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LABORT 2 – PART 6

United Employees Union of Gelmart Industries vs Noriel

Kiok Loy vs NLRC

Doctrine:
Unfair labor practice is committed when it is shown that the respondent employer, after having been served with a written bargaining proposal by
the petitioning Union, did not even bother to submit an answer or reply to the said proposal.

Facts:
The Pambansang Kilusang Paggawa, a legitimate late labor federation, won and was subsequently certified in a resolution by the Bureau of Labor
Relations as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the rank-and-file employees of Sweden Ice Cream Plant.

The Union furnished the Company with two copies of its proposed collective bargaining agreement. At the same time, it requested the Company for
its counter proposals. Both requests were ignored and remained unacted upon by the Company.

Thereafter, the Union filed a "Notice of Strike", with the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) on ground of unresolved economic issues in collective
bargaining.

Conciliation proceedings then followed during the thirty-day statutory cooling-off period. But all attempts towards an amicable settlement failed.

The case was brought to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for compulsory arbitration pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 823, as
amended. But the Company requested for a lot of postponements. NLRC ruled that respondent Sweden Ice Cream is guilty of unjustified refusal to
bargain, in violation of Section (g) Article 248 (now Article 249), of P.D. 442, as amended.

Issue:
Whether the Company is guilty of unfair labor practice for refusal to bargain

Held:
Yes. Petition dismissed for lack of merit. Collective bargaining is one of the democratic frameworks under the New Labor Code, designed to stabilize
the relation between labor and management and to create a climate of sound and stable industrial peace. It is a mutual responsibility of the employer
and the Union and is characterized as a legal obligation.

Article 249, par. (g) of the Labor Code makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer to refuse "to meet and convene promptly and expeditiously
in good faith for the purpose of negotiating an agreement with respect to wages, hours of work, and all other terms and conditions of employment
including proposals for adjusting any grievance or question arising under such an agreement and executing a contract incorporating such agreement,
if requested by either party.

The mechanics of collective bargaining are set in motion only when the following jurisdictional preconditions are present, namely,
(1) possession of the status of majority representation of the employees' representative in accordance with any of the means of selection or
designation provided for by the Labor Code;
(2) proof of majority representation; and
(3) a demand to bargain under Article 251, par. (a) of the New Labor Code.

A Company's refusal to make counter proposal if considered in relation to the entire bargaining process, may indicate bad faith since the Union's
request for a counter proposal is left unanswered. Besides, petitioner Company's approach and attitude-stalling the negotiation by a series of
postponements, non-appearance at the hearing conducted, and undue delay in submitting its financial statements, lead to no other conclusion except
that it is unwilling to negotiate and reach an agreement with the Union.

xxx

FACTS:
In a certification election, KILUSAN, a legitimate late labor federation, won and was subsequently certified in a resolution by the BLR as the sole and
exclusive bargaining agent of the rank-and-file employees of Sweden Ice Cream Plant (Company).

Thereafter, the Union furnished the Company with copies of its proposed CBA. At the same time, it requested the Company for its counter proposals.
The request were ignored and remained unacted upon by the Company.

Left with no other alternative in its attempt to bring the Company to the bargaining table, the Union filed a “Notice of Strike”, with the BLR on ground
of unresolved economic issues in collective bargaining.

The NLRC rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, the respondent [company] is hereby declared guilty of unjustified refusal to bargain, in violation of Section (g) Article 248 (now Article
249), of P.D. 442, as amended. xx

ISSUE:
Did the NLRC act with grave abuse of discretion?

HELD:
NO. Collective bargaining which is defined as negotiations towards a collective agreement, is one of the democratic frameworks under the New Labor
Code, designed to stabilize the relation between labor and management and to create a climate of sound and stable industrial peace. It is a mutual
responsibility of the employer and the Union and is characterized as a legal obligation. So much so that Article 249, par. (g) of the Labor Code makes
it an unfair labor practice for an employer to refuse “to meet and convene promptly and expeditiously in good faith for the purpose of negotiating
an agreement with respect to wages, hours of work, and all other terms and conditions of employment including proposals for adjusting any grievance
or question arising under such an agreement and executing a contract incorporating such agreement, if requested by either party.

We are in total conformity with respondent NLRC’s pronouncement that petitioner Company is GUILTY of unfair labor practice. It has been indubitably
established that (1) respondent Union was a duly certified bargaining agent; (2) it made a definite request to bargain, accompanied with a copy of
the proposed CBA, to the Company not only once but twice which were left unanswered and unacted upon; and (3) the Company made no counter
proposal whatsoever all of which conclusively indicate lack of a sincere desire to negotiate. A Company’s refusal to make counter proposal if
considered in relation to the entire bargaining process, may indicate bad faith and this is specially true where the Union’s request for a counter
proposal is left unanswered. Even during the period of compulsory arbitration before the NLRC, petitioner Company’s approach and attitude-stalling
the negotiation by a series of postponements, non-appearance at the hearing conducted, and undue delay in submitting its financial statements,
lead to no other conclusion except that it is unwilling to negotiate and reach an agreement with the Union.

From the over-all conduct of petitioner company in relation to the task of negotiation, there can be no doubt that the Union has a valid cause to
complain against its (Company’s) attitude, the totality of which is indicative of the latter’s disregard of, and failure to live up to, what is enjoined by
the Labor Code — to bargain in good faith.

NOTES:
While it is a mutual obligation of the parties to bargain, the employer, however, is not under any legal duty to initiate contract negotiation. The
mechanics of collective bargaining is set in motion only when the following jurisdictional preconditions are present, namely,

(1) possession of the status of majority representation of the employees’ representative in accordance with any of the means of selection or
designation provided for by the Labor Code;
(2) proof of majority representation; and
(3) a demand to bargain under Article 251, par. (a) of the New Labor Code . … all of which preconditions are undisputedly present in the instant
case.

Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Top Form Manufacturing vs NLRC

FACTS:
Petitioner Samahang Manggagawa sa Top Form Manufacturing — United Workers of the Philippines (SMTFM) was the certified collective bargaining
representative of all regular rank and file employees of private respondent Top Form Manufacturing Philippines, Inc. At the collective bargaining
negotiation held at the Milky Way Restaurant in Makati, Metro Manila on February 27, 1990, the parties agreed to discuss unresolved economic
issues. According to the minutes of the meeting, Article VII of the collective bargaining agreement was discussed.

RTWPB-NCR issued Wage Order No. 01 granting an increase of P17.00 per day in the salary of workers. This was followed by Wage Order No. 02
dated December 20, 1990 providing for a P12.00 daily increase in salary.

As expected, the union requested the implementation of said wage orders. However, they demanded that the increase be on an across-the-board
basis. Private respondent refused to accede to that demand. Instead, it implemented a scheme of increases purportedly to avoid wage distortion.
Thus, private respondent granted the P17.00 increase under Wage Order No. 01 to workers/employees receiving salary of P125.00 per day and
below. The P12.00 increase mandated by Wage Order No. 02 was granted to those receiving the salary of P140.00 per day and below. For employees
receiving salary higher than P125.00 or P140.00 per day, private respondent granted an escalated increase ranging from P6.99 to P14.30 and from
P6.00 to P10.00, respectively.

The union, through its legal counsel, wrote private respondent a letter demanding that it should “fulfill its pledge of sincerity to the union by granting
an across-the-board wage increases (sic) to all employees under the wage orders.” The union reiterated that it had agreed to “retain the old provision
of CBA” on the strength of private respondent’s “promise and assurance” of an across-the-board salary increase should the government mandate
salary increases. Several conferences between the parties notwithstanding, private respondent adamantly maintained its position on the salary
increases it had granted that were purportedly designed to avoid wage distortion.

Consequently, the union filed a complaint with the NCR NLRC alleging that private respondent’s act of “reneging on its undertaking/promise clearly
constitutes act of unfair labor practice through bargaining in bad faith.” It charged private respondent with acts of unfair labor practices or violation
of Article 247 of the Labor Code, as amended, specifically “bargaining in bad faith,” and prayed that it be awarded actual, moral and exemplary
damages. In its position paper, the union added that it was charging private respondent with “violation of Article 100 of the Labor Code.”
Private respondent, on the other hand, contended that in implementing Wage Orders Nos. 01 and 02, it had avoided “the existence of a wage
distortion” that would arise from such implementation. It emphasized that only “after a reasonable length of time from the implementation” of the
wage orders “that the union surprisingly raised the question that the company should have implemented said wage orders on an across-the-board
basis.” It asserted that there was no agreement to the effect that future wage increases mandated by the government should be implemented on an
across-the-board basis. Otherwise, that agreement would have been incorporated and expressly stipulated in the CBA.

Labor Arbiter Jose G. de Vera rendered a decision dismissing the complaint for lack of merit.

Union appealed to the NLRC that, in turn, promulgated the assailed Resolution of April 29, 1993 9 dismissing the appeal for lack of merit. Still
dissatisfied, petitioner sought reconsideration which, however, was denied by the NLRC in the Resolution dated January 17, 1994. Hence, the instant
petition for certiorari

ISSUE:
Whether or not an employer committed an unfair labor practice by bargaining in bad faith and discriminating against its employees.

RULING:
To start with, if there was indeed a promise or undertaking on the part of private respondent to obligate itself to grant an automatic across-the-
board wage increase, petitioner union should have requested or demanded that such “promise or undertaking” be incorporated in the CBA. After
all, petitioner union has the means under the law to compel private respondent to incorporate this specific economic proposal in the CBA.

It could have invoked Article 252 of the Labor Code defining “duty to bargain,” Thus, the duty includes “executing a contract incorporating such
agreements if requested by either party.” Petitioner union’s assertion that it had insisted on the incorporation of the same proposal may have a
factual basis considering the allegations in the aforementioned joint affidavit of its members.

However, Article 252 also states that the duty to bargain “does not compel any party to agree to a proposal or make any concession.”

Thus, petitioner union may not validly claim that the proposal embodied in the Minutes of the negotiation forms part of the CBA that it finally entered
into with private respondent.

Phil. American Mgt. Co., Inc. vs Phil. American Mgt. Employees Assn.

Manila Fashions, Inc. vs NLRC

Rep. Savings Bank vs CIR

FACTS:
 The Bank employs Resuello et. al. In 1958, it then discharged the private respondents for having written a patently libelous letter tending
to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt not only of officers and employees of this bank, but also of the bank itself.
 The letter was actually a letter-charge, which Private Respondents had written to the bank president, demanding his resignation on the
grounds of immorality, nepotism in the appointment and favoritism as well as discrimination to bank employees.
 At the instance of respondents, Prosecutor A. Tirona filed a complaint in the CIR alleging that the Bank violated the Industrial Peace Act,
which makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer to discriminate against an employee for having filed charges.
 In 1960, however, the Supreme Court overruled the decision of the CIR in the Royal Interocean case and held that "the charge, the filing of
which is the cause of the dismissal of the employee, must be related to his right to self-organization in order to give rise to unfair labor
practice on the part of the employer," because "under subsection 5 of section 4(a), the employee's (1) having filed charges or (2) having
given testimony or (3) being about to give testimony, are modified by 'under this Act' appearing after the last item."
 Relying upon Royal Interocean Lines v. CIR, and Lakas ng Pagkakaisa sa Peter Paul v. CIR, the Bank argues that the court should have
dismissed the complaint because the discharge of the respondents had nothing to do with their union activities as the latter in fact admitted
at the hearing that the writing of the letter-charge was not a "union action" but merely their "individual" act.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Bank conducted unfair labor practice

RULING:
Yes. The action of the private respondents will affect their labor organization.

Assuming that the private respondents acted in their individual capacities when they wrote the letter-charge they were nonetheless protected for
they were engaged in concerted activity, in the exercise of their right of self-organization that includes concerted activity for mutual aid and
protection, interference with which constitutes an unfair labor practice under section 4(a)(1). This is the view of some members of this Court. For, as
has been aptly stated, the joining in protests or demands, even by a small group of employees, if in furtherance of their interests as such, is a
concerted activity protected by the Industrial Peace Act. It is not necessary that union activity be involved or that collective bargaining be
contemplated.
Indeed, when the respondents complained against nepotism, favoritism and other management practices, they were acting within an area marked
out by the Act as a proper sphere of collective bargaining. Even the reference to immorality was not irrelevant as it was made to support the
respondents' other charge that the bank president had failed to provide wholesome working conditions, let alone a good moral example, for the
employees by practicing discrimination and favoritism in the appointment and promotion of certain employees on the basis of illicit relations or blood
relationship with them.

DISPOSITIVE:
Private Respondents won. In final sum and substance, this Court is in unanimity that the Bank's conduct, identified as an interference with the
employees' right of self-organization, or as a retaliatory action, and/or as a refusal to bargain collectively, constituted an unfair labor practice within
the meaning and intendment of section 4(a) of the Industrial Peace Act.

DOCTRINE:
Assuming that the private respondents acted in their individual capacities when they wrote the letter-charge they were nonetheless protected for
they were engaged in concerted activity, in the exercise of their right of self-organization that includes concerted activity for mutual aid and
protection, interference with which constitutes an unfair labor practice under section 4(a)(1). This is the view of some members of this Court. For, as
has been aptly stated, the joining in protests or demands, even by a small group of employees, if in furtherance of their interests as such, is a
concerted activity protected by the Industrial Peace Act. It is not necessary that union activity be involved or that collective bargaining be
contemplated.

Nestle Phils., Inc. vs NLRC

Luzon Development Bank vs Association of LDB Employees

FACTS:
From a submission agreement of the LDB and the Association of Luzon Development Bank Employees (ALDBE) arose an arbitration case to resolve
the following issue:

Whether or not the company has violated the CBA provision and the MOA on promotion.

At a conference, the parties agreed on the submission of their respective Position Papers. Atty. Garcia, in her capacity as Voluntary Arbitrator,
received ALDBE’s Position Paper; LDB, on the other hand, failed to submit its Position Paper despite a letter from the Voluntary Arbitrator reminding
them to do so. As of May 23, 1995 no Position Paper had been filed by LDB.

Without LDB’s Position Paper, the Voluntary Arbitrator rendered a decision disposing as follows:

WHEREFORE, finding is hereby made that the Bank has not adhered to the CBA provision nor the MOA on promotion.

Hence, this petition for certiorari and prohibition seeking to set aside the decision of the Voluntary Arbitrator and to prohibit her from enforcing the
same.

ISSUE:
WON a voluntary arbiter’s decision is appealable to the CA and not the SC

HELD:
The Court resolved to REFER this case to the Court of Appeals.

YES. The jurisdiction conferred by law on a voluntary arbitrator or a panel of such arbitrators is quite limited compared to the original jurisdiction of
the labor arbiter and the appellate jurisdiction of the NLRC for that matter. The “(d)ecision, awards, or orders of the Labor Arbiter are final and
executory unless appealed to the Commission …” Hence, while there is an express mode of appeal from the decision of a labor arbiter, Republic Act
No. 6715 is silent with respect to an appeal from the decision of a voluntary arbitrator.

Yet, past practice shows that a decision or award of a voluntary arbitrator is, more often than not, elevated to the SC itself on a petition for certiorari,
in effect equating the voluntary arbitrator with the NLRC or the CA. In the view of the Court, this is illogical and imposes an unnecessary burden upon
it.

In Volkschel Labor Union, et al. v. NLRC, et al., 8 on the settled premise that the judgments of courts and awards of quasi-judicial agencies must
become final at some definite time, this Court ruled that the awards of voluntary arbitrators determine the rights of parties; hence, their decisions
have the same legal effect as judgments of a court. In Oceanic Bic Division (FFW), et al. v. Romero, et al., this Court ruled that “a voluntary arbitrator
by the nature of her functions acts in a quasi-judicial capacity.” Under these rulings, it follows that the voluntary arbitrator, whether acting solely or
in a panel, enjoys in law the status of a quasi-judicial agency but independent of, and apart from, the NLRC since his decisions are not appealable to
the latter.

Section 9 of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by Republic Act No. 7902, provides that the Court of Appeals shall exercise:
(B) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders or awards of RTC s and quasi-judicial agencies,
instrumentalities, boards or commissions, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Employees Compensation Commission and the Civil
Service Commission, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the Labor Code
of the Philippines under Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, the provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and
subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.

Assuming arguendo that the voluntary arbitrator or the panel of voluntary arbitrators may not strictly be considered as a quasi-judicial agency, board
or commission, still both he and the panel are comprehended within the concept of a “quasi-judicial instrumentality.”

An “instrumentality” is anything used as a means or agency. Thus, the terms governmental “agency” or “instrumentality” are synonymous in the
sense that either of them is a means by which a government acts, or by which a certain government act or function is performed. The word
“instrumentality,” with respect to a state, contemplates an authority to which the state delegates governmental power for the performance of a
state function. An individual person, like an administrator or executor, is a judicial instrumentality in the settling of an estate, in the same manner
that a sub-agent appointed by a bankruptcy court is an instrumentality of the court, and a trustee in bankruptcy of a defunct corporation is an
instrumentality of the state.

The voluntary arbitrator no less performs a state function pursuant to a governmental power delegated to him under the provisions therefor in the
Labor Code and he falls, therefore, within the contemplation of the term “instrumentality” in the aforequoted Sec. 9 of B.P. 129. The fact that his
functions and powers are provided for in the Labor Code does not place him within the exceptions to said Sec. 9 since he is a quasi-judicial
instrumentality as contemplated therein.

It will be noted that, although the Employees Compensation Commission is also provided for in the Labor Code, Circular No. 1-91, which is the
forerunner of the present Revised Administrative Circular No. 1-95, laid down the procedure for the appealability of its decisions to the CA under the
foregoing rationalization, and this was later adopted by Republic Act No. 7902 in amending Sec. 9 of B.P. 129. A fortiori, the decision or award of the
voluntary arbitrator or panel of arbitrators should likewise be appealable to the CA, in line with the procedure outlined in Revised Administrative
Circular No. 1-95, just like those of the quasi-judicial agencies, boards and commissions enumerated therein.

In the same vein, it is worth mentioning that under Section 22 of Republic Act No. 876, also known as the Arbitration Law, arbitration is deemed a
special proceeding of which the court specified in the contract or submission, or if none be specified, the RTC for the province or city in which one of
the parties resides or is doing business, or in which the arbitration is held, shall have jurisdiction.

In effect, this equates the award or decision of the voluntary arbitrator with that of the RTC. Consequently, in a petition for certiorari from that award
or decision, the CA must be deemed to have concurrent jurisdiction with the SC. As a matter of policy, this Court shall henceforth remand to the
Court of Appeals petitions of this nature for proper disposition.

NOTES:
1. In labor law context, arbitration is the reference of a labor dispute to an impartial third person for determination on the basis of evidence and
arguments presented by such parties who have bound themselves to accept the decision of the arbitrator as final and binding. Arbitration may be
classified, on the basis of the obligation on which it is based, as either compulsory or voluntary.

Compulsory arbitration is a system whereby the parties to a dispute are compelled by the government to forego their right to strike and are compelled
to accept the resolution of their dispute through arbitration by a third party. 1 The essence of arbitration remains since a resolution of a dispute is
arrived at by resort to a disinterested third party whose decision is final and binding on the parties, but in compulsory arbitration, such a third party
is normally appointed by the government.

Under voluntary arbitration, on the other hand, referral of a dispute by the parties is made, pursuant to a voluntary arbitration clause in their
collective agreement, to an impartial third person for a final and binding resolution. 2 Ideally, arbitration awards are supposed to be complied with
by both parties without delay, such that once an award has been rendered by an arbitrator, nothing is left to be done by both parties but to comply
with the same. After all, they are presumed to have freely chosen arbitration as the mode of settlement for that particular dispute. Pursuant thereto,
they have chosen a mutually acceptable arbitrator who shall hear and decide their case. Above all, they have mutually agreed to de bound by said
arbitrator’s decision.

2. Article 261 of the Labor Code accordingly provides for exclusive original jurisdiction of such voluntary arbitrator or panel of arbitrators over

(1) the interpretation or implementation of the CBA and

(2) the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies.

Article 262 authorizes them, but only upon agreement of the parties, to exercise jurisdiction over other labor disputes.

