Sebastian P. Taneo,
These special civil actions of certiorari and prohibition deal with the alleged executed a written protest or manifestation, alleging that the management of
irregular holding of a certification election. Redson Textile did not allow the run-off election to be held within its premises;
that the company prevented fifty percent of the workers from voting by not
Petitioner Confederation of Labor Unions (CCLU) was one of the four unions allowing them to get out of the company premises and inducing them to work
wanting to be certified as the collective bargaining representative of the overtime; that its security guards "manhandled" the ALU vice-president and
employees in the Redson Textile Manufacturing Corporation with place of that their "active intervention" caused "chaos and confusion" for around thirty
business at Brixton Hill Street, Capitolyo, Pasig, Metro Manila. Its co-petitioner, minutes; that the company refused to furnish election paraphernalia like the
the Redson Employees and Laborers Association, is a CCLU local in the said polling place and the ballot box and that the election supervisors declared the
corporation. election closed in spite of ALU's objection.

The other unions aspiring to become the collective bargaining representative Taneo prayed that the votes should not be counted, that another day be
were the National Union of Garments Textile and General Workers of the scheduled for the continuation of the election and that the company be ordered
Philippines (GATCORD) the National Trade Union (NATU) and the Associated to allow its workers to vote (Rollo pp. 29-35).
Labor Unions (ALU).
At around seven-thirty in the evening, the votes cast were canvassed. Of the
On August 7, 1980, a certification election was held in the premises of the 692 votes cast, ALU got 366 votes as against CCLU's 313 votes, or a margin
corporation from eight-twenty in the morning to five-thirty in the afternoon. Out of 53 votes. There were 1,010 voters. Because ALU won, its representative,
of the 831 votes cast, CCLU garnered 356 votes; ALU 338 votes; NATU, 82 Taneo, withdrew his protest or manifestation by writing on the minutes of the
proceeding that his protest or manifestation was withdrawn "before the close of
the proceedings". On the other hand, the CCLU representatives refused to Noriel in his resolution of March 26, 1981, denying CCLU's motion for
sign the minutes of the election. reconsideration, certified ALU as the exclusive bargaining representative of the
employees in Redson Textile Manufacturing Corporation.
On the following day, November 7, CCLU through its representative, Juan L.
Fresnoza filed with the Bureau of Labor Relations a protest wherein he prayed On June 6, 1981 CCLU and RELA-CCLU filed the instant petition for certiorari
that the November 6 certification election as well as the "continuation of the and prohibition to annul the certification election. They complained that the
election" on November 7 be annulled. certification election was conducted in violation of the following provisions of
Rule VI, Book V of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code:
Fresnoza alleged that the previous day's certification election was irregular and
disorderly because (a) no booths were provided for by the company; (b) the SEC. 6. Duties of representation officer.— Before the actual voting
election started much later than the hour agreed upon by the parties, and (c) commences the representation officer shall inspect the polling place, the ballot
ALU distributed white T-shirts printed with "ALU TAYO", gave free tricycle rides boxes, and the polling booths to insure secrecy of balloting. The parties shall
to ALU voters and hired around fifteen husky men and around twenty-five be given opportunity to witness the inspection proceedings. After the
women who "forced" voters to vote for ALU. examination of the ballot box, the representation officer shall lock it with three
keys one of which he shall keep and the rest forthwith given one each to the
According to Fresnoza, when he and Oscar Sanchez, the acting president of employer's representative and the representative of the labor organization. If
Redson Employees and Laborers Association (RELA-CCLU), protested more than one union is involved, the holder of the third shall be determined by
