Busy November - Case Digest - Labor

Hello my dear friends. It seems that this is a very busy month for most of the bloggers I know. I have notice some of my added bloggers have been saying that they are unable to blog for quite sometime or that some are saying "I'll be back after a while" or "My internet connection is like crazy" or "please bear with me" and something like that.

I am in that kind of situation myself. We just ended our 5months in law school which comprised one semester. We're about to enroll again for the second semester but before all that is done, my classmates and I have been busy trying to finish "case digests" for our subjects. That was the time I stopped blogging about music but instead, encoded my case digest. I usually write down on a record book my case digests so that I can practice or improve my hand writing, which is really crucial when we take our Bar exams. I write it down on a notebook, consolidate them according to subject then encode them on .doc files. It was quite a task, luckily I am done with everything. It was a success after all my absence in the blog-world.

So for this entry, I am sharing with you what I have done so far. For those law-enthusiasts out there or everyone who might be prompted to ask what the heck is a case digest, I am sharing my work with you. Please take note that each digest is a synthesis of Supreme Court decisions and each of them may contain various topics or issues but since my subject for this digest is the Labor Law, I only included the issue/s related to the Labor Code of the Philippines. Please let me know if your think there should have been a better way of presenting the case and post it on my comment box.

Here are a few:

GRN 130866 SEPTEMBER 16, 1998 295 SCRA 494
Respondent Aricayos file a complaint for illegal dismissal to the Labor Arbiter. There being no employer-employee relationship, the petition was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Aricayos appealed to NLRC contending errors of the labor arbiter.

Whether r not the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over NLRC appeals?

First established in 1972, decisions of NLRC were declared to the appealable to the Secretary of Labor and ultimately to the President. But under the present state of law, there is no provision for appeals from NLRC decisions. The court held that there is an underlying power of the Courts to scrutinize the acts of such agencies on questions of law and jurisdiction even though no right of review is given by statute; that the purpose of judicial review is to keep the administrative agency within its jurisdiction and protect the substantial rights of the parties; and that is part of the checks and balances which restricts the separation of powers and forestalls arbitrary and unjust adjudications.
Subsequently, under RA 7902, effective March 1995, the mode for judicial review over NLRC decisions is that of a petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. The same confuses by declaring that the CA has no appellate jurisdiction over decisions falling within the appellate jurisdiction of SC, including the NLRC decisions.
Therefore, all references in the amended Section 9 of BP 129 to supposed appeals from the NLRC to SC are interpreted and hereby declared to mean and refer to petitions for certiorari under Rule 65. All such petitions should henceforth be initially filed in the CA in strict observance of the doctrine on the hierarchy of courts as the appropriate forum for the relief desired. The case was remanded to CA.

GRN 108556 NOVEMBER 19, 1996

The union filed with the NLRC arbitration branch a complaint on wage distortion. The labor arbiter ruled in favor of the Union while the NRLC Commissioner Zapanta reversed the same. The Union contends that the Mandarin Hotel filed its appeal three days beyond the reglamentary period.
Whether or not NLRC acquired jurisdiction to take cognizance of Mandarin’s appeal from Labor Arbiter.
The Court ruled that the Commission acted correctly in accepting and acting on Mandarin’s appeal. The employee who was authorized to receive payment was not around so the respondent was allowed to pay docketing fee on the next business day which was February 4, 1991. In view of the considerations and in the interest of justice was quite served when Mandarin’s appeal was given due course despite delayed payment of fees. . . the reglamentary period confers a directory, not a mandatory, power to dismiss an appeal…

GRN 47853 NOVEMBER 16, 1984
Petitioner demanded for a better working condition and the reinstatement of 9 dismissed workers. Upon refusal of the company, case elevated to the Labor Arbiter for conciliation. The case was certified to the defunct Court of Industrial Relation which issued a return to work order and enjoined the company from laying off as well as hiring new employees without authority from Court. However, the company dismissed and hired employees without authority. The union, through its secretary, entered into a compromise agreement with the company waiving all claims and counterclaims of whatever nature arising out of or in connection with the present case. September 20, 1976, NLRC served a write of Execution to enforce an order directing the reinstatement and back wages. Respondent claimed that subject case has already been dismissed by virtue of the Court’s agreement. CFI issued an order retraining the Sheriff from implementing the writ of execution. Individual complainants filed a motion however denied.
Whether or not petitioner members have the necessary legal personality to bring suit against respondents.

Although petitioner-members are not the original parties, they should not be deprived of their right to question the order of the CFI approving the compromise agreement since they are the ones who will stand to suffer and will greatly be prejudiced by the dismissal of the case. It is the individual members who would adversely affected in the event of the dismissal of the case after and extended litigation. The courts may set aside technicalities, all in the interest of substantial justice.
Generally, a judgment on a compromise agreement puts an end to litigation and is immediately executor. However, the rules require a special authority before an attorney can compromise the litigation of their clients. The authority to compromise cannot lightly be presumed and be duly established by evidence. Undoubtedly, the compromise agreement was executed to the prejudice of the complainants who never consented thereto, hence it is null and void. Money claims due to laborers cannot be the object of settlement or compromise effected by a union or a counsel without the specific individual consent of each laborer concerned. The beneficiaries are the individual complainants themselves. The union to which they belong can only assist them but not decide for them.
The fact that petitioners ceased to be connected with the company and the reinstatement may no longer be possible is no obstacle to the grant of the money claims to the petitioners considering that the money claim had already been adjudicated by final judgment.

GRN 58768 December 29, 1989

On February 6, 1974, Philippine Labor Alliance Council (PLAC) and Liberty Flour (Company) entered into a 3-year CBA effective January 1, 1974 providing for a daily wage increase of PhP2 for 1974. PhP1 for 1975 and PhP1 for 1976. The parties also agreed to establish a union shop by imposing “membership in good standing for the duration of the CBA…” as a condition for continued employment of workers. PLAC complained against the company for non-payment of E-COLA under PD 525. A similar complaint was filed on March 5, 1975, this time by petitioners who apparently were veering away from PLAC. Evaristo and Biascan, after organizing a union, filed for a certification election among rank-and-file employees, PLAC then expelled the two for disloyalty and demanded their dismissal by the respondent company, who complied on May 20, 1975. The claim for E-COLA was dismissed as it was already absorbed by the wage increases. The termination case in relation to back wages was also dismissed.
Whether or not E-COLA was absorbed in the wage increase and WON dismissal of Evaristo and Biascan was illegal.

The Company agreed to grant the emergency allowance even before the obligation was imposed by Government. What petitioner claim they are being waived is the additional allowance but the truth is they are not entitled to because they are already enjoying the stipulated increases.
As with the case of illegal dismissal, the CBA concluded in 1974 was certifiable and in fact certified in April 1975. Evidence show that after the cancellation of the registration certificate of the Federation of Democratic Labor Unions, no other union contested the exclusive representation of the PLAC. Consequently, there was no more legal impediment that stood on the way of its validity and enforceability of the provisions of the CBA entered into by and between company and union. Once it was duly entered into and signed by the parties, a CBA becomes effective as between the parties whether or not the same has been certified by BLR.

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