On the other hand, a labor arbiter under Article 217 of the Labor Code has jurisdiction over the following enumerated cases:
. . . (a) Except as otherwise provided under this Code the Labor Arbiters shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide,
within thirty (30) calendar days after the submission of the case by the parties for decision without extension, even in the absence of
stenographic notes, the following cases involving all workers, whether agricultural or non-agricultural:

1. Unfair labor practice cases;

2. Termination disputes;

3. If accompanied with a claim for reinstatement, those cases that workers may file involving wages, rates of pay, hours of work and other
terms and conditions of employment;

4. Claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages arising from the employer-employee relations;

5. Cases arising from any violation of Article 264 of this Code, including questions involving the legality of strikes and lockouts;

6. Except claims for Employees Compensation, Social Security, Medicare and maternity benefits, all other claims, arising from employer-
employee relations, including those of persons in domestic or household service, involving an amount exceeding five thousand pesos
(P5,000.00) regardless of whether accompanied with a claim for reinstatement.

Caltex Refinery Employees Assn. vs Brilliantes

FACTS:
Anticipating the expiration of their CBA on July 31, 1995, petitioner and private respondent negotiated the terms and conditions of employment to
be contained in a new CBA. The negotiation between the two parties was participated in by the NCMB and the Office of the Secretary of Labor and
Employment. Some items in the new CBA were amicably arrived at and agreed upon, but others were unresolved.

To settle the unresolved issues, eight meetings between the parties were conducted. Because the parties failed to reach any significant progress in
these meetings, petitioner declared a deadlock. On July 24, 1995, petitioner filed a notice of strike. 6 conciliation meetings conducted by the NCMB
failed, failed. Marathon meetings at the plant level, but this remedy proved also unavailing.

Secretary assumed jurisdiction and ordered “Accordingly, any strike or lockout, whether actual or intended, is hereby enjoined.”xxx But the members
of petitioner defied them and continued their mass action (despite repeated orders)

Thereafter, the contending parties filed their position papers pertaining to unresolved issues. Because of the strike, private respondent terminated
the employment of some officers of petitioner union. The legality of these dismissals brought additional contentious issues.

Again, the parties tried to resolve their differences through conciliation. Failing to come to any substantial agreement, the parties decided to refer
the problem to the secretary of labor and employment.

ISSUE:
(1) petitioner questions public respondent’s resolution of five issues in the CBA, specifically on wage increase, union security clause, retirement
benefits or application of the new retirement plan, signing bonus and grievance and arbitration machineries; and
(2) Whether or not the Honorable Secretary of Labor and Employment committed grave abuse of discretion in resolving the instant labor dispute.

HELD:
The petition is partly meritorious.

1. Wage Increase. Petitioner maintains that the salaries of Shell Refinery employees be used as a “reference point” in upgrading the compensation
of private respondent’s employees because these two companies are in the “same industry and their refineries are both in Batangas.” Thus, the wage
increase of petitioner’s members should be “15%/15%/15%.” Private respondent counters with a “proposed 9% 7% 7% increase for the same period
with automatic adjustment should the increase fall short of the inflation rate.

The alleged “similarity” in the situation of Caltex and Shell cannot be considered a valid ground for a demand of wage increase, in the absence of a
showing that the two companies are also similar in “substantial aspects,” as discussed above.

True, union members have the right to demand wage increases through their collective force; but it is equally cogent that they should also be able
to justify an appreciable increase in wages. We observe that private respondent’s detailed allegations on productivity are unrebutted. It is noteworthy
that petitioner ignored this argument of private respondent and based its demand for wage increase not on the ground that they were as productive
as the Shell employees. Thus, we cannot attribute grave abuse of discretion to public respondent.

2. Union Security Clause. Petitioner argues that in spite of the provisions on the “union security clause,” it may expel a member only on any of three
grounds: non-payment of dues, subversion, or conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude. If the employee’s act does not constitute any of these
three grounds, the member would continue to be employed by private respondent. Thus, the disagreement between petitioner and private
respondent on this issue is not only “procedural” but also “substantial.”
We agree with petitioner. The disagreement between petitioner and private respondent on the union security clause should have been definitively
resolved by public respondent. The labor secretary should take cognizance of an issue which is not merely incidental to but essentially involved in
the labor dispute itself, or which is otherwise submitted to him for resolution. The secretary of labor assumed jurisdiction over this labor dispute in
an industry indispensable to national interest, precisely to settle once and for all the disputes over which he has jurisdiction at his level. In not
performing his duty, the secretary of labor committed a grave abuse of discretion.

3. New Retirement Plan. Petitioner contends that “40 of its members who are still covered by the Old Retirement Plan because they were not able
to exercise the option to shift to the New Retirement Plan, for one reason or another, when such option was given in the past” are included in the
New Retirement Plan.

We hold that public respondent did not commit grave abuse of discretion in respecting the free and voluntary decision of the employees in regard
to the Provident Plan and the irrevocable one-time option provided for in the New Retirement Plan. Although the union has every right to represent
its members in the negotiation regarding the terms and conditions of their employment, it cannot negate their wishes on matters which are purely
personal and individual to them. In this case, the forty employees freely opted to be covered by the Old Plan; their decision should be respected. The
company gave them every opportunity to choose, and they voluntarily exercised their choice. The union cannot pretend to know better; it cannot
impose its will on them.

4. Grievance Machinery and Arbitration. Petitioner contends that public respondent “derailed the grievance and arbitration scheme proposed by the
Union.” Petitioner’s recommendation for a “single arbitrator is based on the proposition that if voluntary arbitration should be resorted to at all, this
recourse should entail the least possible expense.”

No particular setup for a grievance machinery is mandated by law. Rather, Article 260 of the Labor Code, as incorporated by RA 6715, provides for
only a single grievance machinery in the company to settle problems arising from “interpretation or implementation of their CBA and those arising
from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies.”

We believe that the procedure described by public respondent sufficiently complies with the minimum requirement of the law. Public respondent
even provided for two steps in hearing grievances prior to their referral to arbitration. The parties will decide on the number of arbitrators who may
hear a dispute only when the need for it arises. Even the law itself does not specify the number of arbitrators. . In this matter, cost is not the only
consideration; full deliberation on the issues is another, and it is best accomplished in a hearing conducted by three arbitrators. In effect, the parties
are afforded the latitude to decide for themselves the composition of the grievance machinery as they find appropriate to a particular situation. At
bottom, we cannot really impute grave abuse of discretion to public respondent on this issue.

5. Signing Bonus. Petitioner asseverates that the “signing bonus is an existing benefit embodied in the old CBA.” 42 It explains that public respondent
erred in removing the award of a signing bonus xxx

Although proposed by petitioner, 45 the signing bonus was not accepted by private respondent. 46 Besides, a signing bonus is not a benefit which
may be demanded under the law. Rather, it is now claimed by petitioner under the principle of “maintenance of existing benefits” of the old CBA.
However, as clearly explained by private respondent, a signing bonus may not be demanded as a matter of right. If it is not agreed upon by the parties
or unilaterally offered as an additional incentive by private respondent, the condition for awarding it must be duly satisfied. In the present case, the
condition sine qua non for its grant — a non-strike — was not complied with. In fact, private respondent categorically sated in its counter-proposal
— to the exclusion of those agreed upon before — that the new CBA would constitute the only agreement between the parties.

II. In the present case, the foregoing requirement has been sufficiently met. Petitioner’s claim of grave abuse of discretion is anchored on the simple
fact that public respondent adopted largely the proposals of private respondent. It should be understood that bargaining is not equivalent to an
adversarial litigation where rights and obligations are delineated and remedies applied. It is simply a process of finding a reasonable solution to a
conflict and harmonizing opposite positions into a fair and reasonable compromise. When parties agree to submit unresolved issues to the secretary
of labor for his resolution, they should not expect their positions to be adopted in toto. It is understood that they defer to his wisdom and objectivity
in insuring industrial peace. And unless they can clearly demonstrate bias, arbitrariness, capriciousness or personal hostility on the part of such public
officer, the Court will not interfere or substitute the said officer’s judgment with its own.

Elizalde Rope Factory, Inc. vs CIR

National Congress of Union vs Ferrer-Calleja

FACTS:
Dacongcogon Sugar and Rice Milling Co. entered into a CBA with respondent National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW). When the CBA expired,
it was extended for another 3 years with reservation to negotiate for its amendment, particularly on wage increases, hours of work, and other terms
and conditions of employment. However, a deadlock in negotiation ensued on the matter of wage increases and optional retirement. In order to
obviate friction and tension, the parties agreed on a suspension to provide a cooling-off period to give them time to evaluate and further study their
positions. Hence, a Labor Management Council was set up and convened, with a representative of the Department of Labor and Employment, acting
as chairman, to resolve the issues.

Petitioner filed a “petition for direct certification or certification election” among the rank and file workers of Dacongcogon. Respondent NSFW
moved to dismiss the petition on the grounds that the petition was filed out of time and that there is a deadlocked of CBA negotiation.
Med-Arbiter denied the Motion to Dismiss and direct the conduct of a certification election among rank-and-file employees BLR set aside the order
of the Med-Arbiter and ruled in favor of respondent

ISSUE:
Whether the BLR committed grave abuse of discretion?

HELD:
NO. Petition Denied. The “Deadlock Bar” Rule simply provides that a petition for certification election 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 or lockout. The principal purpose is
to ensure stability in the relationship of the workers and the management.

It is a rule in this jurisdiction that only a certified CBA — i.e., an agreement duly certified by the BLR may serve as a bar to certification elections.

This rule simply provides that a petition for certification election or a motion for intervention can only be entertained within sixty days prior to the
expiry date of an existing collective bargaining agreement. Otherwise put, the rule prohibits the filing of a petition for certification election during
the existence of a CBA except within the freedom period, as it is called, when the said agreement is about to expire. The purpose, obviously, is to
ensure stability in the relationships of the workers and the management by preventing frequent modifications of any CBA earlier entered into by
them in good faith and for the stipulated original period.

xxx

FACTS:
Petitioner National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines (NACUSIP-TUCP) is a legitimate national labor organization while
private respondent National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW-FGT-KMU) is a labor organization

Dacongcogon Sugar and Rice Milling Co., Inc. (Dacongcogon) based in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental employs about five hundred (500) workers
during milling season and about three hundred (300) on off-milling season.

On November 14, 1984, private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU and employer Dacongcogon entered into a CBA.

When the CBA expired, private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU and Dacongcogon negotiated for its renewal. The CBA was extended for another three
years with reservation to negotiate for its amendment, particularly on wage increases, hours of work, and other terms and conditions of employment.

However, a deadlock in negotiation ensued on the matter of wage increases and optional retirement. In order to obviate friction and tension, the
parties agreed on a suspension to provide a cooling-off period to give them time to evaluate and further study their positions. Hence, a Labor
Management Council was set up and convened, with a representative of the DOLE, acting as chairman, to resolve the issues.

Petitioner NACUSIP-TUCP filed a petition for certification election among the rank and file workers of Dacongcogon.

Private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU moved to dismiss the petition alleging that it was filed out of time.

Med-Arbiter: denied the motion to dismiss filed by private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU and directed the conduct of certification election among the
rank and file workers of Dacongcogon

Director Calleja of BLR: rendered a resolution reversing the order of the Med-Arbiter

ISSUE:
Whether or not a petition for certification election may be filed after the 60-day freedom period.

RULING:
NO. A careful perusal of Rule V, Section 6, Book V of the Rules Implementing the Labor Code, as amended by the rules implementing Executive Order
No. 111 provides that:

Sec. 6. Procedure — . . .

In a petition involving an organized establishment or enterprise where the majority status of the incumbent collective bargaining union is questioned
by a legitimate labor organization, the Med-Arbiter shall immediately order the conduct of a certification election if the petition is filed during the
last sixty (60) days of the collective bargaining agreement. Any petition filed before or after the sixty-day freedom period shall be dismissed outright.

The sixty-day freedom period based on the original collective bargaining agreement shall not be affected by any amendment, extension or renewal
of the collective bargaining agreement for purposes of certification election.

xxx xxx xxx


The clear mandate of the aforequoted section is that the petition for certification election filed by the petitioner NACUSIP-TUCP should be dismissed
outright, having been filed outside the 60-day freedom period or a period of more than one (1) year after the CBA expired.

It is a rule in this jurisdiction that only a certified collective bargaining agreement — i.e., an agreement duly certified by the BLR may serve as a bar
to certification elections. It is noteworthy that the Bureau of Labor Relations duly certified the November 14, 1984 collective bargaining agreement.
Hence, the contract-bar rule as embodied in Section 3, Rule V, Book V of the rules implementing the Labor Code is applicable.

This rule simply provides that a petition for certification election or a motion for intervention can only be entertained within sixty days prior to the
expiry date of an existing collective bargaining agreement. Otherwise put, the rule prohibits the filing of a petition for certification election during
the existence of a collective bargaining agreement except within the freedom period, as it is called, when the said agreement is about to expire. The
purpose, obviously, is to ensure stability in the relationships of the workers and the management by preventing frequent modifications of any
collective bargaining agreement earlier entered into by them in good faith and for the stipulated original period.

DISPOSITIVE:
Private respondent won

DOCTRINE:
In a petition involving an organized establishment or enterprise where the majority status of the incumbent collective bargaining union is questioned
by a legitimate labor organization, the Med-Arbiter shall immediately order the conduct of a certification election if the petition is filed during the
last sixty (60) days of the collective bargaining agreement. Any petition filed before or after the sixty-day freedom period shall be dismissed outright.

The sixty-day freedom period based on the original collective bargaining agreement shall not be affected by any amendment, extension or renewal
of the collective bargaining agreement for purposes of certification election.

This rule simply provides that a petition for certification election or a motion for intervention can only be entertained within sixty days prior to the
expiry date of an existing collective bargaining agreement. Otherwise put, the rule prohibits the filing of a petition for certification election during
the existence of a collective bargaining agreement except within the freedom period, as it is called, when the said agreement is about to expire. The
purpose, obviously, is to ensure stability in the relationships of the workers and the management by preventing frequent modifications of any
collective bargaining agreement earlier entered into by them in good faith and for the stipulated original period.

HSBC Employees Union vs NLRC (FULL)

In an Order dated November 27, 1995, respondent National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) reversed and set aside the order issued by Labor
Arbiter Felipe T. Garduque II which dismissed and remanded for further proceedings the case for unfair labor practice filed by private respondent
Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Ltd. (the "Bank") against petitioner Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Employees Union
(the "Union"), the recognized bargaining representative of the Bank's regular rank and file employees. The petition for certiorari impugns the
aforesaid Order of respondent commission.

The case at bar arose from the issuance of a non-executive job evaluation program (JEP) lowering the starting salaries of future employees, resulting
from the changes made in the job grades and structures, which was unilaterally implemented by the Bank retroactive to January 1, 1993. The program
in question was announced by the Bank on January 18, 1993.

In a letter dated January 20, 1993, the Union, through its President, Peter Paul Gamelo, reiterated its previous verbal objections to the Bank's
unilateral decision to devise and put into effect the said program because it allegedly was in violation of the existing collective bargaining agreement
(CBA) between the parties and thus constituted unfair labor practice. The Union demanded the suspension of the implementation of the JEP and
proposed that the same be instead taken up or included in their upcoming CBA negotiations.

The Bank replied in a letter dated January 25, 1993 that the JEP was issued in compliance with its obligation under the CBA, apparently referring to
Article III, Section 18 thereof which provides that:

Within the lifetime of this Agreement the BANK shall conduct a job evaluation of employee positions. The implementation timetable of the
said exercise shall be furnished the UNION by the BANK within two (2) months from the signing of this Agreement.

This prompted the Union to undertake concerted activities to protest the implementation of the JEP, such as whistle blowing during office hours
starting on March 15, 1993 up to the 23rd day, and writing to clients of the Bank allegedly to inform them of the real situation then obtaining and of
an imminent disastrous showdown between the Bank and the Union.

The Union engaged in said activities despite the fact that as early as February 11, 1993, it had already initiated the renegotiation of the non-
representational provisions of the CBA by submitting their proposal to the Bank, to which the latter submitted a reply. As a matter of fact, negotiations
on the CBA commenced on March 5, 1993 and continued through March 24, 1993 when the Bank was forced to declare a "recess" to last for as long
as the Union kept up with its concerted activities. The Union refused to concede to the demand of the Bank unless the latter agreed to suspend the
implementation of the JEP.

Instead of acquiescing thereto, the Bank filed on April 5, 1993 with the Arbitration Branch of the NLRC a complaint for unfair labor practice against
the Union allegedly for engaging in the contrived activities against the ongoing CBA negotiations between the Bank and the Union in an attempt to
unduly coerce and pressure the Bank into agreeing to the Union's demand for the suspension of the implementation of the JEP. It averred that such
concerted activities, despite the ongoing CBA negotiations, constitute unfair labor practice (ULP) and a violation of the Union's duty to bargain
collectively under Articles 249 (c) and 252 of the Labor Code.

The Union filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the complaint states no cause of action. It alleged that its united activities were actually being
waged to protest the Bank's arbitrary imposition of a job evaluation program and its unjustifiable refusal to suspend the implementation thereof. It
further claimed that the unilateral implementation of the JEP was in violation of Article I, Section 3 of the CBA which prohibits a diminution of existing
rights, privileges and benefits already granted and enjoyed by the employees. To be sure, so the Union contended, the object of the Bank in
downgrading existing CBA salary scales, despite its sanctimonious claim that the reduced rates will apply only to future employees, is to torpedo the
salary structure built by the Union through three long decades of periodic hard bargaining with the Bank and to thereafter replace the relatively
higher-paid unionized employees with cheap newly hired personnel. In light of these circumstances, the Union insists that the right to engage in
these concerted activities is protected under Article 246 of the Labor Code regarding non-abridgment of the right to self-organization and, hence, is
not actionable in law.

In its Opposition, the Bank stated that the Union was actually challenging merely that portion of the JEP providing for a lower rate of salaries for
future employees. Contrary to the Union's allegations in its motion to dismiss that the JEP had resulted in diminution of existing rights, privileges and
benefits, the program has actually granted salary increases to, and in fact is already being availed of by, the rank and file staff. The Union's objections
are premised on the erroneous belief that the salary rates for future employees is a matter which must be subject of collective bargaining negotiation.
The Bank believes that the implementation of the JEP and the resultant lowering of the starting salaries of future employees, as along as there is no
diminution of existing benefits and privileges being accorded to existing rank and file staff, is entirely a management prerogative.

In an Order dated July 29, 1993, the labor arbiter dismissed the complaint with prejudice and ordered the parties to continue with the collective
bargaining negotiations, there having been no showing that the Union acted with criminal intent in refusing to comply with its duty to bargain but
was motivated by the refusal of management to suspend the implementation of its job evaluation program, and that it is not evident that the
concerted activities caused damage to the Bank. It concluded that, at any rate, the Bank is not left without recourse, in case more aggressive and
serious acts be committed in the future by the Union, since it could institute a petition to declare illegal such acts which may constitute a strike or
picketing.

On appeal, respondent NLRC declared that based on the facts obtaining in this case, it becomes necessary to resolve whether or not the Union's
objections to the implementation of the JEP are valid hand, if it is without basis, whether or not the concerted activities conducted by the Union
constitute unfair labor practice. It held that the labor arbiter exceeded his authority when he ordered the parties to return to the bargaining table
and continue with CBA negotiations, considering that his jurisdiction is limited only to labor disputes arising from those cases provided for under
Article 217 of the Labor Code, and that the labor arbiter's participation in this instance only begins when the appropriate complaint for unfair labor
practice due to a party's refusal to bargain collectively is filed. Consequently, the case was ordered remanded to the arbitration branch of origin for
further proceedings in accordance with the guidelines provided for therein.

Hence, this petition.

The Union asserts that respondent NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in failing to decide that it is not guilty of unfair labor practice considering
that the concerted activities were actually directed against the implementation of the JEP and not at before the start of negotiations. Hence, it cannot
be deemed to have engaged in bad-faith bargaining. It claims that respondent NLRC gravely erred in remanding the case for further proceedings to
determine whether the objections raised by the Union against the implementation of the JEP are valid or not, for the simple reason that such is not
the issue involved in the complaint for ULP filed by the Bank but rather whether the Union is guilty of bargaining in bad faith in violation of the Labor
Code. It is likewise averred that Labor Arbiter Garduque cannot be considered to have exceeded his authority in ordering the parties to proceed with
the CBA negotiations because it was precisely a complaint for ULP which the Bank filed against the Union.

We find no merit in the petition.

The main issue involved in the present case is whether or not the labor arbiter correctly ordered the dismissal with prejudice of the complaint for
unfair labor practice on the case merely of the Complaint, the Motion to Dismiss as well as the Opposition thereto, filed by the parties. We agree
with respondent NLRC that there are several questions that need to be threshed out before there can be an intelligent and complete determination
of the propriety of the charges made by the Bank against the Union.