against those activities before election supervisor Margarita C, Enriquez, the drawing of lots. The key shall remain in the possession of the representation
latter allegedly retorted, "Wala akong magagawa, magagalit na naman si Mr. officer and the parties during the entire proceedings and thereafter until all the
Taneo" (,Rollo, pp. 36-37). controversies concerning the conduct of the election shall have been definitely
resolved.
On November 10, 1980, Fresnoza and Sanchez filed with the Bureau of labor
Relations a joint affidavit attesting to what transpired during the certification The Solicitor General in his comment contends that the certification election
election as alleged in the aforesaid protest and added therein that when they should be upheld because CCLU, by not filing a protest with the election
protested before the election supervisors, the latter told them to "place their supervisor before the close of the election proceeding, waived its right to
protest in writing so that they (supervisors) could consolidate the protests in protest (Sec. 3, Rule VI, Book V of Implementing Rules and Regulations).
their election report" (Rollo, pp. 38-39).
We hold that the certification election is invalid because of certain irregularities
On February 19, 1981, CCLU informed the Bureau of Labor Relations that the such as that (1) the workers on the night shift (ten p.m. to six a.m.) and some
election was conducted without regard to the provisions of section 6, Rule VI, of those in the afternoon shift were not able to vote, so much so that out of
Book V of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code. 1,010 voters only 692 voted and about 318 failed to vote (p. 88, Rollo); (2) the
secrecy of the ballot was not safeguarded; (3) the election supervisors were
Carmelo C. Noriel, Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau of Labor Relations, in his remiss in their duties and were apparently "intimidated" by a union
resolution of February 26, 1981, dismissed CCLU's protest for lack of merit. He representative and (4) the participating unions were overzealous in wooing the
observed that CCLU failed to submit the pleadings and evidences required in employees to vote in their favor by resorting to such tactics as giving free
the hearing on January 19, 1981 and that CCLU failed to file a protest either tricycle rides and T-shirts.
"before or during the election proceeding" and, therefore, pursuant to section
3, Rule VI, Book V of the aforementioned rules, CCLU is deemed to have The purpose of a certification election is to give the employees "true
waived its right to protest. representation in their collective bargaining with an employer" (51 C.J.S. 969).
That purpose was not achieved in the run-off election because many
employees or union members were not able to vote and the employer, through
apathy or deliberate intent, did not render assistance in the holding of the The facts of the case are as follows:
election.
On November 12, 1988, a certification election was conducted among the
It should be noted that ALU's written protest (later withdrawn) was based on rank-and-file employees of the Hijo Plantation, Inc. resulting in the choice of
the same grounds invoked by CCLU in its protest. That fact alone should have "no union." However, on July 3, 1989, on allegations that the company
alerted Noriel to disregard the technicality that CCLU's protest was not filed on intervened in the election, the Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations
time. nullified the results of the certification election and ordered a new one to be
held.
WHEREFORE, the resolutions of the Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau of Labor
Relations dated February 26 and March 19, 1981 are hereby set aside. The new election was held on August 20, 1989 under the supervision of the DOLE
Another run-off certification election should be conducted inside the premises Regional Office in Davao City with the following results:
of Redson Textile Manufacturing Corporation. The management is ordered to
allow all its employees to participate in the certification election and to assist in
the holding of an orderly election. The election supervisors or representation Total Votes cast 1,012
officers are also enjoined to fulfill their duties under the Labor Code and the
rules and regulations implementing the same. Associated Trade Unions (ATU) 39