A perusal of the allegations and arguments raised by the parties in the Motion to Dismiss and the Opposition thereto will readily reveal that there
are several issues that must preliminarily be resolved and which will require the presentation of evidence other than the bare allegations in the
pleadings which have been filed, in order to ascertain the propriety or impropriety of the ULP charge against the Union.

Foremost among the issues requiring resolution are:

1. Whether or not the unilateral implementation of the JEP constitutes a violation of the CBA provisions requiring the Bank to furnish the Union with
the job evaluation implementation timetable within two months from the signing of the CBA on July 30, 1990, and prohibiting the diminution of
existing rights, privileges and benefits already granted and enjoyed by the employees;

2. Whether or not the concerted acts committed by the Union were done with just cause and in good faith in the lawful exercise of their alleged right
under Article 246 of the Labor Code on non-abridgment of the right to self-organization; and
3. Whether or not the fixing of salaries of future employees pursuant to a job evaluation program is an exclusive management prerogative or should
be subject of collective bargaining negotiation.

It does not fare petitioner any better that it had, wittingly or unwittingly, alleged in its Consolidated Reply that the concerted actions began on
January 22, 1993 even before the commencement of CBA negotiations which started in March, 1993. Apparently that was an attempt on the part of
the Union to rectify the incriminating pronouncement of the labor arbiter in his questioned order to the effect that the challenged activities occurred
from March 15 to 23, 1993 during the CBA negotiations. This seemingly conflicting factual allegations are crucial in resolving the issue of whether or
not the concerted activities were committed in violation of the Union's duty to bargain collectively and would therefore constitute unfair labor
practice.

Likewise, the labor arbiter, in finding that the Union was not motivated by any criminal intent in resorting to said concerted activities, merely gave a
sweeping statement without bothering to explain the factual and evidentiary bases therefor. The declaration that there was no damage caused to
the Bank by reason of such Union activities remains unsubstantiated. Nowhere is there any showing in the labor arbiter's order of dismissal from
which it can be fairly inferred that such a statement is supported by even a preponderance of evidence. What purportedly is an adjudication on the
merits is in truth and in fact a short discourse devoid of evidentiary value but every liberal with generalities and hasty conclusions.

The fact that there is an alternative remedy available to the Bank, as the labor arbiter would suggest, will not justify an otherwise erroneous order.
It bears emphasizing that by the very nature of an unfair labor practice, it is not only a violation of the civil rights of both labor and management but
is also a criminal offense against the State which is subject to prosecution and punishment. Essentially, a complaint for unfair labor practice is no
ordinary labor dispute and therefore requires a more thorough analysis, evaluation and appreciation of the factual and legal issues involved.

One further point. The need for a more than cursory disposition on the unfair labor practice issue is made doubly exigent in view of the Bank's
allegation in its Comment that a strike has been launched by the Union specifically to protest the implementation of the JEP. Although the strike
incident is not an issue in this case, this supervening event bespeaks the worsening situation between the parties that calls for a more circumspect
assessment of the actual issues herein involved.

Necessarily, a determination of the validity of the Bank's unilateral implementation of the JEP or the Union's act of engaging in concerted activities
involves an appraisal of their motives. In cases of this nature, motivations are seldom expressly avowed, and avowals are not always candid. There
must thus be a measure of reliance on the administrative agency. It was incumbent upon the labor arbiter, in the first instance, to weigh such
expressed motives in determining the effect of an otherwise equivocal act. The Labor Code does not undertake the impossible task of specifying in
precise and unmistake language each incident which constitutes an unfair labor practice. Rather, it leaves to the court the work of applying the law's
general prohibitory language in light of infinite combinations of events which may be charged as violative of its terms.

It has been held that the crucial question whether or not a party has met his statutory duty to bargain in good faith typically turns on the facts of the
individual case. There is no per se test of good faith in bargaining. Good faith or bad faith is an inference to be drawn from the facts. To some degree,
the question of good faith may be a question of credibility. The effect of an employer's or a union's actions individually is not the test of good-faith
bargaining, but the impact of all such occasions or actions, considered as a whole, and the inferences fairly drawn therefrom collectively may offer a
basis for the finding of the NLRC.

This, the court or the quasi-judicial agency concerned can do only after it has made a comprehensive review of the allegations made in the pleadings
filed and the evidence presented in support thereof by the parties, but definitely not where, as in the present case, the accusation of unfair labor
practice was negated and subsequently discharged on a mere motion to dismiss.

It is a well-settled rule that labor laws do not authorize interference with the employer's judgment in the conduct of his business. The Labor Code
and its implementing rules do not vest in the labor arbiters nor in the different divisions of the NLRC nor in the courts managerial authority. The
hiring, firing, transfer, demotion, and promotion of employees has been traditionally identified as a management prerogative subject to limitations
found in the law, a collective bargaining agreement, or in general principles of fair play and justice. This is a function associated with the employer's
inherent right to control and manage effectively its enterprise. Even as the law is solicitous of the welfare of employees, it must also protect the right
of an employer to exercise what are clearly management prerogatives. The free will of management to conduct its own business affairs to achieve
its purpose cannot be denied.

Accordingly, this Court, in a number of cases, has recognized and affirmed the prerogative of management to implement a job evaluation program
or a reorganization for as long as it is not contrary to law, morals or public policy.

Thus, in Batongbacal vs. Associated Bank, et al., involving the dismissal of an assistant vice-president for refusing to tender his courtesy resignation
which the bank required in line with its reorganization plan, the Court held, among others, that it is not prepared to preempt the employer's
prerogative to grant salary increases to its employees by virtue of the implementation of the reorganization plan which thereby caused a distortion
in salaries, notwithstanding that there is a semblance of discrimination in this aspect of the bank's organizational setup.

In the case of National Sugar Refineries Corporation vs. National Labor Relations Commission, et al., the petitioner implemented a job evaluation
program affecting all employees, from rank and file to department heads. The JEP was designed to rationalize the duties and functions of all positions,
reestablish levels of responsibility, and reorganize both wage and operational structures. Jobs were ranked according to effort, responsibility, training
and working conditions and relative worth of the job. As a result, all positions were re-evaluated, and all employees were granted salary adjustments
and increases in benefits commensurate to their actual duties and functions. With the JEP, the supervisory employees, who were members of the
respondent Union therein and were formerly treated in the same manner as rank and file employees, were considered no longer entitled to overtime,
rest day and holiday pay but their basic salaries increased by 50%. The respondents therein sued for recovery of those benefits.

In upholding management's prerogative to implement the JEP, the Court held therein that:

In the case at bar, private respondent union has miserably failed to convince this Court that the petitioner acted in bad faith in implementing
the JE Program. There is no showing that the JE Program was intended to circumvent the law and deprive the members of respondent
union of the benefits they used to receive.

. . . It is the prerogative of management to regulate, according to its discretion and judgment, all aspects of employment. This flows from
the established rule that labor laws does not authorize the substitution of the judgment of the employer in the conduct of its business.
Such management prerogative may be availed of without fear of any liability so long as it is exercised in good faith for the advancement of
the employers' interest and not for the purpose of defeating or circumventing the rights of employees under special laws or valid agreement
and are not exercised in a malicious, harsh, oppressive, vindictive or wanton manner or out of malice or spite.

Just recently, this Court had the occasion to reiterate and uphold the established and unequivocal right of an employer to implement a
reorganization in the valid exercise of its management prerogative, thus:

Being a regular employee, petitioner is of the view that she had already acquired a vested right to the position of Executive Secretary,
together with its corresponding grade, rank and salary, which cannot be impaired by the 1991 reorganization of CENECO.

xxx xxx xxx

In Aurelio vs. National Labor Relations Commission, et al., we upheld the power of the board of directors of a corporation to implement a
reorganization, including the abolition of various positions, as implied or incidental to its power to conduct the regular business affairs of
the corporation. In recognition of the right of management to conduct its own business affairs in achieving its purpose, we declared that
management is at liberty, absent any malice of its part, to abolish positions which it deems no longer necessary.

This Court, absent any finding of bad faith on the part of management, will not deny it the right to such initiative simply to protect the
person holding that office. In other words, where there is nothing that would indicate that an employee's position was abolished to ease
him out of employment, the deletion of that position should be accepted as a valid exercise of management prerogative.

xxx xxx xxx

No ill will can be ascribed to private respondents as all the positions specified in the old plantilla were abolished and all other employees
were given new appointments. In short, petitioner was not singled out. She was not the only employee affected by the reorganization. The
reorganization was fair to petitioner, if not to all of the employees of CENECO.

It should be remembered that petitioner's new appointment was made as a result of valid organizational changes. A thorough review of
both the indispensable and the unessential positions was undertaken by a committee, specifically formed for this purpose, before the
Board of Directors abolished all the positions. Based on the qualifications and aptitude of petitioner, the committee and, subsequently,
private respondents, deemed it best to appoint petitioner as Secretary of the Engineering Department. We cannot meddle in such a decision
lest we interfere with the private respondents' right to independently control and manage their operations absent any unfair or inequitable
acts.

If the purpose of a reorganization is to be achieved, changes in positions and ranking of employees should be expected. To insist on one's
old position and ranking after a reorganization would render such endeavor ineffectual. Here, to compel private respondents to give
petitioner her old ranking would deprive them of their right to adopt changes in the cooperative's personnel structure as proposed by the
Steering Committee.

xxx xxx xxx

. . . As we have held, security of tenure, while constitutionally guaranteed, cannot be used to deprive an employer of its prerogatives under
the law. Even if the law is solicitous of the welfare of the employees, it must also protect the right of an employer to exercise what are
clearly management prerogatives.

Notwithstanding the relevance of the foregoing disquisition, considering however the factual antecedents in this case, or the lack of a complete
presentation thereof, we are constrained to refrain from ruling outright in favor of the Bank. While it would appear that remanding the case would
mean a further delay in its disposition, we are not inclined to sacrifice equity and justice for procedural technicalities or expediency. The order
dismissing the complaint for ULP with prejudice, to say the least, leaves much to be desired.

Anent the question on whether or not the labor arbiter has jurisdiction to order the parties to return to and continue with the collective bargaining
negotiations, there is a commentary to the effect that, as one of the reliefs which may be granted in ULP cases, the Court may, in addition to the
usual cease and desist orders, issue an affirmative order to the employer to "bargain" with the bargaining agent, as the exclusive representative of
its employees, with respect to the rate of pay, hours of work, and other conditions of employment. On this aspect, respondent NLRC stands to be
reversed. Nevertheless, its directive on this point is deemed vacated and ineffectual by our decision to remand the case for further proceedings.

WHEREFORE, subject to the foregoing observation, the challenged disposition of respondent National Labor Relations Commission is hereby
AFFIRMED.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran vs Assn. of Employees and Faculty of Letran

Facts:
During the renegotiation of the respondent unions Collective Bargaining Agreement with the petitioner, Eleonor Ambas emerged as the newly elected
President of the union. Ambas wanted to continue the renegotiation of the CBA but petitioner, through Fr. Edwin Lao, claimed that the CBA was
already prepared for signing by the parties. However, the union members rejected the said CBA. Thereafter, petitioner accused the union officers of
bargaining in bad faith before the NLRC. The Labor Arbiter decided in favor of the petitioner. This decision was reversed on appeal with the NLRC.

The parties later agreed to disregard the unsigned CBA and to start negotiation on new five-year CBA. During the pendency of approval of proposals,
Ambas was informed that her work schedule was being changed. Ambas protested and requested management to submit the issue to a grievance
machinery under the old CBA.

After the petitioner’s inaction on the CBA, the union filed a notice to strike. After meeting with the NCMB to discuss the ground rules for
renegotiation, Ambas received a letter dismissing her for alleged insubordination. The petitioner then ceased negotiations when it received news
that another labor organization had filed a petition for certification.

The union finally struck, but the Secretary of Labor and Employment ordered them to return to work and for petitioner to accept them back. The
Secretary of Labor and Employment later rendered judgement that the petitioner had been guilty of unfair labor practice. The Court of Appeals
affirmed the findings of the former.

Issue(s):
1. Whether petitioner is guilty of unfair labor practice by refusing to bargain with the union when it unilaterally suspended the ongoing
negotiations for a new CBA; and
2. Whether the termination of the union president amounts to an interference of the employees’ right to self-organization.

Held:
The Supreme Court found the petition unmeritorious.

1. The petitioner’s failure to act upon the submitted CBA proposal within the ten-day period exemplified in Article 250 of the Labor Code is a
clear violation of the governing procedure of collective bargaining. As the Court has held in Kiok Loy vs. NLRC, the company’s refusal to
make counter-proposal to the union’s proposed CBA is an indication of bad faith. Moreover, the succeeding events are obvious signs that
the petitioner had merely been employing delaying tactics to the passage of the proposed CBA. Moreover, in order to allow the employer
to validly suspend the bargaining process, there must be a valid petition for certification election raising a legitimate representation issue.
Hence, the mere filing of a petition for certification election does not ipso facto justify the suspension of negotiation by the employer.

2. The factual backdrop of the termination of Ambas led the Court to no other conclusion that she was dismissed in order to strip the union
of a leader who would fight for the right of her co-workers in the bargaining table. While the Court recognizes the right of the employer to
terminate the services of an employee for a just or authorized cause, nevertheless, the dismissal of employees must be made within the
parameters of aw and pursuant to the tenets of equity and fair play. Even assuming arguendo that Ambas was guilty of insubordination,
such disobedience was not a valid ground to terminate her employment. When the exercise of the management to discipline its employees
tends to interfere with the employees’ right to self-organization, it amounts to union-busting and is therefore a prohibited act.

Union of Filipino – Employees – Drug, Food and Allied Industries Union vs Nestle

LMG Chemicals vs Sec. of Labor

FACTS:
LMG Chemicals Corp, (petitioner) is a domestic corp engaged in the manufacture and sale of various kinds of chemical substances, including aluminum
sulfate which is essential in purifying water, and technical grade sulfuric acid used in thermal power plants. Petitioner has three divisions, namely:
the Organic Division, Inorganic Division and the Pinamucan Bulk Carriers. There are two unions within petitioner’s Inorganic Division. One union
represents the daily paid employees and the other union represents the monthly paid employees. Chemical Workers Union, respondent, is a duly
registered labor organization acting as the collective bargaining agent of all the daily paid employees of petitioner’s Inorganic Division.

Sometime in December 1995, the petitioner and the respondent started negotiation for a new CBA as their old CBA was about to expire. They were
able to agree on the political provisions of the new CBA, but no agreement was reached on the issue of wage increase. The economic issues were not
also settled.

With the CBA negotiations at a deadlock (Strike…Secretary assumed jurisdiction)


Secretary of Labor and Employment granted an increase of P140 (higher than the offer of petitioner-company of P135). Also, as to the effectivity of
the new CBA…Sec held:

3. Effectivity of the new CBA

Article 253-A of the Labor Code, as amended, provides that when no new CBA is signed during a period of six months from the expiry date of the old
CBA, the retroactivity period shall be according to the parties’ agreement, Inasmuch as the parties could not agree on this issue and since this Office
has assumed jurisdiction, then this matter now lies at the discretion of the Secretary of labor and Employment. Thus the new Collective Bargaining
Agreement which the parties will sign pursuant to this Order shall retroact to January 1, 1996.

Petitioner contends that public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion when he ordered that the new CBA which the parties will sign shall
retroact to January 1, 1996

ISSUE:
Whether or not the new CBA shall retroact?

HELD:
Petitioner insists that public respondent’s discretion on the issue of the date of the effectivity of the new CBA is limited to either: (1) leaving the
matter of the date of effectivity of the new CBA is limited to either: (1) leaving the matter of the date of effectivity of the new CBA to the agreement
of the parties or (2) ordering that the terms of the new CBA be prospectively applied.

It must be emphasized that respondent Secretary assumed jurisdiction over the dispute because it is impressed with national interest. As noted by
the Secretary, “the petitioner corp was then supplying the sulfate requirements of MWSS as well as the sulfuric acid of NAPOCOR, and consequently,
the continuation of the strike would seriously affect the water supply of Metro Manila and the power supply of the Luzon Grid.” Such authority of
the Secretary to assume jurisdiction carries with it the power to determine the retroactivity of the parties’ CBA.

It is well settled in our jurisprudence that the authority of the Secretary of Labor to assume jurisdiction over a labor dispute causing or likely to cause
a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to national interest includes and extends to all questions and controversies arising therefrom. The
power is plenary and discretionary in nature to enable him to effectively and efficiently dispose of the primary dispute.

This Court held in St. Luke’s Medical Center, Inc. vs. Torres:

Therefore in the absence of the specific provision of law prohibiting retroactivity of the effectivity of the arbitral awards issued by the Secretary of
Labor pursuant to Article 263(g) of the Labor Code, such as herein involved, public respondent is deemed vested with plenary powers to determine
the effectivity thereof.

PETITION DENIED.

Navarro III vs Damasco

Facts:
Petitioner Navarro, a typist of BUSCO SUGAR MILLING CO, went to visit Mercie Baylas, whom he was courting, in the company’s ladies’ dormitory.
Upon seeing him, Baylas ran towards her room but lost her balance; petitioner overcame her, embraced her, put himself on top of her and started
kissing her until other employees responded to Baylas' flee for help. The company put Navarro under preventive suspension because of the incident
and he was meted out the penalty of dismissal upon the recommendation of the investigator for violating the company's Code of Conduct against
acts of immorality and gross discourtesy to a co-employee inside company premises.

The President of the Mindanao Sugar Workers Union, for and in behalf of petitioner, and the Personnel Officer of the company agreed to submit the
case of petitioner to voluntary arbitration. Counsel for petitioner, during the initial conference with the Voluntary Arbitrator, questioned whether
the grievance procedure in the CBA before bringing the case before the Voluntary Arbitrator had been followed. The parties, however, also agreed
to submit the case for decision based on their position papers. The Voluntary Arbitrator rendered a decision dismissing petitioner from employment
and holding that the company did not violate the provisions of the grievance procedure under the CBA.

Petitioner contends that the grievance procedure provided for in the CBA was not followed; hence, the Voluntary Arbitrator exceeded his authority
when he took cognizance of the labor case. Petitioner also claims that he was denied due process of law because no hearing was held and he was
not given an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses.

Issues:
1. WON the case of petitioner should have been brought to the company’s grievance machinery prior to the Voluntary Arbitrator.
2. WON petitioner was denied due process.

Held:
1. It is the policy of the State to promote voluntary arbitration as a mode of settling labor disputes. The instant case is not a grievance that must be
submitted to the grievance machinery. What are subject of the grievance procedure for adjustment and resolution are grievances arising from the
interpretation or implementation of the CBA. The acts of petitioner involved a violation of the Code of Employee Discipline, particularly the provision
penalizing the immoral conduct of employees. Consequently, there was no justification for petitioner to invoke the grievance machinery provisions
of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Also, the case of petitioner was submitted to voluntary arbitration by agreement of the president of the labor union to which petitioner belongs, and
his employer, through its personnel officer. Petitioner himself voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the Voluntary Arbitrator when he, through
his counsel, filed his position paper with the Voluntary Arbitrator and even submitted additional documentary evidence.

2. Petitioner was not denied due process. Due process in administrative proceedings is an opportunity to explain one’s side or an opportunity to seek
a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. A formal or trial-type hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential. The requirements
are satisfied where the parties are afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the controversy at hand.

Concerning the allegation that petitioner was not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses, the record shows that the parties had agreed not to cross-
examine their witnesses anymore.

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the respondent Voluntary Arbitrator is AFFIRMED.

New Pacific Timber vs NLRC

FACTS:
The NFL was the sole and exclusive bargaining representative for the rank and file employees of petitioner. NFL started to negotiate for better terms
and conditions of employment; which were met with resistance by Petitioner Company. The NFL filed a complaint for ULP on the ground of refusal
to bargain collectively. LA issued an order declaring the company guilty of ULP and ordering the CBA proposals submitted by the NFL as the CBA
between parties. Later, 186 of private respondents claiming they were wrongfully excluded from the benefits under the CBA filed a petition for relief.
Petitioner asserts that private respondents are not parties to the agreement and may not claim benefits thereunder. As for the CBA, petitioner
maintains that the force and effect of the CBA’s terms are limited to only three years and cannot extend to terms and conditions which ceased to
have force and effect.

ISSUES:
1. W/N the terms of an existing CBA as to its economic provisions can be extended beyond the period stipulated therein, even beyond the
three year period prescribed by law, in the absence of a new agreement.
2. W/N the rank and file employees hired after the term of the CBA, considering their subsequent membership in the bargaining unit, are
parties to the agreement and may claim benefits thereunder.

HELD:
1. Yes. It is clear from Art. 253 that until a new CBA has been executed by and between the parties; they are duly bound to keep the status quo and
to continue in full force and effect the terms and conditions of the existing agreement. In the case at bar, no new agreement was entered between
the parties pending appeal of the decision in the NLRC. Consequently, the employees from to the year 1985 (after expiration of the CBA) onwards
would be deprived of a substantial amount of monetary benefits if the terms and conditions of the CBA were not to remain in force and effect which
runs counter to the intent of the Labor Cod to curb labor unrest and promote industrial peace.

2. Yes. When a CBA is entered into by the union representing the employees and the employer, even the non-union members are entitled to the
benefits of the contract. A laborer can claim benefits from a CBA entered into the company and the union of which he is a member at the time of the
conclusion of the agreement even after he has resigned from said union. Therefore, the benefits under the CBA should be extended to those who
only became such after it expired; to exclude them would constitute undue discrimination.

Davao Integrated vs Abarquez

FACTS:
Petitioner and private respondent, THE ASSOCIATION OF TRADE UNIONS (ATU-TUCP), entered into a CBA providing for 2 sections on sick leave with
pay benefits which apply to both the regular non-intermittent workers or those workers who render a daily eight-hour service to the company as
governed by Section 1, Article VIII of the 1989 CBA, and the intermittent field workers who are members of the regular labor pool and the present
regular extra labor pool, as governed by Sec. 3 thereof.

Sec. 1, however, of said CBA had a proviso that only those regular workers of the company whose work are not intermittent, are entitled to the
commutation of sick leave privilege.A proviso not found in Sec. 3. This caused the new assistant manager to discontinue the commutation of the
unenjoyed portion of the sick leave with pay benefits of the intermittent workers or its conversion to cash.

The Union objected and brought the matter for voluntary arbitration before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board with respondent Abarquez
acting as voluntary arbitrator who later issued an award in favor of the Union. Hence, the instant petition.

ISSUE:
WON intermittent (irregular) workers are entitled to commutation of their unenjoyed sick leave with pay benefits.
HELD:
Yes. The CBA has two (2) sections on sick leave with pay benefits which apply to two (2) distinct classes of workers in petitioner’s company, namely:
(1) the regular non-intermittent workers or those workers who render a daily eight-hour service to the company and (2) intermittent field workers
who are members of the regular labor pool and the present regular extra labor pool.

Sick leave benefits, like other economic benefits stipulated in the CBA such as maternity leave and vacation leave benefits, among others, are by their
nature, intended to be replacements for regular income which otherwise would not be earned because an employee is not working during the period
of said leaves. They are non-contributory in nature, in the sense that the employees contribute nothing to the operation of the benefits. By their
nature, upon agreement of the parties, they are intended to alleviate the economic condition of the workers.

***Notes:
Petitioner-company is of the mistaken notion that since the privilege of commutation or conversion to cash of the unenjoyed portion of the sick leave
with pay benefits is found in Section 1, Article VIII, only the regular non-intermittent workers and no other can avail of the said privilege because of
the proviso found in the last sentence thereof.

Kimberly Clark Philippines vs Lorredo (FULL)

A Voluntary Arbitrator's decision which is final and unappealable, as a rule, is assailed in this special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the
Rules of Court. Since the voluntary arbitrator regrettably has not expounded on what appears to be the threshold issue, we have decided to accept
for consideration the petition.

Petitioner Kimberly-Clark Philippines, Inc. (KCPI), seeks to set aside the Resolutions of 15 October 1991 and 21 November 1991 of public respondent
Voluntary Arbitrator Danilo Lorredo, holding that the nephew of a retired employee should be employed by KCPI as his replacement pursuant to
Section 1, Article XX, of their Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA").

The pertinent provisions of the CBA, relevant to the controversy, is hereinafter quoted:

Art. XX — Resignation, Retirement, Disability and Death.

Sec. 1. The COMPANY agrees to employ, the immediate member of the family of an employee provided qualified, upon the employee's
resignation, retirement, disability or death. In case of resignation, however, employment of an immediate member of the family of an
employee may be allowed provided the employee has rendered a service of ten (10) years and above and the resignation is not a forced
resignation. For the purpose of this section, the phrase "immediate member of the family of an employee" shall refer to the employee's
legitimate children and in default thereof to the employee's collateral relative within the third civil degree. The recommendee of the
retired/resigned employee shall, if qualified, be hired on probationary status.

Danilo L. Guerrero, an employee assigned as Operator B in KCPI's Finishing Section, voluntarily resigned on 02 January 1991, after thirteen (13) years
and three (3) months of employment with the petitioner corporation.

Pursuant to Section I, Article XX, of the aforementioned CBA, Guerrero, through the Union, recommended for hiring his nephew (name undisclosed
from the records), who is a collateral relative within the third civil degree.

In a letter, dated 16 April 1991, KCPI informed the Union, through its President, that it could not act favorably on Guerrero's recommendee "(i)n as
much as Mr. Danilo L. Guerrero has legitimate children . . .", namely: Joanne Guerrero (ten years of age), Mary Anne Guerrero (seven years of age)
and Dianne Guerrero (three years of age). The private respondent argued that, since Guerrero's legitimate children are still minors, he could validly
recommend for hiring his nephew.

Failing to agree on the proper interpretation of Article XX, Section 1, of the CBA and after exhausting remedies through the grievance machinery, the
parties agreed to submit their dispute for voluntary arbitration.

A submission agreement was the filed with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, Regional Branch No. IV. Arbitrator Danilo Lorredo was
assigned to resolve the central issue of how the above cited CBA provision should be construed.

On 15 October 1991, after hearing and the submission of position papers, reply, rejoinder and counter-rejoinder, the voluntary arbitrator rendered
his disputed resolution, the pertinent portions of which read:

xxx xxx xxx

Indeed the issue that needs resolution is not whether the Union's or the Company's interpretation is correct. What should be resolved is
whether or not the implementation of the questioned provision of the CBA is well within the spirit of the provision. The relationships of
the replacements with the retired employees should control. They are within the covered provision. Admittedly, they were hired as
replacements of the concerned retired employees pursuant to the questioned CBA provision. We have to agree with the Union's posturing
on this point. The Company's argument evades the issue. It maintains that these relatives who replaced the resigned employees were hired
as contractual before they became regular employees. The fact is not in issue. In what status the replacement started at the company is
not in issue. The issue is they were employed by the Company as replacements of the resigned, retired and dead employees. This has not
been controverted. It is basic that mere denials cannot prevail over positive assertion.

In fine, the Company has implemented the questioned provision of the CBA in such a manner that retired employees have been replaced
by their relatives within the degree allowed by the CBA. This is the fact of the matter. And no reason has been put forth why the nephew
of Mr. Guerrero should be treated differently.

What has appeared as a sore thumb in the whole exercise is the lack of procedure in the replacement. There is no showing how the retired
employee manifests his intent to be replaced. However, the fact remains that the replacements were hired at the instance of the retired
employee. And the Company accepted them. We find nothing illegal or immoral in the manner the questioned CBA provision has been
implemented. What is disturbing is why all of a sudden the Company now objects to the hiring of Mr. Guerrero's nephew as his replacement.
We hold that the nephew of retired employee Danilo Guerrero should be employed by the Company as his replacement pursuant to Section
1, Article XX of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. (emphasis supplied)

xxx xxx xxx

SO ORDERED.

A motion for reconsideration was denied in the arbitrator's resolution of 21 November 1991.

Hence, this petition.

The question, as aforesaid, focuses on the proper interpretation of the aforequoted Section 1, Article XX, of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
KCPI reiterates its stand that since Danilo Guerrero has legitimate children of his own, he cannot recommend his nephew for hiring under the
pertinent provisions of the CBA. Private respondent, on the other hand, asserts that since Guerrero's children are still minors, he can recommend his
nephew (a collateral relative within the third civil degree) for hiring, and the petitioner corporation is obligated to hire him under the same CBA
provision.

A collective bargaining agreement, just like any other contract, is respected as the law between the contracting parties and compliance therewith in
good faith is mandated. Similarly, the rules embodied in the Civil Code on the proper interpretation of contracts can very well govern. The intention
of the parties is primodial; if the terms of the contract are clear, the literal meaning of the stipulations shall control, but if the words appear to be
contrary to the evident intention of the parties, the latter shall prevail over the former.

The company has agreed in its CBA with the employees "to employ (an) immediate member of the family provided qualified upon the employee's
resignation, retirement, disability or death." This is its basic covenant. Covered by the term "(an) immediate member of the family" are the employee's
legitimate children and, in default thereof, a collateral relative within the third civil degree; it is thus a definition by inclusion. As we see it, the phrase
"in default thereof" has not been intended or contemplated by the parties as having a preclusive effect within the group. It simply sets a priority on
who can possibly be recommendees for employment. The employee, in fine, need not be childless at all for him to be allowed to nominate a third
degree collateral relative; otherwise, his ability to designate such relative is all but suddenly lost by the birth of an only child and regained by the
latter's demise. This situation could not have been intended.

Even in government and corporate hierarchy, when a next ranking official is to take over the authorities and responsibilities of a superior, such as
when the latter is "absent" (the literal and ordinary meaning of "in default of"), such absence merely means his non-availability, not necessarily that
he be extant, in order to permit the former to assume the office.

We take note, furthermore, that KCPI is not obligated to unconditionally accept the recommendee since the latter must still meet the required
employment standards theretofore set by it. And even when the recommendee is qualified, he, nonetheless, shall be hired only, pursuant to the
agreement, on a "probationary status," an added measure, we assume, to further prove his worth for eventual regular employment. The company
is not, therefore, left without its own safeguards under the agreement.

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED. The questioned resolutions of 15 October 1991 and 21 November 1991 are hereby AFFIRMED. No
costs.

Aquino vs NLRC

Facts:
The petitioners were employees of private respondent Otis Elevator Company when they were informed of the termination of their employment in
line with the need of the company "to streamline its operations, consolidate certain functions, reduce its manpower and cut non-essential spending."

Accordingly, petitioners were paid their separation pay, The separation pay was based on Section 4, Article VII of the Collective Bargaining Agreement
between the company and its employees providing thus: All employees in the bargaining unit separated without cause shall be granted separation
pay of not less than one (1) month's latest basic rate for every year of service subject to the existing provisions of the Retirement Plan.

For its part, the respondent company argued that separation pay and retirement benefits were mutually exclusive; hence, the petitioners could no
longer claim the latter after having received the former.
Issue:
Whether or not petitioners are entitled to retirement benefits.

Held:
Separation pay is a statutory right desined to provide the employment with the wherewithal during the period that he is looking for another
employment.

Retirement benefits, where not mandated by law, may be granted by agreement of the employees and their employer or as a voluntary act on the
part of the employer. Retirement Benefits are intended to help the employee enjoy the remaining years of his life, lessening the burden of worrying
for his financial support, and are a form of reward of his loyalty and service to the employer.

Any doubt concerning the rights of labor should be resolved to its favor pursuant to the social justice policy.

The petitioners are covered by the Retirement Plan because they have contributed to the retirement fund, have been separated by reason of the
retrenchment, and have served the company for more than the prescribed minimum period of ten years. However, it overlooks sub-section (c) of
the same Section 14, which clearly provides that: (c) This Section shall apply where the employee retires at the age of sixty (60) years or more.

The private respondent has not shown that the petitioners were sixty years or older at the time of their separation and therefore covered by the said
section. Having itself invoked that provision, the company had the obligation to prove that the petitioners came under its terms.

The private respondent asserts in its statement of facts that it gave the petitioners a choice between accepting the separation pay and the retirement
benefits and they opted for the former. This is not borne by the record. In its letter advising the petitioners of the termination of their services, the
company merely informed them that they would be given separation pay or retirement benefits, whichever was higher. The petitioners received the
separation pay because they felt they were entitled thereto but they did not thereby waive their rights to the retirement benefits.

Benguet Consolidated vs BCI Employees and Workers Union

FACTS:
On June 23, 1959, the Benguet-Balatoc Workers Union (“BBWU”), for and in behalf of all Benguet Consolidated, Inc (BENGUET) employees in its
mines and milling establishment located at Balatoc, Antamok and Acupan, Mt. Province, entered into a Collective Bargaining Contract (CONTRACT)
with BENGUET. The CONTRACT was stipulated to be effective for a period of 4-1/2 years, or from June 23, 1959 to December 23, 1963. It likewise
embodied a No-Strike, No-Lockout clause.

3 years later, or on April 6, 1962, a certification election was conducted by the Department of Labor among all the rank and file employees of BENGUET
in the same collective bargaining units. BCI EMPLOYEES & WORKERS UNION (UNION) obtained more than 50% of the total number of votes, defeating
BBWU. The Court of Industrial Relations certified the UNION as the sole and exclusive collective bargaining agent of all BENGUET employees as
regards rates of pay, wages, hours of work and such other terms and conditions of employment allowed them by law or contract.

Later on, the UNION filed a notice of strike against BENGUET. UNION members who were BENGUET employees in the mining camps at Acupan,
Antamok and Balatoc, went on strike. The strike was attended by violence, some of the workers and executives of the BENGUET were prevented
from entering the premises and some of the properties of the BENGUET were damaged as a result of the strike. Eventually, the parties agreed to end
the dispute. BENGUET and UNION executed the AGREEMENT. PAFLU placed its conformity thereto. About a year later or on January 29, 1964, a
collective bargaining contract was finally executed between UNION-PAFLU and BENGUET.

Meanwhile, BENGUET sued UNION, PAFLU and their Presidents to recover the amount the former incurred for the repair of the damaged properties
resulting from the strike. BENGUET also argued that the UNION violated the CONTRACT which has a stipulation not to strike during the effectivity
thereof.

Defendants unions and their presidents defended that: (1) they were not bound by the CONTRACT which BBWU, the defeated union, had executed
with BENGUET; (2) the strike was due, among others, to unfair labor practices of BENGUET; and (3) the strike was lawful and in the exercise of the
legitimate rights of UNION-PAFLU under Republic Act 875.

The trial court dismissed the complaint on the ground that the CONTRACT, particularly the No-Strike clause, did not bind defendants. BENGUET
interposed the present appeal.

ISSUE:
Did the Collective Bargaining Contract executed between Benguet and BBWU on June 23, 1959 and effective until December 23, 1963 automatically
bind UNION-PAFLU upon its certification, on August 18, 1962, as sole bargaining representative of all BENGUET employees?

RULING:
NO. BENGUET erroneously invokes the so-called “Doctrine of Substitution” referred to in General Maritime Stevedore’s Union v. South Sea Shipping
Lines where it was ruled that:
“We also hold that where the bargaining contract is to run for more than two years, the principle of substitution may well be adopted and
enforced by the CIR to the effect that after two years of the life of a bargaining agreement, a certification election may be allowed by the
CIR, that if a bargaining agent other than the union or organization that executed the contract, is elected, said new agent would have to
respect said contract, but that it may bargain with the management for the shortening of the life of the contract if it considers it too long,
or refuse to renew the contract pursuant to an automatic renewal clause.”

BENGUET’s reliance upon the Principle of Substitution is totally misplaced. This principle, formulated by the NLRB as its initial compromise solution
to the problem facing it when there occurs a shift in employees’ union allegiance after the execution of a bargaining contract with their employer,
merely states that even during the effectivity of a collective bargaining agreement executed between employer and employees thru their agent, the
employees can change said agent but the contract continues to bind them up to its expiration date. They may bargain however for the shortening of
said expiration date.

In formulating the “substitutionary” doctrine, the only consideration involved was the employees’ (principal) interest in the existing bargaining
agreement. The agent’s (union) interest never entered the picture. The majority of the employees, as an entity under the statute, is the true party in
interest to the contract, holding rights through the agency of the union representative. Thus, any exclusive interest claimed by the agent is defeasible
at the will of the principal. The “substitutionary” doctrine only provides that the employees cannot revoke the validly executed collective bargaining
contract with their employer by the simple expedient of changing their bargaining agent. And it is in the light of this that the phrase “said new agent
would have to respect said contract” must be understood. It only means that the employees, thru their new bargaining agent, cannot renege on their
collective bargaining contract, except of course to negotiate with management for the shortening thereof.

The “substitutionary” doctrine cannot be invoked to support the contention that a newly certified collective bargaining agent automatically assumes
all the personal undertakings — like the no-strike stipulation here — in the collective bargaining agreement made by the deposed union. When BBWU
bound itself and its officers not to strike, it could not have validly bound also all the other rival unions existing in the bargaining units in question.
BBWU was the agent of the employees, not of the other unions which possess distinct personalities.

UNION, as the newly certified bargaining agent, could always voluntarily assume all the personal undertakings made by the displaced agent. But as
the lower court found, there was no showing at all that, prior to the strike, UNION formally adopted the existing CONTRACT as its own and assumed
all the liabilities imposed by the same upon BBWU. Defendants were neither signatories nor participants in the CONTRACT.

Everything binding on a duly authorized agent, acting as such, is binding on the principal; not vice-versa, unless there is mutual agency, or unless the
agent expressly binds himself to the party with whom he contracts. Here, it was the previous agent who expressly bound itself to the other party,
BENGUET. UNION, the new agent, did not assume this undertaking of BBWU.

Since defendants were not contractually bound by the no-strike clause in the CONTRACT, for the simple reason that they were not parties thereto,
they could not be liable for breach of contract to plaintiff.

WHEREFORE, the judgment of the lower court appealed from is hereby affirmed.

University of Immaculate Conception vs Sec. of Labor (FULL)

The Case

In this appeal via certiorari, petitioner seeks to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals, which dismissed the University's petition and affirmed
the orders of the Secretary of Labor and Employment directing the parties to execute a collective bargaining agreement embodying the dispositions
therein and all items agreed upon by the parties, and ruling that the strike declared by the union on 20 January 1995 was valid.

The Facts

The facts, as found by the Court of Appeals, are as follows:

"Petitioner (University of the Immaculate Concepcion, Inc.) is a non-stock, non-profit educational institution with campuses at Fr. Selga St.,
and Bonifacio St., Davao City. On two (2) occasions, specifically on May 14, 1994 and May 28, 1994, petitioner and the Union, through the
auspices of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), met to negotiate a CBA.

"On June 20, 1994, the Union filed with the NCMB a Notice of Strike, the first in a series of three (3) notices of strike, alleging deadlock in
the CBA negotiations and unfair labor practices on the part of the petition in the form of "mass termination of teaching and non-teaching
employees, interference with union activities, discrimination, and harassments." (Annex "8" of Annex "A", Petition). Petitioner denied the
allegations in its Motion to Strike Out Notice of Strike (Annex "9" of Annex "A", Petition).

"During the parties' conciliation conference before the NCMB on July 20, 1994, petitioner and the Union reached an agreement on some
issues. The salient portion of the minutes of the proceedings reads:

'I. ECONOMIC ISSUE

'The parties agree to the economic package to be granted to the workers as increase in the amount equivalent to:
'1st year: 75% of increment increase of Tuition Fees
'2nd year: 80% ---do----
'3rd year: 80% ---do----

'This settles the economic issue of this notice of strike.

'II. NON-ECONOMIC ISSUES:

'A. UNION RECOGNITION and SECURITY

'Agreement: Both Parties agreed on the following:

'1. That future employees hired after the signing of this CBA shall become members of the Union after having become regular
employees.
'2. That provisions providing sanction will be removed.

'B. WORKING SCHEDULE

'Agreement: Both parties agree as follows:

'1. Item (b) is removed.


'2. Item (c) is adopted/agreed by the parties.

'C. SALARIES and WAGES:

'Agreement: Both parties agree as follows:

'1. There will be Rank and Tenure Committee which management will establish by department. In every committee, the union
will be represented by 2-members who will be chosen by the union.

'On the coverage of the bargaining unit, further consultations will be made on the proposed exclusion of secretaries, registrar,
accounting employees, guidance counselor.

'The parties agree to set another conference on July 26, 1994 at 9:00 A.M.' (Annex "16" of Annex "A", petition).