RUST KILUSAN 5
SO ORDERED
National Federation of Labor (NFL) 876
G.R. No. 104556 March 19, 1998
Southern Philippines Federation of Labor 4
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LABOR (NFL), petitioner,
vs. SANDIGAN 6
THE SECRETARY OF LABOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
UFW 15
AND HIJO PLANTATION INC., (HPI), respondents.
No Union 55
Petitioner NFL (National Federation of Labor) was chosen the bargaining agent
of rank-and-file employees of the Hijo Plantation Inc. (HPI) in Mandaum, Invalid 13
Tagum, Davao del Norte at a certification election held on August 20, 1989.
Protests filed by the company and three other unions against the results of the
election were denied by the Department of Labor and Employment in its The Trust Union Society and Trade Workers-KILUSAN (TRUST-Kilusan), the
resolution dated February 14, 1991 but, on motion of the company (HPI), the United Lumber and General Workers of the Philippines (ULGWP), the Hijo
DOLE reconsidered its resolution and ordered another certification election to Labor Union and the Hijo Plantation, Inc. sought the nullification of the results
be held. The DOLE subsequently denied petitioner NFL's motion for of the certification election on the ground that it was conducted despite the
reconsideration. pendency of the appeals filed by Hijo Labor Union and ULGWP from the order,
dated August 17, 1989, of the Med-Arbiter denying their motion for
intervention. On the other hand, HPI claimed that it was not informed or
The present petition is for certiorari to set aside orders of the Secretary of
properly represented at the pre-election conference. It alleged that, if it was
Labor and Employment dated August 29, 1991, December 26, 1991 and
represented at all in the pre-election conference, its representative acted
February 17, 1992, ordering the holding of a new certification election to be
beyond his authority and without its knowledge. Private respondent also
conducted in place of the one held on August 20, 1989 and, for this purpose,
alleged that the certification election was marred by massive fraud and
reversing its earlier resolution dated February 14, 1991 dismissing the election
irregularities and that out of 1,692 eligible voters, 913, representing 54% of the
protests of private respondent and the unions.
rank-and-file workers of private respondent, were not able to vote, resulting in as its own the documentary evidence presented by the company, showing
a failure of election. fraud in the election of August 20, 1989. On the other hand, petitioner NFL
reiterated its contention that management had no legal personality to file an
On January 10, 1990, Acting Labor Secretary Dionisio dela Serna directed the appeal because it was not a party to the election but was only a bystander
Med-Arbiter, Phibun D. Pura, to investigate the company's claim that 54% of which did not even extend assistance in the election. Petitioner denied that
the rank-and-file workers were not able to vote in the certification election. private respondent HPI was not represented in the pre-election conference,
because the truth was that a certain Bartolo was present on behalf of the
In his Report and Recommendation, dated February 9, 1990, Pura stated: management and he in fact furnished the DOLE copies of the list of
employees, and posted in the company premises notices of the certification
election.
1. A majority of the rank-and-file workers had been disfranchised in the election
of August 20, 1989 because of confusion caused by the announcement of the
company that the election had been postponed in view of the appeals of Petitioner NFL insisted that more than majority of the workers voted in the
ULGWP and Hijo Labor Union (HLU) from the order denying their motions for election. It claimed that out of 1,692 qualified voters, 1,012 actually voted and
intervention. In addition, the election was held on a Sunday which was non- only 680 failed to cast their vote. It charged management with resorting to all
working day in the company. kinds of manipulation to frustrate the election and make the "Non Union" win.