"In a subsequent conciliation conference of July 26, 1994, petitioner and the Union agreed to submit to voluntary arbitration the issue
concerning the exclusion of confidential employees from the collective bargaining unit. The minutes of that conference state:

'As a resolution to the issue left of the case, the parties agree that the positions which management sought to be excluded from
the bargaining unit be submitted to Voluntary Arbitration.

'This case is deemed settled and closed' (Annex "17" of Annex "A", Petition).

"On November 8, 1994, the panel of voluntary arbitrators rendered a decision excluding the secretaries, registrars, cashiers, guidance
counselors and the chief of the accounting department of the petitioner from the coverage of the bargaining unit (Annex "41" of Annex
"A", Petition).

"Twenty (20) days later, or on November 28, 1994, petitioner presented to the Union a draft of the CBA. After a study thereof, the Union
rejected the draft on the ground that the manner of computing the net incremental proceeds has yet to be agreed upon by the parties
(Annexes "23", "23-A" and "24" of Annex "A", Petition).

"In its letter to the Union dated December 12, 1994, petitioner insists that the Union was bound to comply with the terms contained in the
draft-CBA since said draft allegedly embodies all the items agreed upon by the parties during the conciliation sessions held by the NCMB
(Annex "25" of Annex "A", Petition).

"On December 9, 1994, the Union filed its Second Notice of Strike with the NCMB, therein alleging bargaining deadlock on "allocation of
5% (CBA) and distribution/computation of 70% incremental proceeds (RA6728)", and unfair labor practice by the petitioner in the form of
"harassments, union busting and correct implementation of COLA," (Annex "26-A" of Annex "A", Petition).

"On December 12, 1994, or barely three (3) days after the Union's filing of its Second Notice of Strike, petitioner terminated the employment
of union member Gloria Bautista. Later, or on December 27, 1994, petitioner likewise terminated the employment of union board member
Corazon Fernandez. (Comment, p. 8). As a consequence, Bautista and Fernandez filed their complaints for illegal dismissal before the
Regional Arbitration Branch No. XI of the National Labor Relations Commission based in Davao City (Annex "28" of Annex "A", Petition; p.
5 of Annex "B", Petition).
"On January 4, 1995, petitioner filed with the NLRC Regional Arbitration Branch No. XI in Davao City a complaint against the Union and its
officers for unfair labor practices based on the following grounds:

'(a) refusing to answer in writing, and within ten days required by law, [petitioner's] cba proposals;

'(b) refusing to bargain in good faith, by declaring a deadlock in the cba negotiations after just two days of negotiations, even if
there were so many issues unresolved and still to be discussed at the bargaining table;

'(c) refusing to comply with its promise to submit the final draft of the CBA agreed upon in the NCMB, and when presented by
the draft prepared by the [petitioner], refusing to sign the same, on the ground that there was still a deadlock in the CBA
negotiations, even if its notice of strike by reason of the CBA deadlock had already been 'settled and closed;

'(d) blatantly violating the aforesaid CBA, by resorting to another notice of strike, even if the aforesaid CBA includes a no strike,
no lockout clause, a grievance procedure and voluntary arbitration of any grievance the union may have, thus directly
circumventing the aforesaid procedures as regards the interpretation of the CBA and RA 6728 provisions on the net incremental
proceeds of a tuition fee increase; and

'(e) blatantly violating the aforesaid CBA, by filing a complaint for illegal dismissal of Ms. Gloria Bautista in the Regional Arbitration
Branch without resorting to the grievance procedure and voluntary arbitration in the CBA.' (Annex 29 of Annex "A" of Petition).

"The complaint, docketed as NLRC Case No. RAB-XI-01, was elevated by the NLRC Regional Arbitration Branch to the Secretary of Labor
(Annex "29" of Annex "A", Petition).

"The conciliation conference called by the NCMB on January 4, 1995 failed to bridge the differences between the parties. Thereafter, the
NCMB in Region XI conducted a strike-vote balloting, the outcome of which reveals that majority of the union members voted in favor of
the holding of a strike. True enough, on January 20, 1995, the Union went on strike.

"Three days later, or on January 23, 1995, the Secretary of Labor issued an order assuming jurisdiction over the labor dispute which was
docketed as OS-AJ-003-95. Dispositively, the order reads:

'WHEREFORE, ABOVE PREMISES CONSIDERED, and pursuant to Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code, as amended, this Office hereby
assumes jurisdiction over the entire labor dispute at University of the Immaculate Concepcion College.

'Accordingly, all workers are directed to return to work within twenty-four (24) hours upon receipt of this Order and for
management to accept them back under the same terms and conditions prior to the strike.

'Parties are further directed to cease and desist from committing any or all acts that might exacerbate the situation.

'Finally, the parties are hereby directed to submit their respective position papers within ten (10) days from receipt hereof.

'SO ORDERED.' (Annex "G" to private respondent's COMMENT.)

"In time, the Union filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the aforementioned order to seek a categorical declaration from the Secretary
that the return-to-work order also covered Bautista and Fernandez inasmuch as the two (2) were dismissed during the pendency of the
notice of strike.

"Before the Labor Secretary could act on the motion, petitioner suspended five (5) union members for failing to report to work within the
period specified by the Secretary of Labor. Petitioner, invoking the ruling of the voluntary arbitrators that certain classes of employees
cannot be a part of the bargaining unit, also terminated the employment of twelve union members – supposedly holders of confidential
positions – for refusing to resign from the Union.

"On March 10, 1995, the Union filed its Third Notice of Strike, therein alleging mass termination of employees, continuous intimidation of
union members and defiance by the petitioner of the January 23, 1995 Order of the Secretary of Labor.

"On March 28, 1995, the respondent Secretary of Labor issued an order resolving the issues raised by the Union in its Motion for
Reconsideration and Notice of Strike. Dispositively, the order reads:

'WHEREFORE, THE ABOVE-PREMISES CONSIDERED, the directives contained in the order dated 23 January 1995 is hereby
reiterated.

'The notice of strike filed on 10 March 1995, is hereby consolidated with the dispute subject of the above Order.

'The effects of the suspension and termination of the following union members:
1. Agapito Renomeron 8. Jovita Mamburan
2. Rodolfo Andon 9. Alma Villacarlos
3. Delfa Diapuez 10. Josie Boston
4. Melanie de la Rosa 11. Paulina Palma Gil
5. Angelina Abadilla 12. Gemma Galope
6. Leilan Concon 13. Leah Cruza
7. Mary Ann de Ramos 14. Zenaida Canoy

are hereby suspended pending determination of the legality thereof by this Office. Accordingly, they should likewise be accepted
back to work under the same terms and conditions prevailing prior to the work stoppage.

'SO ORDERED.' (see pp. 5-6 of Annex "B", Petition)

"Petitioner filed three (3) successive Motions for Partial Reconsideration, all of which were denied by the same public respondent.
Dissatisfied, petitioner went to the Supreme Court on a petition for certiorari, which was referred to another Division of this Court.

"The assailed order of October 8, 1998 of the Secretary of Labor narrated the succeeding events, thus:

'On 27 February 1997, Conciliator-Mediators Mario F. Santos and Leodegario M. Teodoro went to Davao City to help the parties
to come up with a settlement regarding their labor dispute. During the conciliation held in the afternoon of the same day, the
Union stated that there was no CBA to speak of because what were agreed upon during the conciliation conference on 26 July
1994, did not reflect the true intention of the parties and there was misunderstanding on the economic package. The Union
manifested to reopen the negotiation of all the proposals including those that were previously agreed upon. The Union proposed
to negotiate for the following items:

'Economic Issues

'1. Salary;
SY 94-95 – P 800.00
SY 95-96 - 900.00
SY 96-97 – 1,000.00
'2. Substitution pay;
'3. Honorarium pay;
'4. Retirement pay;
'5. Promotion and lay-off;
'6. Staff development;
'7. Health and insurance coverage; and
'8. Hospital assistance

'Non-Economic Issues

'1. Dismissal of Gloria Bautista and Corazon Fernandez;


'2. Dismissal of Helen Jinon and Roselier Saga;
'3. Suspension of seven (7) union members for 7 days; and
'4. Union security

'During the conciliation held in the morning of 28 February 1997, the University contended that an agreement was reached during
the conciliation conferences on 20 and 26 July 1994. Nevertheless, the University presented two (2) options for negotiation
namely:

'1. Negotiate a new five (5) year CBA effective SY 97-98; or


'2. Sign and implement the CBA for three (3) years and re-open for the last two (2) years the economic provisions.

'The parties failed to reach an agreement in any of their respective proposals. They therefore requested this Office to resolve the
instant labor dispute. On 26 February 1998, the Union filed an Urgent Motion to Resolve the Above-Entitled Case. This Office
received the said Motion on 09 March 1998.' (Annex "B", Petition).

"Finding the strike staged by the Union to be legal, the Secretary of Labor resolved the labor dispute between the petitioner and the Union
by directing the parties to execute a collective bargaining agreement. The pertinent portion of the challenged order reads:

'We cannot grant the Union's proposal to re-open the negotiation. Guided by the agreements reached by the parties, this Office
finds the following dispositions just and equitable.

'COLLECTIVE BARGAINING DEADLOCK


'Salary Increases

'1st year –75% of increment increase of tuition fee


'2nd year –80% of increment increase of tuition fee
'3rd year –80% of increment increase of tuition fee

'To avoid differences of opinion in the distribution of these salary increases to the covered employees, the same shall be
distributed in accordance with DECS Order No. 15, Series of 1992.

'LEGALITY/ILLEGALITY OF THE STRIKE

'The strike undertaken by the Union on January 1995, was a valid exercise of the workers' rights under the Labor Code. The Union
observed the mandatory requirements/procedures for a valid strike and the issues raised in the Notice of Strike i.e., bargaining
deadlock and ULP are strikeable issues specifically provided under Article 263 (c) of the Labor Code.

'WHEREFORE, premises considered, the University and the Union are directed to execute a collective bargaining agreement (CBA)
embodying the dispositions contained herein as well as all items agreed upon by the parties. The CBA shall be effective for five
(5) years starting SY 1995-96, subject to renegotiation of the economic provisions for the last two (2) years. Further, we rule that
the strike declared by the Union on 20 January 1995, is in accordance with the mandatory requirements of the law, hence, valid.

'SO ORDERED.' (Annex "B", Petition).

"Petitioner filed a Manifestation and Motion for Partial Reconsideration (Annex "C", Petition). The Union also filed its motion for partial
reconsideration, arguing that the issue of the legality of the termination of employment of two (2) employees, namely, Roseller Saga and
Helen Jinon, was not resolved in the order sought to be reconsidered. Both motions for reconsideration were denied by the Secretary of
Labor in his Resolution of September 10, 1999 (Annex "D", Petition)."

Subsequently, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for review assailing the ruling of the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

On October 11, 2000, the Court of Appeals promulgated a decision affirming the orders of the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

Hence, this appeal.


The Issue

The issue raised is whether the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the orders of the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

The Court's Ruling

We deny the petition.

The issue raised involves a re-examination of the factual findings of the Court of Appeals. In an appeal via certiorari, we may not review the findings
of fact of the Court of Appeals. When supported by substantial evidence, the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are conclusive and binding on
the parties and are not reviewable by this Court, unless the case falls under any of the exceptions to the rule.

Petitioner failed to prove that the case falls within the exceptions. It is not our function to review, examine and evaluate or weigh the probative value
of the evidence presented. A question of fact would arise in such event. Questions of fact cannot be raised in an appeal via certiorari before the
Supreme Court and are not proper for its consideration.

Nevertheless, we find that the Court of Appeals did not err in finding that there was still no new collective bargaining agreement because the parties
had not reached a meeting of the minds.

A collective bargaining agreement (CBA) refers to the negotiated contract between a legitimate labor organization and the employer concerning
wages, hours of work and all other terms and conditions of employment in a bargaining unit, including mandatory provisions for grievances and
arbitration machineries. As in all other contracts, there must be clear indications that the parties reached a meeting of the minds.

In this case, no CBA could be concluded because of what the union perceived as illegal deductions from the 70% employees' share in the tuition fee
increase from which the salary increases shall be charged. Also, the manner of computing the net incremental proceeds was yet to be agreed upon
by the parties.

Petitioner insisted that a new collective bargaining agreement was concluded through the conciliation proceeding before the NCMB on all issues
specified in the notice of strike. Although it is true that the university and the union may have reached an agreement on the issues raised during the
collective bargaining negotiations, still no agreement was concluded by them because, among other reasons, the DOLE Secretary, who assumed
jurisdiction on January 23, 1995 only was set to resolve the distribution of the salary increase of the covered employees. The Court of Appeals found
that "there are many items in the draft-CBA that were not even mentioned in the minutes of the July 20, 1994 conference."
Considering the parties failed to reach an agreement regarding certain items of the CBA, they still have the duty to negotiate a new collective
bargaining agreement in good faith, pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Labor Code.

The Fallo

WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition and enjoins the parties to comply with the directive of the Secretary of Labor and Employment to
negotiate a collective bargaining agreement in good faith. No costs.

Master Iron Labor Union vs NLRC

PAL vs Santos

Associated Labor Unions vs Calleja

FACTS
The associated Labor Unions (ALU) informed GAW Trading, Inc. (GAWTI) that majority of the latter’s employees have authorized ALU to be their sole
and exclusive bargaining representative, and requested GAW Trading Inc., for a conference for the execution of an initial CBA. GAWTI recognized
ALU as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for the majority of its employees and for which it set the time for conference and/or negotiation at
4PM on May 12, 1986 at the Pillsbury Office, Aboitiz Building Juan Luna Street, Cebu City. On May 15, 1986, ALU in behalf of the majority of the
employees of GAW Trading Inc. and GAWTI signed and executed the CBA.

In the meantime, the Southern Philippines Federation of Labor (SPFL) together with Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa GAW (NAMGAW) undertook a Strike
after it failed to get the management of GAWTI to sit for a conference respecting its demands in an effort to pressure GAWTI to make a turnabout of
its standing recognition of ALU as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of its employees, as to which strike GAWTI filed a petition for
Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction, and which strike Labor Arbiter Tumamak held as illegal.

On May 19, 1986, GAW Lumad Labor Union (GALLU-PSSLU) Federation filed a Certification Election petition but as found by Med-Arbiter Cumba,
without having complied with the subscription requirement for which it was merely considered an intervenor until compliance thereof in the other
petition for direct recognition as bargaining agent filed on MAy 28, 1986 by southern Philippines Federation of Labor (SPFL)

In the meantime, CBA executed by ALU and GAWTI was duly filed with the MOLE, Cebu city. Nevertheless, Med-Arbiter Cumba ruled for the holding
of a certification election in all branches of GAWTI in Cebu City, as to which ALU filed MFR, which was treated as an appeal. So the entire record of
subject certification case was forwarded for the Director, Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR), MOLE, Manila.

BLR Director Trajano, granted ALU’s appeal (MFR) and set aside the questioned Med-Arbiter, on the ground that the CBA has been effective and valid
and the contract bar rule applicable; Philippine Social Security Labor Union (PSSLU) and Southern Philippines Federation of Labor (SPFL) filed MFR,
supplemented by the ‘Submission of Additional Evidence.’ GAWTI and ALU opposed. Trajano’s decision was reversed by herein public respondent
Calleja. ALU filed MFR but was denied. Hence this petition.

Calleja ordered the holding of a certification election ruling that the “contract bar rule” relied upon by her predecessor Trajano does not apply in the
present case. Calleja ruled that CBA is defective because it “was not duly submitted in accordance with Sec. I, Rule IX, Book V of the Implementing
Rules of BP 130.” There’s no proof that CBA has been posted in at least 2 conspicuous places in the establishment at least 5 days before its ratification
and that it has been ratified by the majority of the employees in the bargaining unit.”

ISSUE
WON Calleja erred in reversing Trajano’s ruling and ordering the holding of a certification election.

HELD
NO. The CBA in question is defective.

The mechanics of collective bargaining are set in motion only when the following jurisdictional preconditions are present: (1) possession of the status
of majority representation by the employees’ representative in accordance with any of the means of selection and/or designation provided for by
the Labor Code; (2) proof of majority representation; and

(3) a demand to bargain under Art.256, par. (a) of the Labor Cod

The standing of ALU as an exclusive bargaining representative is dubious. The recognition by GAWTI appears to have been based on the self-serving
claim of ALU that it had the support of the majority of the employees in the bargaining unit.

In cases where the then Minister of Labor directly certified the union as the bargaining representative, SC voided such certification where there was
a failure to properly determine with legal certainty whether the union enjoyed a majority representation. In such a case, the holding of a certification
election at a proper time would not necessarily be a mere formality as there was a compelling reason not to directly and unilaterally certify a union

CBA was defective also because of: [a] the failure of GAWTI to post the CBA in at least 2 conspicuous places in the establishment at least 5 days
before its ratification, [b] the finding of Calleja that 181 of the 281 4 Art. 256. Representation issue in organized establishments. In organized
establishments, when a verified petition questioning the majority status of the incumbent bargaining agent is filed before the DOLE within the 60-
day period before the expiration of a CBA, the Med-Arbiter shall automatically order an election by secret ballot when the verified petition is
supported by the written consent of at least 25% of all the EEs in the appropriate bargaining unit. To have a valid election, at least a majority of all
eligible voters in the unit must have cast their votes. The labor union receiving the majority of the valid votes cast shall be certified as the exclusive
bargaining agent of all the workers in the unit. When an election which provides for three or more choices results in no choice receiving a majority
of the valid votes cast, a run-off election shall be conducted between the labor unions receiving the two highest number of votes: Provided, that the
total number of votes for all contending unions is at least 50% of the number of votes cast. Workers who “ratified” the same now” strongly and
vehemently deny and/or repudiate the alleged negotiations and ratification of the CBA.

Finally, the inapplicability of the contract bar rule is further underscored by the fact that when the disputed agreement was filed before the Labor
Regional Office on May 27, 1986, a petition for certification election had already been filed on May 19, 1986. Although the petition was not supported
by the signatures of 30% of the workers in the bargaining unit, it was enough to initiate certification election.

Disposition
Public respondent’s order for the conduct of a certification election among the rank-and-file workers of respondent GAW Trading Inc. is AFFIRMED

Planters Products, Inc. vs NLRC (FULL)

These are consolidated petitions to review on certiorari the resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) affirming with
modifications the Labor Arbiter's decision.

The dispositive portion of the resolution reads as follows:

WHEREFORE, there being no reversible error in the decision appealed from, We hereby AFFIRM with modifications the same by (1) declaring
respondent Planter's Product GUILTY of unfair labor practice; (2) to direct respondent to pay the individual complainants, intervenor-
complainants, and all others which (sic) are similarly situated an amount equivalent to one and one-half (1 1/2) months of basic pay, which
is subject to adjustment, as far as separation pay or termination allowance is concerned, for those whose service is less than ten (10) years
in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement for the years 1975 to 1984; (3) that effective upon the service of this Resolution,
and until all sums due are duly paid to the individual complainants, intervenor-complainants and all others which (sic) are similarly situated,
respondent is enjoined from disposing of, or otherwise encumbering a portion or all of its assets to answer for the obligations or payments
as directed herein; and (4) the award for actual, exemplary and moral damages as well as attorney's fees is hereby set aside. (pp. 55-56,
Rollo)

The facts of the case as found by the labor arbiter and adopted by the NLRC are as follows:

xxx xxx xxx

This case involves about 440 retrenched employees of the respondent from its Bataan and Makati-based operations. It was filed by the
complainants as individuals, and jointly with their respective unions, as a class suit on behalf of Bataan-based Planters Products, Inc. ('PPI'
hereafter) employees similarly situated under Section 12, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, on January 16, 1986., The intervenors, on June 20,
1986, in their behalf and in behalf of similarly situated Makati-based employees, moved for leave to intervene because they were similarly
situated as the complainants.

Moreover, the Stipulation of Facts entered into by and between the parties herein succinctly disclosed these undisputed facts, to wit:

STIPULATION OF FACTS

l. The complainants and Complainants-Intervenors were all regular employees of the Respondent until their respective dates of
retirement/retrenchment.

2. All the Complainants, except the Complainants-Intervenors, are members of either one of the following Unions of workers/employees
of the Respondent:

a. Planters Product Employees Union ('PPEU' for brevity);

b. First Line Association of Management Employees ('FLAME' for brevity); and

c. Super 21, and/or were represented by said unions as their respective agents.

3. These Unions of former employees of Respondent have always had collective bargaining agreements (Exhs. A -1975-78 CBA which was
formally ratified; 'A l'- 1978-81 and 'A-2'/'8'-1981-84 CBAs which were not formally submitted for ratification; and 'A-3'/9'-the purported
1984-87 CBA which was not formally submitted for ratification).

4. On October 11, 1982, the Respondent instituted a Retirement and Pension Plan (RPP' hereafter for brevity) for all employees, which was
to be effective retroactive to March 31, 1982, (Exhs. 'P' to 'P-14 a').
5. This non-contributory RPP was funded exclusively by PPI.

6. On February 23, 1984, PPI to institutionalize the RPP, entered into a Trust Agreement with Philippine Trust Co., Inc. ('PTC' for brevity),
under the terms of which, PTC shall administer and manage the fund.

7. The initial amount deposited with PTC in accord with the trust agreement, and to fund the RPP initially was P15,772,421.98 (Exh. 'Q').

8. There were subsequent deposits made into the RPP trust account, so that by December 31, 1984, the trust fund in the RPP amounted to
P23,789,690.00, more or less (Exh. '5').

9. On September 28, 1984 a CBA for 1984-1987 was signed between PPI and the directors and principal officers of its unions, assisted by
their lawyer, Atty. Gabriel Manansala (Exh. 'A-3'/'9').

10. Exh. 'A-3'/'9' modified the provisions in the previous CBAs on 'termination allowance' or benefit, and limited its scope to
separation from the service of PPI by reason solely of disability.

11. The 1984-87 CBA was never formally submitted to the membership of the Unions for ratification.

12. In March 1984 the RPP was submitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue for qualification as an approved Retirement and Pension Plan
(Exh. '4'/'K').

13. On October 10, 1984, the RPP was approved by BIR Deputy Commissioner Tomas Toledo (Exhs. '6'-' 6-D 'L' and 'L-1').

14. After the RPP was approved by the BIR, on November 21, 1984, PPI issued a circular to all employees announcing the funding of the
RPP (Exh. 'B'/'10) and its approval by the BIR pursuant to R.A. 4917.

15. On September 15, 1985, without formally informing the PPI employees-beneficiaries of the RPP, the RPP was unilaterally amended by
the company, particularly its Part IV, paragraphs 3-5, pursuant to Section J, Part 7 of the RPP and a copy was later submitted to the BIR for
approval on 22 October 1985 and the amendments were approved by the BIR pursuant to the provisions of R.A. 4197 (Exhs. '4' to '4-F'/'K'
to 'K- 2').

16. On September 26, 1985 a circular was issued to all employees of RPI (Exh.'H/'16') announcing that employees laid off from its Bataan
operations on July 8 and August 15, 1985, were being terminated effective as of September 30, 1985; while those laid off from its Makati
office would be terminated effective as of October 15, 1985. Between their lay-off dates and their announced termination/retirement
dates, all of the concerned employees did not render service to PPI.

17. On September 27, 1985, individual letters were sent to each employee notifying them of their formal termination and the termination
benefits that they would be granted (Exh. 'C'/11').

18. On or about October 11, 1985, Mr. Roberto Orig, for PPI, issued to the individual Complainants/Complainants- Intervenors computer
print-outs reflecting the respective computations of their separation benefits for all employees terminated during the said periods (Exhs.
'I'-'I-123'. 'N- INTERVENOR'-N-20-INTERVENOR). Exhs. 'B' to 'B-8', 'N- INTERVENOR' to 'N-20-INTERVENOR' AND 'I' to 'I'-133', shows that the
separation pay granted to the Bataan-based and Makati-based employees who were not retireable, was only one (1) month of basic pay
for each year of service with one- half paid from the RPP and the balance from PPI operating funds. As shown by the same Exhibits, all
employees entitled to optional or forced retirement, were granted retirement benefits based on their basic pay. These benefits ranged
from 1.02 to 1.43 months of basic pay per year of service as computed in accordance with the RPP. These computations were used in paying
the Complainants and the Complainants-Intervenors the sums indicated on the print outs.

19. The RPP was managed by a Retirement and Pension Committee of PPI (Exh. 'Q-l').

20. Effective 15 September 1985, before the Complainants and Complainants-Intervenors were retired/retrenched, the company amended
PPI's RPP particularly Part. IV, Par. D (4) and (5), pursuant to which Complainants and Complainants- Intervenors were paid their separation
pay/benefits on the basis of their basic salary.

21. Subsequent to the retirement/retrenchment of the Complainants and Complainants-Intervenors, all the remaining employees were
paid their computed retirement/retrenchment benefits from the RPP and the RPP was liquidated on June 23, 1986 (Exhs. 'G/'15'-Caluag
letter and Exhs. 'R', ' R-1', 'S') and

22. Some of the employees who were retired/retrenched effective June 1, 1986, have been subsequently re-hired by PPI under certain
conditions. (pp. 42-45, Rollo - 78739)

The labor arbiter rendered judgment against Planters Products, Inc., holding it guilty of unfair labor practice. This was affirmed on appeal to the NLRC,
with the modification that it set aside the award for actual, exemplary and moral damages, and attorney's fees.
Both parties filed their respective petitions before this Court.

Planters Products, Inc., (PPI) in its petition raised the following assignments of errors:

In rendering the decision/resolution complained of, public respondents acted without or in excess of jurisdiction and/or grave abuse of
discretion in that —

1. The NLRC, and before it, the Labor Arbiter acted without jurisdiction in resolving this case, jurisdiction over which is vested exclusively
on another judicial authority. (p. 10, Rollo- 78524)

2. Assuming arguendo that public respondents have jurisdiction, they miserably failed to make a sufficient and valid findings of facts upon
which they could reasonably base their conclusions. (p. 15, Id.)

3. Assuming arguendo that public respondents made sufficient and valid findings of facts, such findings are clearly and manifestly erroneous
and absolutely devoid of evidentiary support. (p. 16, Id.) .

a. Total absence of evidence to support conclusion of unfair labor practice.

b. The finding of bad faith has no basis; Planters's decision to amend its retirement plan was prompted by its benevolent desire to give
more benefits to its employees. (p. 18, Id.)

4. Public respondents committed gross errors of law in that —

(a) Under its express provision, the Retirement Plan may be amended unilaterally and the validity and enforceability of the amendment are
not nullified by a mere formal defect. (p. 20, Id.)

(b) Private respondents are estopped from questioning the validity of the amendment to the Retirement Plan. (p. 24, Id.)

(c) The rule on non-diminution of benefits does not apply to a modification of a provision in the CBA voluntarily negotiated and entered
into by the parties. (p. 26, Id.)

(d) Continued employment is a condition sine qua non to entitlement to the liquidation proceeds of the Retirement Fund; non-employees
at the time of liquidation are no longer participants in the Retirement Plan and are, therefore, not entitled to liquidation proceeds. (p. 28,
Id.)

5. Public respondents gravely abused their discretion and denied Planters due process when they deliberately ignored Planter's evidence.
(p. 31, Id.)

On the other hand, the individual complainants and intervenors-complainants, in their petition for partial review, raised the following assignments
of errors:

A. THE SETTING ASIDE BY THE HONORABLE NLRC OF THE AWARD OF THE LABOR ARBITER TO THE PETITIONERS AND INTERVENORS-PETITIONERS OF
ACTUAL, MORAL AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, AND ATTORNEYS FEES, IS INCONSISTENT WITH ITS FINDING OF UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE, BREACH OF
TRUST, AND VIOLATION OF THE CBA PROVISIONS ON TERMINATION ALLOWANCES AND THE PROHIBITION AGAINST THE DIMINUTION OF EMPLOYEE
BENEFITS.

B. THE HONORABLE NLRC ERRED IN EXCLUDING NOT INTEGRATING THE 10% SALARY ADJUSTMENT AND THE ALLOWANCES IN THE COMPUTATION
OF THE TERMINATION AND RETIREMENT ENTITLEMENT OF THE PETITIONERS AND INTERVENORS-PETITIONERS.

C. THE HONORABLE NLRC ERRED IN NOT FINDING FROM THE DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE THAT PETITIONERS AND INTERVENORS-PETITIONERS ARE
ALSO ENTITLED TO PRO-RATED DEATH BENEFITS. (pp. 3-4, Rollo-78739)

The first issue to resolve is whether or not the NLRC and the Labor Arbiter have jurisdiction over the present suit.

PPI contends that the public respondents have no jurisdiction over the case as there is no longer an existing employer-employee relationship between
the private parties. The relationship having been severed, it is believed that the complainants should have sought reinstatement for the present
action to fall under said respondents' jurisdiction.

The contention is without merit.

An employee need not seek reinstatement in order to file a complaint before the Labor Arbiter. (A. Consteel Construction Co., Inc. v. Intermediate
Appellate Court, G.R. No. 64673, Oct. 21, 1988). Money claims of workers as in the instant case, fall within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of
labor arbiters when these claims have some reasonable causal connection with the employer-employee relationship (San Miguel Corp. v. National
Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 80774, May 31, 1988; Oreshoot Mining Co. v. Arellano, G.R. Nos. 75746-48, Dec. 14, 1987; Vargas v. Akai Phils.,
Inc., UDK-7927, Dec. 14, 1987; Samahang Manggagawa ng Liberty Commercial Center v. Pimentel, G.R. No. 78621, Dec. 2, 1987; and Tuvera v. Dayrit,
G.R. No. 50096, April 15, 1988).

It is a fact that the complainants and complainants-intervenors were all regular employees of PPI until their respective dates of
retirement/retrenchment (p. 46, Rollo- 78524). They now seek to improve the terminal benefits granted to them on the allegation that a different
computation was used for the other employees. Their claims clearly arose from the employer-employee relationship.

PPI next contends that this should be a purely civil suit against the duly designated corporate trustee because it is specifically against the Retirement
Fund which was separately administered and managed by said trustee.

We disagree. It is stated in the stipulation of facts that the Retirement and Pension Plan (RPP hereafter) was managed by a Retirement and Pension
Committee of Planters Products, Inc. Moreover, the RPP was solely funded by PPI.

We therefore go along with the findings of the Labor Arbiter who stated:

The RPP was managed by a Retirement and Pension Committee (RPC' hereafter) of PPI. Exhibits "P", "P-1" and "Q-10" Identify the RPC
members as:

Committee Vice-chairman-the Executive Vice-President and General Manager Members-the Vice-President, Treasurer; the Vice-President,
Corporate Services; the Vice-President, Controller; the Assistant to the President; the Plant Manager; and Secretary- the Employee Relations
Manager.

The incumbents from the start of the RPP until its liquidation, were: Messrs. M.B. Cortes, M.C. Ortega, H.G. Buhay, N.Q. Dungca, J.L.
Montelibano and Roberto Orig (Exh. "P-1") They are agents of PPI. Hence, PPI is the proper party-respondent in this action. (p. 50, Rollo-
78524)

Having determined that the public respondents have jurisdiction over the present case, we now proceed to the other issues.

PPI questions the findings of fact of the public respondents. The NLRC merely adopted the findings of facts of the Labor Arbiter.

It is a well-established doctrine that the findings of fact of administrative agencies are binding on this Court if supported by substantial evidence.
(Llobecera v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 76271, June 28, 1988; PALEA v. Calleja, G.R. No. 76673, June 22, 1988; Continental
Marble Corp. v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. L-43825, May 9, 1988; Casin v. Employees' Compensation Commission, G.R. No. L-
46556, May 28, 1988; and Asim B. Castro, G.R. Nos. 75063-64, June 30, 1988)

After a close perusal of the records of this petition, we find no reason to depart from the factual findings of the Labor Arbiter. The findings were
mainly based upon the stipulation of facts reached by the parties.

PPI alleges that it was denied due process when public respondents deliberately ignored its evidence. This is a misapprehension.

The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard. (Van-Orient Shipping co., Inc. v. Achacoso, G.R. No. 81805, May 31, 1988; Ong, Sr.
v. Parel, G.R. No. 76710, Dec. 21, 1987). PPI was given this opportunity. The fact that the public respondents gave credit to the other party's evidence
and not to the evidence of PPI is not a violation of due process.

The evidence presented by contesting parties are logically opposing. Necessarily then the agency or court agency or court tasked to resolve a
controversy decides whose evidence shall be given more weight. That a party's evidence was given more weight does not amount to a denial of due
process to the other party. Otherwise, it would give rise to the incongruous situation where all the losing parties would claim a denial of due process
simply because their evidences were not given the desired weight to resolve the issues in their favor.

The next issue is whether or not PPI was guilty of unfair labor practice.

The Labor Arbiter ruled that PPI committed an unfair labor practice by withdrawing the termination allowance in the 1984-87 CBA. (p. 62, Rollo-
78524)

Article 248 of the Labor Code provides inter alia that:

... Unfair labor practices of employers, It shall be unlawful for an employer to commit any of the following unfair labor practice.

xxx xxx xxx

(i) To violate a collective bargaining agreement.

The questioned provision in the 1984-87 Collective Bargaining Agreement limited the application of the termination allowance only to those
separated from the service due to disability (Sec. 1, Art. XVI, CBA for 1984- 1987). (pp. 7 & 158, Rollo -78524). The prior CBAs from 1975 upwards
granted a termination allowance, upon the employee's separation, of at least three (3) weeks to one (1) month's pay for each year of service
depending upon the total years of service. (p. 76, Rollo-78524)

The provisions of the 1978-1984 CBAs (Exhibits "A" to "A-2"), Art. XVI, Secs. 1 and 2, uniformly read:

ARTICLE XVI. TERMINATION ALLOWANCE

Section 1. A regular employee who is separated from the service of the COMPANY shall be given a termination pay which shall depend on
the length of his service and shall be computed as follows:

Employees with: Amount of Allowance

1-5 years service 3 weeks pay for each year of service

6-9 years service 4 months plus 1 month for each year of service after the fifth year

10 or more years One month pay for each year service of service

The termination pay shall be based upon the employee's basic pay at the time of his termination.

Section 2. An employee who is temporarily laid off, discharged for cause, resigns or retires from the service of the COMPANY will not be
entitled to any termination pay. (p. 54, Rollo-78524)

The crux of the petition is to determine whether or not the 1984-1987 CBA was validly entered into and to determine: 1) the terminal benefits due
to the employees, and 2) whether or not there was an unfair labor practice.

If the prior CBA is applied, the complainants/complainants-intervenors who do not fall under the above stated section 2 would be entitled to
termination allowance under the CBA, over and above the benefits extended under the RPP.

PPI computed their terminal benefits by considering the 1984-1987 CBA and the amended RPP. All employees terminated effective as of September
30, 1985 (Bataan Operations) and October 15, 1985 (Makati Office) who were not retireable were granted a separation pay of one (1) month of basic
pay for each year of service with one-half paid from the RPP and the balance from PPI operating funds. All employees entitled to optional or forced
retirement were granted retirement benefits based on their basic pay ranging from 1.02 to 1.43 months of basic pay per year of service as computed
in accordance with the RPP (p. 48, Rollo-78524).

It is contended that the 1984-1987 CBA was not only negotiated in bad faith but was also not formally ratified. There was allegedly bad faith in
limiting the application of the termination allowance as the company already had plans to retrench the workers.

We apply the established rule, that a CBA is the Law among the parties, to the 1984-1987 CBA.

Bad faith in the negotiations was not present considering that the provision on termination allowance was made to apply to everybody including
those subsequently retrenched or retired after the complainants' and complainants- intervenors' retrenchment. There was no singling out of the
complainants and intervenors-complainants.

Under Article 231 of the Labor Code and Sec. 1, Rule IX, Book V of the Implementing Rules, the parties to a collective agreement are required to
furnish copies to the appropriate Regional Office with accompanying proof of ratification by the majority of all the workers in the bargaining unit.
This was not done in the case at bar. But we do not declare the 1984-1987 CBA invalid or void considering that the employees have enjoyed benefits
from it. They cannot receive benefits under provisions favorable to them and later insist that the CBA is void simply because other provisions turn
out not to the liking of certain employees. (Stipulation of Facts, No. 3; p. 46, Rollo-78524). Moreover, the two CBAs prior to the 1984-1987 CBA were
not also formally ratified, yet the employees are basing their present claims on these CBAs. It is inequitous to receive benefits from a CBA and later
on disclaim its validity.

There is nothing in the records before us to show that PPI was guilty of unfair labor practice.

However, PPI erred in not integrating the allowances with the basic salary in the computation of the separation pay. The salary base properly used
in computing the separation pay should include not just the basic salary but also the regular allowances that an employee has been receiving. (Insular
Life Assurance Co., Ltd. v. National Labor Relations Commission, 156 SCRA 740 [1987]; and Soriano v. National Labor Relations Commission, 155 SCRA
124 [1987]).

The allowances of the remaining PPI employees were made part of their basic pay. This increased the computation bases for their terminal benefits.
(p. 51, Rollo-78524). This should have been the case also for the complainants/complainants-intervenors.

We adopt the Solicitor General's statement on the questioned death benefits that in any case, the death benefits are payable only in the event of
the death of the employee. Since petitioners and intervenors-petitioners are still alive, they obviously are not entitled thereto. (p. 99, Rollo - 78739).
Finally, the complainants/complainants-intervenors are not entitled to share in the distribution of the RPP. Under Section M, Part VII of the RPP only
existing employees of the Company have the right to participate in the distribution of the assets of the fund.

WHEREFORE, the decisions of the Labor Arbiter and the National Labor Relations Commission are hereby SET ASIDE and a NEW ONE is ENTERED
ordering Planters Products, Inc., under the supervision of the National Labor Relations Commission, to recompute the terminal benefits of the
complainants/complainants-intervenors by including their allowances, the amount of which shall be taken from the assets which the Court enjoined
Planters Products, Inc., from disposing. The temporary restraining orders issued on June 11, 1987 and February 29, 1988 are hereby LIFTED.

Lopez Sugar Corp. vs FFW (FULL)

Petitioner, allegedly to prevent losses due to major economic problems, and exercising its privilege under Article XI, Section 2 of its 1975-1977
Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") entered into between petitioner and private respondent Philippine Labor Union Association ("PLUA-
NACUSIP"), caused the retrenchment and retirement of a number of its employees.

Thus, on 3 January 1980, petitioner filed with the Bacolod District Office of the then Ministry of Labor and Employment ("MOLE") a combined report
on retirement and application for clearance to retrench, dated 28 December 1979, affecting eighty six (86) of its employees. This was docketed as
NLRC Case Ne. A-217-80. Of these eighty-six (86) employees, fifty-nine (59) were retired effective 1 January 1980 and twenty-eight (27) were to be
retrenched effective 16 January 1980 "in order to prevent losses."

Also, on 3 January 1980, private respondent Federation of Free Workers ("FFW"), as the certified bargaining agent of the rank-and-file employees of
petitioner, filed with the Bacolod District Office of the MOLE a complaint dated 27 December 1979 for unfair labor practices and recovery of union
dues docketed as NLRC Case No. A-198-80. In said complainant, FFW claimed that the terminations undertaken by petitioner were violative of the
security of tenure of its members and were intended to "bust" the union and hence constituted an unfair labor practice. FFW claimed that after the
termination of the services of its members, petitioner advised 110 casuals to report to its personnel office. FFW further argued that to justify
retrenchment, serious business reverses must be "actual, real and amply supported by sufficient and convincing evidence." FFW prayed for
reinstatement of its members who had been retired or retrenched.

Petitioner denied having hired casuals to replace those it had retired or retrenched. It explained that the announcement calling for 110 workers to
report to its personnel office was only for the purpose of organizing a pool of extra workers which could be tapped whenever there were temporary
vacancies by reason of leaves of absence of regular workers.

On 22 January 1980, another report on retirement affecting an additional twenty-five (25) employees effective 1 February 1980 was filed by
petitioner.

On 3 March 1980, petitioner filed its Position Paper in NLRC Case No. A-217-80 contending that certain economic factors jeopardizing its very
existence rendered the dismissals necessary. Petitioner explained:

As a business firm, the Applicant must earn [a] fair return of (sic) its investment. Its income is generated from the sales of the Central's
shares of sugar and molasses production. It has however no control of the selling price of both products. It is of common knowledge that
for the past years the price of sugar has been very low. In order to survive, the Applicant has effected several forms of cost reduction. Now
that there is hope in the price of sugar the applicant is again faced with two major economic problems, i.e., the stoppage of its railway
operation and the spiraling cost of production.

The Applicant was forced to stop its railway operation because the owners of the land upon which the Applicant's railway lines traverse
are no longer willing to allow the Applicant to make further use of portions of their lands. . . .