2. There were irregularities committed in the conduct of the election. It was In a resolution dated February 14, 1991, the DOLE upheld the August 20, 1989
possible that some people could have voted for those who did not show up. certification election. With respect to claim that election could not be held in
The election was conducted in an open and hot area. The secrecy of the ballot view of the pendency of the appeals of the ULGWP and Hijo Labor Union from
had been violated. Management representatives were not around to identify the order of the Med-Arbiter denying their motions for intervention, the DOLE
the workers. said: 1

3. The total number of votes cast, as duly certified by the representation officer, . . . even before the conduct of the certification election on 12
did not tally with the 41-page listings submitted to the Med-Arbitration Unit. The November 1988 which was nullified, Hijo Labor Union filed a motion for
list contained 1,008 names which were checked or encircled (indicating that interventions. The same was however, denied for being filed
they had voted) and 784 which were not, (indicating that they did not vote), or unseasonably, and as a result it was not included as one of the choices
a total of 1,792. but according to the representation officer the total votes cast in the said election. After it has been so disqualified thru an order
in the election was 1,012. which has become final and executory, ALU filed a second motion for
intervention when a second balloting was ordered conducted. Clearly,
said second motion is proforma and intended to delay the proceedings.
Med-Arbiter Pura reported that he interviewed eleven employees who claimed
Being so, its appeal from the order of denial did not stay the election
that they were not able to vote and who were surprised to know that their
and the Med-Arbiter was correct and did not violate any rule when he
names had been checked to indicate that they had voted.
proceeded with the election even with the appeal. In fact, the Med-
Arbiter need not rule on the motion as it has already been disposed of
But NFL wrote a letter to Labor Secretary Ruben Torres complaining that it had with finality.
not been informed of the investigation conducted by Med-Arbiter Pura and so
was not heard on its evidence. For this reason, the Med-Arbiter was directed
The same is true with the motion for intervention of ULGWP. The latter
by the Labor Secretary to hear interested parties.
withdrew as a party to the election on September 1988 and its motion
to withdraw was granted by the Med-Arbiter on October motion for
The Med-Arbiter therefore summoned the unions. TRUST-Kilusan reiterated its intervention filed before the conduct of a second balloting where the
petition for the annulment of the results of the certification election. Hijo Labor choices has already been pre-determined.
Union manifested that it was joining private respondent HPI's appeal, adopting
Let it be stressed that ULGWP and HLU were disqualified to participate reconsideration but its motion was denied in an order, dated December 26,
in the election through valid orders that have become final and 1991. Petitioner's second motion for reconsideration was likewise denied in
executory even before the first certification election was conducted. another order dated February 17, 1992. Hence, this petition.
Consequently, they may not be allowed to disrupt the proceeding
through the filing of nuisance motions. Much less are they possessed First. Petitioner contends that certification election is the sole concern of the
of the legal standing to question the results of the second election employees and the employer is a mere bystander. The only instance wherein
considering that they are not parties thereto. the employer may actively participate is when it files a petition for certification
election under Art. 258 of the Labor Code because it is requested to bargain
The DOLE gave no weight to the report of the Med-Arbiter that the certification collectively. Petitioner says that this is not the case here and so the DOLE
election was marred by massive fraud and irregularities. Although affidavits should not have given due course to private respondent's petition for
were submitted showing that the election was held outside the company annulment of the results of the certification election.
premises and private vehicles were used as makeshift precincts, the DOLE
found that this was because respondent company did not allow the use of its In his resolution of August 29, 1991, the Secretary of Labor said he was
premises for the purpose of holding the election, company guards were reversing his earlier resolution because "workers of Hijo Plantation, Inc. have
allegedly instructed not to allow parties, voters and DOLE representation deluged this Office with their letter-appeal, either made singly or collectively
officers to enter the company premises, and notice was posted on the door of expressing their wish to have a new certification election conducted" and that
the company that the election had been postponed. as a result "the firm position we held regarding the integrity of the electoral
exercise had been somewhat eroded by this recent declaration of the workers,
Nor was weight given to the findings of the Med-Arbiter that a majority of the now speaking in their sovereign capacity."
rank-and-file workers had been disfranchised in the August 20, 1989 election
and that the secrecy of the ballot had been violated, first, because the NFL It is clear from this, that what the DOLE Secretary considered in reversing its
was not given notice of the investigation nor the chance to present its evidence earlier rulings was not the petition of the employer but the letter-appeals that
to dispute this finding and, second, the Med Arbiter's report was not supported the employees sent to his office denouncing the irregularities committed during
by the minutes of the proceedings nor by any record of the interviews of the the August 20, 1989 certification election. The petition of private respondent
315 workers. Moreover, it was pointed out that the report did not state the was simply the occasion for the employees to voice their protests against the
names of the persons investigated, the questions asked and the answers election. Private respondent HPI attached to its Supplemental Appeal filed on
given. The DOLE held that the report was "totally baseless." September 5, 1989 the affidavits and appeals of more or less 784 employees
who claimed that they had been disfranchised, as a result of which they were
The resolution of February 14, 1991 concluded with a reiteration of the rule not able to cast their votes at the August 20, 1989 election. It was the protests
that the choice of the exclusive bargaining representative is the sole concern of employees which moved the DOLE to reconsider its previous resolution of
of the workers. It said: "If indeed there were irregularities committed during the February 14, 1991, upholding the election.
election, the contending unions should have been the first to complain
considering that they are the ones which have interest that should be Nor is it improper for private respondent to show interest in the conduct of the
protected." 2 election. Private respondent is the employer. The manner in which the election
was held could make the difference between industrial strife and industrial
Accordingly, the Labor Secretary denied the petition to annul the election filed harmony in the company. What an employer is prohibited from doing is to
by the ULGWP, TRUST-KILUSAN, HLU and the HPI and instead certified interfere with the conduct of the certification election for the purpose of
petitioner NFL as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of the rank- influencing its outcome. But certainly an employer has an abiding interest in
and-file employees of private respondent HPI. seeing to it that the election is clean, peaceful, orderly and credible.