The other economic problem that confronted the Applicant is the rising cost of labor, materials, supplies, equipment, etc. These two major
economic problems the rising cost of production and the stoppage of its railway facilities, put together pose a very serious threat against
the economic survival of the Applicant. In view of this, the Applicant was constrained to touch on the last phase of its cost reduction
program which is the reduction of its workforce.

xxx xxx xxx

The Applicant as a business proposition must be allowed to earn income in order to survive. This is the essence of private enterprise. Being
plagued with two major economic problems, the applicant is not expected to remain immobile. It has to react accordingly. As many other
business firms have resorted to reduction of force in view of the present economic crisis obtaining here and abroad, the applicant was
likewise compelled to do the same as a last alternative remedy for survival.

In a decision dated 30 September 1983, the Labor Arbiter denied petitioner's application for clearance to retrench its employees on the ground that
for retrenchment to be valid, the employer's losses must be serious, actual and real and must be amply supported by sufficient and convincing
evidence. The application to retire was also denied on the ground that petitioner's prerogative to so retire its employees was granted by the 1975-
77 collective bargaining agreement which agreement had long ago expired. Petitioner was, therefore, ordered to reinstate twenty-seven retired or
retrenched employees represented by private respondent Philippine Labor Union Association ("PLUA") and FFW and to pay them full backwages
from the time of termination until actual reinstatement.
Both dissatisfied with the Labor Arbiter's decision, petitioner and respondent FFW appealed the case to public respondent NLRC. On appeal, the
NLRC, finding no justifiable reason for disturbing the decision of the Labor Arbiter, affirmed that decision on 2 July 1986.

Hence, this Petition for certiorari making the following arguments:

1. That portions of the decision of public respondent NLRC dated July 2, 1986 affirming the decision of Labor Arbiter Ethelwoldo Ovejera
dated September 30, 1983 are contrary to law and jurisprudence;

2. That said decision subject of this petition are in some respects not supported by evidence and self-contradictory;

3. That said decision subject of this petition were rendered with grave abuse of discretion and in excess of jurisdiction;

4. That the dismissals at bar are valid and based on justifiable grounds.

Petitioner contends that the NLRC acted with grave abuse of discretion in denying its combined report on retirement and application for clearance
to retrench. Petitioner argues that under the law, it has the right to reduce its workforce if made necessary by economic factors which would endanger
its existence, and that for retrenchment to be valid, it is not necessary that losses be actually sustained. The existence of valid grounds to anticipate
or expect losses would be sufficient justification to enable the employer to take the necessary actions to prevent any threat to its survival.

Upon the other hand the Solicitor General argued that the Decision rendered by the Labor Arbiter and affirmed by the NLRC is supported by
substantial evidence on record; that, therefore, no grave abuse of discretion was committed by public respondent NLRC when it rendered that
Decision.

Article 283 of the Labor Code provides:

Article 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. — The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee
due to the installation of labor saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the
establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice
on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employer at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination
due to the installation of labor saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a se pay equivalent to at least
his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent
losses and in cases, of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial
reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one half (1/2) month pay for every year of service,
whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year. (Emphasis supplied)

In its ordinary connotation, he phrase "to prevent losses" means that retrenchment or termination of the services of some employees is authorized
to be undertaken by the employer sometime before the losses anticipated are actually sustained or realized. It is not, in other words, the intention
of the lawmaker to compel the employer to stay his hand and keep all his employees until sometime after losses shall have in fact materialized; if
such an intent were expressly written into the law, that law may well be vulnerable to constitutional attack as taking property from one man to give
to another. This is simple enough.

At the other end of the spectrum, it seems equally clear that not every asserted possibility of loss is sufficient legal warrant for reduction of personnel.
In the nature of things, the possibility of incurring losses is constantly present, in greater or lesser degree, in the carrying on of business operations,
since some, indeed many, of the factors which impact upon the profitability or viability of such operations may be substantially outside the control
of the employer. Thus, the difficult question is determination of when, or under what circumstances, the employer becomes legally privileged to
retrench and reduce the number of his employees.

We consider it may be useful to sketch the general standards in terms of which the acts of petitioner employer must be appraised. Firstly, the losses
expected should be substantial and not merely de minimis in extent. If the loss purportedly sought to be forestalled by retrenchment is clearly shown
to be insubstantial and inconsequential in character, the bona fide nature of the retrenchment would appear to be seriously in question. Secondly,
the substantial loss apprehended must be reasonably imminent, as such imminence can be perceived objectively and in good faith by the employer.
There should, in other words, be a certain degree of urgency for the retrenchment, which is after all a drastic recourse with serious consequences
for the livelihood of the employees retired or otherwise laid-off. Because of the consequential nature of retrenchment, it must, thirdly, be reasonably
necessary and likely to effectively prevent the expected losses. The employer should have taken other measures prior or parallel to retrenchment to
forestall losses, i.e., cut other costs than labor costs. An employer who, for instance, lays off substantial numbers of workers while continuing to
dispense fat executive bonuses and perquisites or so-called "golden parachutes", can scarcely claim to be retrenching in good faith to avoid losses.
To impart operational meaning to the constitutional policy of providing "full protection" to labor, the employer's prerogative to bring down labor
costs by retrenching must be exercised essentially as a measure of last resort, after less drastic means — e.g., reduction of both management and
rank-and-file bonuses and salaries, going on reduced time, improving manufacturing efficiencies, trimming of marketing and advertising costs, etc.
— have been tried and found wanting.

Lastly, but certainly not the least important, alleged if already realized, and the expected imminent losses sought to be forestalled, must be proved
by sufficient and convincing evidence. The reason for requiring this quantum of proof is readily apparent: any less exacting standard of proof would
render too easy the abuse of this ground for termination of services of employees. In Garcia v. National Labor Relations Commissions, the Court said:
. . . But it is essentially required that the alleged losses in business operations must be prove[n] (National Federation of Labor Unions [NAFLU] vs.
Ople, 143 SCRA 124 [1986]). Otherwise, said ground for termination would be susceptible to abuse by scheming employers who might be merely
feigning business losses or reverses in their business ventures in order to ease out employees. (Emphasis supplied)

Whether or not an employer would imminently suffer serious or substantial losses for economic reasons is essentially a question of fact for the Labor
Arbiter and the NLRC to determine. In the instant case, the Labor Arbiter found no sufficient and convincing evidence to sustain petitioner's essential
contention that it was acting in order to prevent substantial and serious losses. The Labor Arbiter said:

There is no question that an employer may reduce its work force to prevent losses, however, these losses must be serious, actual
and real. In the instant case, even assuming arguendo that applicant company was, in fact, surrounded by the major economic
problems stated earlier, the question may be asked — will it suffer serious losses as a result of the said economic problems? We
find the answer to be negative. We have scanned the records but failed to find evidence submitted to show that applicant
company would suffer serious business losses or reverses as a consequence of the alleged major economic problems. In fact,
applicant company asseverated that these problems only threatens its survival, hence, it had to reduce its work force. Another
thing, while applicant company was retrenching its regular employees, it also hired the services of casuals. This militated its claim
to reduce its work force to set up cost reduction. It must be stated that settled is the rule that serious business losses or reverses
must be actual, real and amply supported by sufficient and convincing evidence. (Emphasis supplied)

We are in principle bound by such findings in accordance with well-established jurisprudence that the factual findings of labor
administrative officials, if supported by substantial evidence, are entitled not only to great respect but even to finality, unless, indeed,
petitioner is able to show that the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC simply and arbitrarily disregarded evidence before them or had
misapprehended evidence of such a nature as to compel a contrary conclusion if properly appreciated.

The submissions made by petitioner in this respect are basically that from the crop year 1975-1976 to the crop year 1980-981, the amount of cane
deliveries made to petitioner Central was declining and that the degree of utilization of the mill's capacity and the sugar recovery from the cane
actually processed, were similarly declining. Petitioner also argued that the competition among the existing sugar mills for the limited supply of sugar
cane was lively and that such competition resulted in petitioner having to close approximately — thirty-eight (38) of its railroad lines by the end of
1979. According to the petitioner, the cost of producing one (1) picul of sugar during the same period (i.e., from crop year 1976-1977 to crop year
1979-1980) increased from P69.97 to P93.11.

The principal difficulty with petitioner's case as above presented was that no proof of actual declining gross and net revenues was submitted. No
audited financial statements showing the financial condition of petitioner corporation during the above mentioned crop years were submitted. Since
financial statements audited by independent external auditors constitute the normal method of proof of the profit and loss performance of a
company, it is not easy to understand why petitioner should have failed to submit such financial statements.

Moreover, while petitioner made passing reference to cost reduction measures it had allegedly undertaken, it was, once more, a fairly conspicuous
failure to specify the cost-reduction measures actually undertaken in good faith before resorting to retrenchment. Upon the other hand, it appears
from the record that petitioner, after reducing its work force, advised 110 casual workers to register with the company personnel officer as extra
workers. Petitioner, as earlier noted, argued that it did not actually hire casual workers but that it merely organize(d] a pool of "extra workers" from
which workers could be drawn whenever vacancies occurred by reason of regular workers going on leave of absence. Both the Labor Arbiter and the
NLRC did not accord much credit to petitioner's explanation but petitioner has not shown that the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC were merely being
arbitrary and capricious in their evaluation. We note also that petitioner did not claim that the retrenched and retired employees were brought into
the "pool of extra workers" rather than new casual workers.

Petitioner next contends that the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in affirming the ruling of the Labor Arbiter that the retirements effected
by petitioner were na valid since the basis therefor, i.e. Article XI Section 2 of the 1975-1977 CBA, had by then already expired and was thus no longer
enforceable or operative. Article XI, 2 of the CBA provides:

2. Section 2. — Any employee may apply for after having rendered at least eighteen (18) year of service to the COMPANY. The COMPANY,
as a right, may retire any employee who has rendered twenty (20) years of service, or has reached the age of sixty (60) years. Employees
who are physically incapacitated to continue to work in the COMPANY upon certification of the COMPANY Physician, shall be entitled to a
separation pay equivalent to the retirement benefits herein provided for that may have accrued. The heirs or surviving legally married
spouse of the deceased employee shall be granted by the COMPANY the amount equivalent to the accrued retirement benefit of the
deceased employee at the time of his death." (Emphasis supplied)

Petitioner argues that the CBA was "extended" not merely by implication, but by reciprocal acts — in the sense that even after the CBA had expired,
petitioner continued to give, and the workers continued to receive, the benefits and exercise the prerogatives provided therein. Under these
circumstances, petitioner urges, the employees are estopped from denying the extended effectivity of the CBA.

The Solicitor General, as well as private respondents, argue basically that petitioner's right to retire its employees was coterminous with the life of
the CBA.

On this point, we must find for petitioner. Although the CBA expired on 31 December 1977, it continued to have legal effects as between the parties
until a new CBA had been negotiated and entered into. This proposition finds legal support in Article 253 of the Labor Code, which provides:
Article 253 — Duty to bargain collectively when there exists a collective bargaining agreement. — When there is a collective bargaining
agreement, the duty to bargain collectively shall also mean that neither party shall terminate nor modify such agreement during its lifetime.
However, either party can serve a written notice to terminate or modify the agreement at least sixty (60) days prior to its expiration date.
It shall be the duty of both parties to keep the status quo and to continue in full force and effect the terms and conditions of the existing
agreement during the 60-day period and/or until a new agreement is reached by the parties. (Emphasis supplied)

Accordingly, in the instant case, despite the lapse of the formal effectivity of the CBA by virtue of its own provisions, the law considered the same as
continuing in force and effect until a new CBA shall have been validly executed. Hence, petitioner acted within legal bounds when it decided to retire
several employees in accordance with the CBA. That the employees themselves similarly acted in accordance with the CBA is plain from the record.
Even after the expiration of the CBA, petitioner's employees continued to receive the benefits and enjoy the privileges granted therein. They
continued to avail of vacation and sick leaves as computed in accordance with Articles VII and VIII of the CBA. They also continued to avail of medical
and dental aid under Article IX, death aid and bereavement leave under Articles X and XIV, insurance coverage under Article XVI and housing
allowance under Article XVIII. Seventeen (17) employees even availed of Section XI (dealing with retirement) when they voluntarily retired between
1 January 1978 and 31 December 1980 and received retirement pay computed on the basis of Section 3 of the same article. If the workers chose to
avail of the CBA despite its expiration, equity — if not the law-dictates that the employer should likewise be able to invoke the CBA.

The fact that several workers signed quitclaims will not by itself bar them from joining in the complaint. Quitclaims executed by laborers are
commonly frowned upon as contrary to public policy and ineffective to bar claims for the full measure of the worker's legal rights. In AFP Mutual
Benefit Association, Inc. v. AFP-MBAI-EU, the Court held:

In labor jurisprudence, it is well establish that quitclaims and/or complete releases executed by the employees do not estop them from
pursuing their claims arising from the unfair labor practice of the employer. The basic reason for this is that such quitclaimants and/or
complete releases are against public policy and, therefore, null and void. The acceptance of termination pay does not divest a laborer of
the right to prosecute his employer for unfair labor practice acts. (Cariño vs. ACCFA, L-19808, September 29, 1966, 18 SCRA 183; Philippine
Sugar Institute vs. CIR, L-13475, September 29, 1960, 109 Phil. 452; Mercury Drug Co. vs. CIR, L-23357, April 30, 1974, 56 SCRA 694, 704)

In the Cariño case, supra, the Supreme Court, speaking thru Justice Sanchez, said:

Acceptance of those benefits would not amount to estoppel. The reason is plain. Employer and employee, obviously, do not stand
on the same footing. The employer drove the employee to the wall. The latter must have to get hold of money. Because, out of
job, he had to face the harsh necessities of life. He thus found himself in no position to resist money proffered. His, then, is a case
of adherence, not of choice. One thing sure, however, is that petitioners did not relent their claim. They pressed it. They are
deemed not to have waived any of their rights. Renuntiatio non praesumitur (Emphasis supplied)

We conclude that because the attempted retrenchment on the part of the petitioner was legally ineffective, all retrenched employees should be
reinstated and backwages paid them corresponding to a period of three (3) years without qualification or deduction, in accordance with the three-
year rule laid down in a long line of cases. 17 In the case of employees who had received payments for which they had executed quitclaims, the
amount of such payments shall be deducted from the backwages due to them. Where reinstatement is no longer possible because the positions they
had previously filled are no longer in existence, petitioner shall pay backwages plus, in lieu of reinstatement, separation pay in the amount of one-
month's pay for every year of service including the three (3) year-period of putative service for which backwages will be paid. Upon the other hand,
we find valid the retirement of those employees who were retired by petitioner pursuant to the applicable provisions of the CBA.

WHEREFORE, the Petition for Certiorari is partially GRANTED due course and the Decision dated 2 July 1986 of the public respondent NLRC is hereby
MODIFIED to the extent that it had affirmed that portion of the Decision of the Labor Arbiter dated 30 September 1983 ordering the reinstatement
judgment of employees who had been retired by petitioner under the applicable provisions of the CBA. Except as so modified, the Decision of the
NLRC is hereby AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as to costs.

Mindanao Terminal and Brokerage Service vs Confessor (FULL)

This is a petition for certiorari to set aside the order of respondent Honorable Secretary of Labor and Employment, declaring (1) wage increases
granted by petitioner to its employees not creditable as compliance by the company with future mandated wage increases; and (2) the increases to
be retroactive, in the case of the fourth year wage increase, to August 1, 1992 to be implemented until July 31, 1993 and, in the case of the fifth year
wage increase, to August 1, 1993 to be implemented until the expiration of the CBA on July 31, 1994.

Petitioner Mindanao Terminal and Brokerage Service, Inc., (hereafter referred to as the Company) and respondent Associated Labor Unions,
(hereafter referred to as the Union) entered into a collective bargaining agreement for a period of five (5) years, starting on August 1, 1989, and
ending July 31, 1994.

On the third year of the CBA on August 1, 1992, the Company and the Union met to renegotiate the provisions of the CBA for the fourth and fifth
years. The parties, however, failed to resolve some of their differences, as a result of which a deadlock developed.

On November 12, 1992, a formal notice of deadlock was sent to the Company on the following issues: wages, vacation leave, sick leave,
hospitalization, optional retirement, 13th month pay and signing bonus.

On November 18, 1992, the Company announced a cost-cutting or retrenchment program.


Charging unfair labor practice and citing the deadlock in the negotiations, the Union filed, on December 3, 1992, a notice of strike with the National
Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB).

On December 18, 1992, as a result of a conference called by the NCMB, the Union and the Company went back to the bargaining table and agreed
on the following provisions:

a. Wage Increase (Article V, Section 2, CBA) — P3.00/day for the fourth year of the CBA and P3.00/day for the fifth year of the CBA;

b. Vacation and Sick Leaves (Article VII, Section 1(c), CBA) — 1,100 hours of aggregate service instead of the existing 1,500 hours within a
year to be entitled to leave benefits but subject to reversion to the previous CBA if majority of the gangs average eight (8) vessels a month;

c. Hospitalization (Article VIII, Section I, CBA) — Maximum aggregate of 1,100 hours instead of the 1,500 hours and up to be entitled to the
benefit of P2,500.00 with the lower brackets adjusted accordingly but subject to reversion to the previous CBA if majority of the gangs
average eight (8) vessels a month;

d. 13th Month Pay (Article XIII, Section 1, CBA) — Average of six (6) vessels instead of the existing eight (8) vessels to be entitled to eleven
(11) days basic pay but subject to reversion to the previous CBA if majority of the gangs average eight (8) vessels a month;

e. Signing bonus; and

f. Seniority.

The agreement left only one issue for resolution of the parties, namely, retirement. Even this issue was soon settled as the parties met before the
NCMB on January 14, 1993 and then agreed on an improved Optional Retirement Clause by giving the employees the option to retire after rendering
eighteen (18) years of service instead of the previous twenty (20) years, and granting the employees retirement benefits equivalent to sixteen (16)
days for every year of service. Thus, as the Med-Arbiter noted in the record of the January 14, 1993 conference, "the issues raised by the notice of
strike had been settled and said notice is thus terminated."

But no sooner had he stated this than the Company claimed that the wage increases which it had agreed to give to the employees should be creditable
as compliance with future mandated wage increases. In addition, it maintained that such increases should not be retroactive.

Reacting to this development, the Union again filed a Notice of Strike on January 28, 1993, with the NCMB. On March 7, 1993, the Union staged a
strike.

The NCMB tried to settle the issues of creditability and retroactivity, calling for this purpose a conciliation conference on March 9, 1993. As conciliation
proved futile, the Company petitioned respondent Secretary of Labor and Employment (hereafter Secretary of Labor) to assume jurisdiction over the
dispute. On March 10, 1993, respondent assumed jurisdiction jurisdiction over the dispute and ordered the parties to submit their respective position
papers on the two unresolved issues.

After submission by the parties of their position papers, the Secretary of Labor issued an Order dated May 14, 1993, ordering the Company and the
Union to incorporate into their existing collective bargaining agreement all improvements reached by them in the course of renegotiations. The
Secretary of Labor held that the wage increases for the fourth and fifth years of the CBA were not to be credited as compliance with future mandated
increases. In addition, the fourth year wage increase was to be retroactive to August 1992 and was to be implemented until July 31, 1993, while the
fifth year wage increase was to take effect on August 1, 1993 until the expiration of the CBA.

On May 31, 1993, the Company sought reconsideration of the May 14, 1993 order. The motion was denied for lack of merit by the Secretary of Labor
in a resolution dated July 7, 1993. Hence, this petition for certiorari, alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondent Secretary of Labor.

The petitioner contends that respondent erred in making the fourth year wage increase retroactive to August 1, 1992. It denies the power of the
Secretary of Labor to decree retroaction of the wage increases, as the respondent herself had stated in her order subject of this petition, that it had
been more than six (6) months since the expiration of the third anniversary of the CBA and, therefore, the automatic renewal clause of Art. 253-A of
the Labor Code had no application. Although petitioner originally opposed giving retroactive effect to their agreement, it subsequently modified its
stand and agreed that the fourth year wage increase and the other provisions of the CBA be made retroactive to the date the Secretary of Labor
assumed jurisdiction of the dispute on March 10, 1993.

The petition is without merit. Art. 253-A of the Labor Code reads:

Terms of a collective bargaining agreement. — Any Collective Bargaining Agreement that the parties may enter into shall, insofar as the
representation aspect is concerned, be for a term of five (5) years. No petition questioning the majority status of the incumbent bargaining
agent shall be entertained and no certification election shall be conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment outside of the
sixty-day period immediately before the date of expiry of such five year term of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. All other provisions
of the Collective Bargaining Agreement shall be renegotiated not later than three (3) years after its execution. Any agreement on such other
provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement entered into within six (6) months from the date of expiry of the term of such other
provisions as fixed in such Collective Bargaining Agreement, shall retroact to the day immediately following such date. If any such
agreement is entered into beyond six months, the parties shall agree on the duration of retroactivity thereof. In case of a deadlock in the
renegotiation of the collective bargaining agreement, the parties may exercise their rights under this Code.

The respondent indeed stated in her order of May 14, 1993 that "this case is clearly beyond the scope of the automatic renewal clause," but she also
stated in the same order that "the parties have reached an agreement on all the renegotiated provisions of the CBA" on January 14, 1993, i.e., within
six (6) months of the expiration of the third year of the CBA.

The signing of the CBA is not determinative of the question whether "the agreement was entered into within six months from the date of expiry of
the term of such other provisions as fixed in such collective bargaining agreement" within the contemplation of Art. 253-A.

As already stated, on November 12, 1992, the Union sent the Company a notice of deadlock in view of their inability to reconcile their positions on
the main issues, particularly on wages. The Union filed a notice of strike. However, on December 18, 1992, in a conference called by the NCMB, the
Union and the Company agreed on a number of provisions of the CBA, including the provision on wage increase, leaving only the issue of retirement
to be threshed out. In time, this, too, was settled, so that in his record of the January 14, 1993 conference, the Med-Arbiter noted that "the issues
raised by the notice of strike had been settled and said notice is thus terminated." It would therefore seem that at that point, there was already a
meeting of the minds of the parties, which was before the February 1993 end of the six-month period provided in Art. 253-A.

The fact that no agreement was then signed is of no moment. Art. 253-A refers merely to an "agreement" which, according to Black's Law Dictionary
is "a coming together of minds; the coming together in accord of two minds on a given proposition." This is similar to Art. 1305 of the Civil Code's
definition of "contract" as "a meeting of minds between two persons."

The two terms, "agreement" and "contract," are indeed similar, although the former is broader than the latter because an agreement may not have
all the elements of a contract. As in the case of contracts, however, agreements may be oral or written. Hence, even without any written evidence
of the Collective Bargaining Agreement made by the parties, a valid agreement existed in this case from the moment the minds of the parties met
on all matters they set out to discuss. As Art. 1315 of the Civil Code states:

Contracts are perfected by mere consent, and from that moment, the parties are bound not only to the fulfillment of what has been
expressly stipulated but also to all the consequences which, according to their nature, may be in keeping with good faith, usage and law.

The Secretary of Labor found that "as early as January 14, 1993, well within the six (6) month period provided by law, the Company and the Union
have perfected their agreement." The claim of petitioner to the contrary notwithstanding, this is a finding of an administrative agency which, in the
absence of evidence to the contrary, must be affirmed.

Moreover, the order of the Secretary of Labor may be considered in the nature of an arbitral award, pursuant to Art. 263(g) of the Labor Code, and,
therefore, binding on the parties. After all, the Secretary of Labor assumed jurisdiction over the dispute because petitioner asked the Secretary of
Labor to do so after the NCMB failed to make the parties come to an agreement. It is also conceded that the industry in which the petitioner is
engaged is vital to the national interest. As stated in the Order issued by the Secretary of Labor on March 10, 1993:

The services being provided by the Company evidently reflect their indispensability to the normal operations of the Davao City
Pier where millions of crates and boxes of goods are loaded and unloaded monthly. The current disruption, therefore, of the
Company's services, if allowed to continue, will cause serious prejudice and damages to the agricultural exporters, the cargo
handlers, the vessel owners, the foreign buyers of agricultural products and the entire business sector in the area. These
considerations and the dispute's implications on the national economy warrant the intervention by this Office to exercise its
power under Article 263(g) of the Labor Code, as amended.

In St. Luke's Medical Center, Inc. v. Torres, a deadlock also developed during the CBA negotiations between management and the union.
The Secretary of Labor assumed jurisdiction and ordered the retroaction of their CBA to the date of expiration of the previous CBA. As in
this case, it was alleged that the Secretary of Labor gravely abused his discretion in making his award retroactive. In dismissing this
contention this Court held:

Therefore, in the absence of a specific provision of law prohibiting retroactivity of the effectivity of arbitral awards issued by the
Secretary of Labor pursuant to Article 263(g) of the Labor Code, such as herein involved, public respondent is deemed vested
with plenary and discretionary powers to determine the effectivity thereof.

This case is controlled by the ruling in that case.

With respect to the issue of the creditability of the fourth and fifth year wage increases, the Court takes cognizance of the fact that the question was
raised by the Company only when the six-month period was almost over and all that was left to be done by the parties was to sign their agreement.
Before that, the Company did not qualify its position. It should have known that crediting of wage increases in the CBA as compliance with future
mandated increases is the exception rather than the rule. For the general rule is that such increases are over and above any increase that may be
granted by law or wage order. As held in Meycauayan College v. Drilon:

Increments to the laborers' financial gratification, be they in the form of salary increases or changes in the salary scale are aimed at one
thing — improvement of the economic predicament of the laborers. As such they should be viewed in the light of the States avowed policy
to protect labor. Thus, having entered into an agreement with its employees, an employer may not be allowed to renege on its obligation
under a collective bargaining agreement should, at the same time, the law grant the employees the same or better terms and conditions
of employment. Employee benefits derived from law are exclusive of benefits arrived at through negotiation and agreement unless
otherwise provided by the agreement itself or by law.

For making a belated issue of "creditability," petitioner is correctly said to have "delay[ed] the agreement beyond the six (6) month period so as to
minimize its expenses to the detriment of its workers" and its conduct to smack of "bad faith and [to run counter] to the good faith required in
Collective Bargaining." If petitioner wanted to be given credit for the wage increases in the event of future mandated wage increases, it should have
expressly stated its reservation during the early part of the CBA negotiations.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.

San Miguel Corp. Employees Union vs Confessor

FACTS:
On June 28, 1990, petitioner-union San Miguel Corporation Employees Union — PTGWO entered into a CBA with private respondent San Miguel
Corporation (SMC) to take effect upon the expiration of the previous CBA or on June 30, 1989.

This CBA provided, among others, that:

ARTICLE XIV -- DURATION OF AGREEMENT

Sec. 1. This Agreement which shall be binding upon the parties hereto and their respective successors-in-interest, shall become effective
and shall remain in force and effect until June 30, 1992.

Sec. 2. In accordance with Article 253-A of the Labor Code as amended, the term of this Agreement insofar as the representation aspect is
concerned, shall be for five (5) years from July 1, 1989 to June 30, 1994. Hence, the freedom period for purposes of such representation
shall be sixty (60) days prior to June 30, 1994.

Sec. 3. Sixty (60) days prior to June 30, 1992 either party may initiate negotiations of all provisions of this Agreement, except insofar as the
representation aspect is concerned. If no agreement is reached in such negotiations, this Agreement shall nevertheless remain in force up
to the time a subsequent agreement is reached by the parties.

Meanwhile, effective October 1, 1991, Magnolia and Feeds and Livestock Division were spun-off and became two separate and distinct corporations:
Magnolia Corporation (Magnolia) and San Miguel Foods, Inc. (SMFI). Notwithstanding the spin-offs, the CBA remained in force and effect.

After June 30, 1992, the CBA was renegotiated in accordance with the terms of the CBA and Article 253-A of the Labor Code. Negotiations started
sometime in July, 1992 with the two parties submitting their respective proposals and counterproposals.

During the negotiations, the petitioner-union insisted that the bargaining unit of SMC should still include the employees of the spun-off corporations:
Magnolia and SMFI; and that the renegotiated terms of the CBA shall be effective only for the remaining period of two years or until June 30, 1994.

SMC, on the other hand, contended that the members/employees who had moved to Magnolia and SMFI, automatically ceased to be part of the
bargaining unit at the SMC. Furthermore, the CBA should be effective for three years in accordance with Art. 253-A of the Labor Code.

Unable to agree on these issues with respect to the bargaining unit and duration of the CBA, petitioner-union declared a deadlock on September 29,
1990.

(Notice of strike…Secretary assumed jurisdiction)

Secretary’s decision: the CBA shall be effective for the period of 3 years from June 30, 1992; and that such CBA shall cover only the employees of
SMC and not of Magnolia and SMFI.

ISSUES:
1) Whether or not the duration of the renegotiated terms of the CBA is to be effective for three years of for only two years; and
2) Whether or not the bargaining unit of SMC includes also the employees of the Magnolia and SMFI.

HELD:
We agree with the Secretary of Labor.

Pertinent to the first issue is Art. 253-A of the Labor Code as amended which reads:

Art. 253-A. Terms of a CBA. — Any CBA that the parties may enter into shall, insofar as the representation aspect is concerned, be for a
term of 5 years. No petition questioning the majority status of the incumbent bargaining agent shall be entertained and no certification
election shall be conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment outside of the sixty-day period immediately before the date of
expiry of such five year term of the CBA. All other provisions of the CBA shall be renegotiated not later than 3 years after its execution. Any
agreement on such other provisions of the CBA entered into within 6 months from the date of expiry of the term of such other provisions
as fixed in such CBA, shall retroact to the day immediately following such date. If any such agreement is entered into beyond six months,
the parties shall agree on the duration of retroactivity thereof. In case of a deadlock in the renegotiation of the CBA, the parties may
exercise their rights under this Code. (Emphasis supplied.)

The “representation aspect” refers to the identity and majority status of the union that negotiated the CBA as the exclusive bargaining representative
of the appropriate bargaining unit concerned. “All other provisions” simply refers to the rest of the CBA, economic as well as non-economic provisions,
except representation.

The law is clear and definite on the duration of the CBA insofar as the representation aspect is concerned, but is quite ambiguous with the terms of
the other provisions of the CBA. It is a cardinal principle of statutory construction that the Court must ascertain the legislative intent for the purpose
of giving effect to any statute.

**Obviously, the framers of the law wanted to maintain industrial peace and stability by having both management and labor work harmoniously
together without any disturbance. Thus, no outside union can enter the establishment within 5 years and challenge the status of the incumbent
union as the exclusive bargaining agent. Likewise, the terms and conditions of employment (economic and non-economic) can not be questioned by
the employers or employees during the period of effectivity of the CBA. The CBA is a contract between the parties and the parties must respect the
terms and conditions of the agreement. Notably, the framers of the law did not give a fixed term as to the effectivity of the terms and conditions of
employment. It can be gleaned from their discussions that it was left to the parties to fix the period.

The issue as to the term of the non-representation provisions of the CBA need not belaboured. The parties, by mutual agreement, enter into a
renegotiated contract with a term of three (3) years or one which does not coincide with the said 5-year term, and said agreement is ratified by
majority of the members in the bargaining unit, the subject contract is valid and legal and therefore, binds the contracting parties.

Thus, we do not find any grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Secretary of Labor in ruling that the effectivity of the renegotiated terms of the
CBA shall be for 3 years.

II. Undeniably, the transformation of the companies was a management prerogative and business judgment which the courts can not look into unless
it is contrary to law, public policy or morals. Neither can we impute any bad faith on the part of SMC so as to justify the application of the doctrine
of piercing the corporate veil.18 Ever mindful of the employees’ interests, management has assured the concerned employees that they will be
absorbed by the new corporations without loss of tenure and retaining their present pay and benefits according to the existing CBAs. 19 They were
advised that upon the expiration of the CBAs, new agreements will be negotiated between the management of the new corporations and the
bargaining representatives of the employees concerned.

Indubitably, therefore, Magnolia and SMFI became distinct entities with separate juridical personalities. Thus, they can not belong to a single
bargaining unit.

Moreover, in determining an appropriate bargaining unit, the test of grouping is mutuality or commonality of interests. The employees sought to be
represented by the collective bargaining agent must have substantial mutual interests in terms of employment and working conditions as evinced by
the type of work they performed. 22 Considering the spin-offs, the companies would consequently have their respective and distinctive concerns in
terms of the nature of work, wages, hours of work and other conditions of employment. Interests of employees in the different companies perforce
differ. The nature of their products and scales of business may require different skills which must necessarily be commensurated by different
compensation packages. The different companies may have different volumes of work and different working conditions. For such reason, the
employees of the different companies see the need to group themselves together and organize themselves into distinctive and different groups. It
would then be best to have separate bargaining units for the different companies where the employees can bargain separately according to their
needs and according to their own working conditions.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.

Manila Electric Company vs Quisumbing

Facts:
Members of the Private respondent union were dissatisfied with the terms of a CBA with petitioner. The parties in this case were ordered by the
Sec. of Labor to execute a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) wherein. The CBA allowed for the increase in the wages of the employees concerned.
The petitioner argues that if such increase were allowed, it would pass off such to the consumers.

Issue:
W/N matters of salary are part of management prerogative

RULING:
Yes. There is no need to consult the Secretary of Labor in cases involving contracting out for 6 months or more as it is part of management prerogative.
However, a line must be drawn with respect to management prerogatives on business operations per se and those which affect the rights of the
workers. Employers must see to it that that employees are properly informed of its decisions to attain harmonious labor relations and enlighten the
worker as to their rights.
The contracting out business or services is an exercise of business judgment if it is for the promotion of efficiency and attainment of economy.
Management must be motivated by good faith and contracting out should not be done to circumvent the law. Provided there was no malice or that
it was not done arbitrarily, the courts will not interfere with the exercise of this judgment.

Sundowner Development Corp vs Drilon

Manlimos vs NLRC

Facts:
Petitioners were among the regular employees of the Super Mahogany Plywood Corporation, a domestic corporation based in Butuan City. They
were hired as patchers, taper-graders and receivers-dryers.

However, a new owner/ management group acquired complete ownership of the corporation headed by Alfredo Roxas.

Upon the change of ownership, petitioners continued to work for the new owner until their termination when they received their separation pay
and other benefits due them. Each of them executed a release a s waiver acknowledged by Atty. Discipulo and Hearing Officer of Butuan City District
Office of DOLE.

The new owner caused a publication for the hiring of workers. Petitioners filed their applications and were hired on probationary basis except for
Rosario Cuarto.

Two (2) of the employees hired were terminated for their alleged absence without leave and were considered to have abandoned their work. The
rest were dismissed. Thus, the filing of a complaint for illegal dismissal.

The Labor Arbiter declared the dismissal invalid. Saying that the transfer of ownership partook of a cessation of business operation not due to business
reverses and must comply with the following requisites: (1) service of written notice to the employees and to the MOLE at least one (1) month before
the intended date thereof, (2) the cessation of or withdrawal from business operations must be bona fide in character and (3) payment to the
employees of termination pay amounting to at least one-half month pay for each year of service or one month pay whichever is higher. The first and
third requisites were present in this case. However, there was no cessation of operations which would lead to the dismissal of employees. And that
upon resumption of work, the complainants were regular employees for they were engaged in work which was necessary and desirable to the
company’s operations. Thus, they could not be dismissed without cause and due process.

NLRC however, reversed the judgment of the Labor Arbiter finding that the change of ownership was made in good faith since there was no evidence
that the former owners conspired with the new owners to insulate the former management of any liability to its workers. And sale or disposition of
a business enterprise which has been motivated by good faith is an element of exemption from liability. Thus, an innocent transferee of a business
has no liability to the employees of the transferor to continue employing them. Nor is the transferee liable for past unfair labor practices of the
previous owner, except, when the liability is assumed by the new employer under the contract of sale, or when liability arises because the new
owners participated in thwarting or defeating the right of the employees.

Hence, this special civil action for certiorari.

Issue:
WON the transfer of ownership was done in good faith making private respondent not guilty of illegal dismissal

Ruling:
The rule is that sale or disposition of a business enterprise which has been motivated by good faith is an element of exemption from liability. Thus,
an innocent transferee of a business has no liability to the employees of the transferor to continue employing them. Nor is the transferee liable for
past unfair labor practices of the previous owner, except, when the liability is assumed by the new employer under the contract of sale, or when
liability arises because the new owners participated in thwarting or defeating the right of the employees.

Where such transfer of ownership is in good faith, the transferee is under no obligation to absorb the transferor’s employees as there is no law
compelling such absorption.

In this case, the transfer of ownership was made in good faith given that there was no evidence that there was conspiracy to insulate the former
management of any liability to its workers. Thus, petitioners were validly dismissed.

NOTE:
The new owner has the option to terminate all the employees because labor contracts are contracts in personam hence, they only apply to the
current employer. If there is a change in the person of the employer from A to B there is no obligation on the part of B to retain the employees so he
can terminate them.

Eliso-Elirol Labor Union vs Noriel

FACTS:
A CBA was negotiated and executed between the Elisco-Elirol Labor Union-NAFLU and respondent company Elizaled Steel, while the former is yet to
be registered with the BLR.

Upon registration, at a special meeting called for the purpose, the general membership of petitioner decided to disaffiliate from its mother union,
the National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU)

That respondent company without any justifiable reason refused and continues to refuse to recognize petitioner as the sole and exclusive bargaining
representative of its employees. By virtue of said refusal, petitioners filed a petition before the BLR against respondent company, and NAFLU be
ordered to stop from presenting itself as the collective bargaining agent.

ISSUE:
Which of the 2 unions should be recognized as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of the employees and ultimately recognized to
administer and supervise the enforcement of the CBA, the mother union or the local union.

HELD:
The local union, Elisco-Elirol Labor Union-NAFLU, NOT the mother union NAFLU

“to grant to the former mother union (NAFLU) the authority to administer and enforce their collective bargaining agreement without presumably
any members in the bargaining unit is quite absurd”

Elisco-Elirol Labor Union-NAFLU, consisting of employees and members of the local union was the principal party to the agreement. NAFLU as the
“mother union” in participation in the execution of the bargaining agreement with respondent company acted merely as agent of the local union,
which remained the basic unit of the association existing principally and freely to serve the common interest of all its members, including the freedom
to disaffiliated when the circumstances so warranted as in the present case.

xx

Corollarily, the “substitutionary” doctrine likewise fully supports petitioner’s stand. Petitioner union to whom the employees owe their allegiance
has from the beginning expressly avowed that it “does not intend to change and/or amend the provisions of the present collective bargaining
agreement but only to be given the chance to enforce the same since there is a shift of allegiance in the majority of the employees at respondent
company.” As was stressed by the Court in Benguet Consolidated Inc. vs. BCI Employees & W Union-PAFLU-

… This principle, formulated by the NLRB as its initial compromise solution to the problem facing it when there occurs a shift in employees’ union
allegiance after the execution of a bargaining contract with their employer, merely states that even during the effectivity of a collective bargaining
agreement executed between employer and employees thru their agent, the employees can change said agent but the contract continues to bind
then up to its expiration date. They may bargain however for the shortening of said expiration date.

In formulating the “substitutionary” doctrine, the only consideration involved was the employees’ interest in the existing bargaining agreement. The
agent’s interest never entered the picture. In fact, the justification for said doctrine was:

… that the majority of the employees, as an entity under the statute, is the true party in interest to the contract, holding rights through the agency
of the union representative. Thus, any exclusive interest claimed by the agent is defeasible at the will of the principal.

Pier 8 Arrastre vs Roldan-Confessor

Facts:
The corporation and private respondent union entered into a collective bargaining agreement. During the freedom period, NAFLU questioned the
majority status of the union by filing for a petition for certification election (CE). The private respondent union won the CE and was certified as the
sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the rank and file employees. However, the negotiations for the CBA collapsed. The Sec. of Labor took over the
dispute and resolved the bargaining deadlock and ordered that the position of foremen, secretaries, and timekeepers were lumped together as part
of the rank-and-file.

The petitioner contended that supervisors (foremen) and the legal secretary should be excluded from the bargaining unit.

Issue:
W/N the foremen and secretaries should be excluded from the rank and file bargaining unit

RULING:
Yes. Art. 245 of the Labor Code applies. The foremen and are supervisory employees and therefore cannot be part of the rank and file. Legal
secretaries are neither managers nor supervisors but confidential workers hence, they cannot be part of the rank and file as well. With respect to the
timekeepers, they should not be excluded from the bargaining unit of the rank and file. The test of supervisory or managerial status is whether an
employee possesses authority to act in the interest of his employer, and such authority is not merely routinary or clerical in nature but requires the
use of independent judgment. What determines the nature of the employment is not the title but the job description.