However, on motion of HPI, the Secretary of Labor, on August 29, 1991, Second. The petitioner argues that any protest concerning the election should
reversed his resolution of February 14, 1991. Petitioner NFL filed a motion for be registered and entered into the minutes of the election proceedings before it
can be considered. In addition, the protest should be formalized by filing it the election. The Report of Med-Arbiter Pura who investigated these
within five (5) days. Petitioner avers that these requirements are condition allegations found the allegations of fraud and irregularities to be true.
precedents in the filing of an appeal. Without these requisites the appeal
cannot prosper. It cites the following provisions of Book V, Rule VI of the In one case this Court invalidated a certification election upon a showing of
Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code: disfranchisement, lack of secrecy in the voting and bribery. 5 We hold the
same in this case. The workers' right to self-organization as enshrined in both
Sec. 3. Representation officer may rule on any on-the-spot question. the Constitution and Labor Code would be rendered nugatory if their right to
— The Representation officer may rule on any on-the-spot question choose their collective bargaining representative were denied. Indeed, the
arising from the conduct of the election. The interested party may policy of the Labor Code favors the holding of a certification election as the
however, file a protest with the representation officer before the close most conclusive way of choosing the labor organization to represent workers in
of the proceedings. a collective bargaining unit. 6 In case of doubt, the doubt should be resolved in
favor of the holding of a certification election.
Protests not so raised are deemed waived. Such protests shall be
contained in the minutes of the proceedings. Third. Petitioner claims that the contending unions, namely, the Association of
Trade Union (ATU), the Union of Filipino Workers (UFW), as well as the
Sec. 4. Protest to be decided in twenty (20) working days. — Where representation officers of the DOLE affirmed the regularity of the conduct of the
the protest is formalized before the med-arbiter within five (5) days election and they are now estopped from questioning the election.
after the close of the election proceedings, the med-arbiter shall decide
the same within twenty (20) working days from the date of its In its comment, ATU-TUCP states,
formalization. If not formalized within the prescribed period, the protest
shall be deemed dropped. The decision may be appealed to the . . . The representative of the Association of Trade Unions really attest
Bureau in the same manner and on the same grounds as provided to the fact that we cannot really identify all the voters who voted on that
under Rule V. election except some workers who were our supporters in the absence
of Hijo Plantation representatives. We also attest that the polling
In this case, petitioner maintains that private respondent did not make any precinct were not conducive to secrecy of the voters since it was
protest regarding the alleged irregularities (e.g., massive disfranchisement of conducted outside of the Company premises. The precincts were (sic)
employees) during the election. Hence, the appeal and motions for the election was held were located in a passenger waiting shed infront
reconsideration of private respondent HPI should have been dismissed of the canteen across the road; on the yellow pick-up; at the back of a
summarily. car; a waiting shed near the Guard House and a waiting shed infront of
the Guard House across the road. Herein private respondents also
The complaint in this case was that a number of employees were not able to observed during the election that there were voters who dictated some
cast their votes because they were not properly notified of the date. They could voters the phrase "number 3" to those who were casting their votes
not therefore have filed their protests within five (5) days. At all events, the and those who were about to vote. Number 3 refers to the National
Solicitor General states, that the protests were not filed within five (5) days, is Federation of Labor in the official ballot.
a mere technicality which should not be allowed to prevail over the workers'
welfare. 3 As this Court stressed in LVN Pictures, Inc. v. Phil. Musicians ATU-TUCP explains that it did not file any protest because it expected workers
Guild, 4 it is essential that the employees must be accorded an opportunity to who had been aggrieved by the conduct of the election would file their protest
freely and intelligently determine which labor organization shall act in their since it was in their interests that they do so.
behalf. The workers in this case were denied this opportunity. Not only were a
substantial number of them disfranchised, there were, in addition, allegations Fourth. Petitioner points out that the letter-appeals were written almost two
of fraud and other irregularities which put in question the integrity of the years after the election and they bear the same dates (May 7 and June 14,
election. Workers wrote letters and made complaints protesting the conduct of 1991); they are not verified; they do not contain details or evidence of
intelligent acts; and they do not explain why the writers failed to vote. Petitioner
contends that the letter-appeals were obtained through duress by the
company.

We find the allegations to be without merit. The records shows that as early as
August 22 and 30, 1989, employees already wrote letters/affidavits/
manifestoes alleging irregularities in the elections and disfranchisement of
workers. 7 As the Solicitor General says in his Comment, 8 these affidavits and
manifestoes, which were attached as Annexes "A" to "CC" and Annexes "DD"
to "DD-33" to private respondent's Supplemental Petition of September 5,
1989 — just 16 days after the August 20, 1989 election. It is not true therefore
that the employees slept on their rights.

As to the claim that letters dated May 7, 1991 and June 14, 1991 bear these
same dates because they were prepared by private respondent HPI and
employees were merely asked to sign them, suffice it to say that this is plain
speculation which petitioner has not proven by competent evidence.

As to the letters not being verified, suffice it to say that technical rules of
evidence are not binding in labor cases.

The allegation that the letters did not contain evidence of intelligent acts does
not have merit. The earlier letters 9 of the workers already gave details of what
they had witnessed during the election, namely the open balloting (with no
secrecy), and the use of NFL vehicles for polling precinct. These letters
sufficiently give an idea of the irregularities of the certification election.
Similarly, the letters containing the signatures of those who were not able to
vote are sufficient. They indicate that the writers were not able to vote because
they thought the election had been postponed, especially given the fact that
the two unions had pending appeals at the time from orders denying them the
right to intervene in the election.

WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is DISMISSED and the questioned


orders of the Secretary of Labor and Employment are AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.