Case Digest - Labor Law

Here is the continuation of my case digests:

GRN 127598 JANUARY 27, 1999

The court directed the parties to execute a CBA incorporating the terms among which are the following modifications among others: Wages: PhP 1,900 for 1995-1996; Retroactivity: December 28, 1996-Dec. 1999, etc. Dissatisfied, some members of the union filed a motion for intervention/reconsideration. Petitioner warns that is the wage increase of Php2,000.00 per month as ordered is allowed, it would pass the cost covering such increase to the consumers through an increase rate of electricity. On the retroactivity of the CBA arbitral award, the parties reckon the period as when retroaction shall commence.
Whether or not retroactivity of arbitral awards shall commence at such time as granted by Secretary.

In St. Luke’s Medical vs Torres, a deadlock developed during CBA negotiations between management unions. The Secretary assumed jurisdiction and ordered the retroaction of the CBA to the date of expiration of the previous CBS. The Court ratiocinated thus: In the absence of a specific provision of law prohibiting retroactive of the effectivity of arbitral awards issued by the Secretary pursuant to article 263(g) of the Labor Code, public respondent is deemed vested with the plenary and discretionary powers to determine the effectivity thereof.
In general, a CBA negotiated within six months after the expiration of the existing CBA retroacts to the day immediately following such date and if agreed thereafter, the effectivity depends on the agreement of the parties. On the other hand, the law is silent as to the retroactivity of a CBA arbitral award or that granted not by virtue of the mutual agreement of the parties but by intervention of the government. In the absence of a CBA, the Secretary’s determination of the date of retroactivity as part of his discretionary powers over arbitral awards shall control.
Wherefore, the arbitral award shall retroact from December 1, 1995 to November 30, 1997; and the award of wage is increased from Php1,900 to Php2,000.

GRN 54334 JANUARY 22, 1986
Union was certified by the BLR as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the rank and file employees. On December 1978, the union furnished the company 2 copies of its proposed CBA. Company did not reply and in its attempt to bring the company to the bargaining table, the union file a “notice of strike” with BLR on ground of unresolved economic issues. Conciliation proceedings then followed during the 30-day statutory cooling-off period. No conciliation was reached and prompted by company’s frequent request for postponement, NLRC rendered decision declaring company guilty of ULP and the draft proposal of CBA having found to be reasonable, was declared collective agreement which should govern the relationship of parties.
Whether or not company committed ULP.

Collective bargaining which is defined as a negotiation toward collective agreement, is designed to stabilize the relationship of labor and management and to create a climate of sound and stable industrial peace.
The company is guilty of ULP since it has been established that:
1. Respondent union was duly certified bargaining agent;
2. It made a definite request to bargain;
3. The company made no counter proposal which conclusively indicate lack of a sincere desire to negotiate.
Even during the compulsory arbitration before the NLRC, company approach and attitude stalling the negotiation by a series of postponements, non appearance at a 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.
As laid down in Herald delivery case, “ULP is committed when it is shown that the respondent employer, after having been served with a written bargaining proposal by union, did not even bother to submit an answer or reply…”

GRN: 128067 JUNE 5, 1998
PNO, J.:
Samahan, a registered union filed a petition for certification election. Private respondent questioned the status of petitioners as LLO on the ground of lack of proof that its contract of affiliation with NAFLU-KMU has been submitted to BLR. Samahan averred that as an independent and duly registered union, it has all the rights and privileges to act as a representative of its members for the purpose of collective bargaining with employers. Med-arbiter dismissed the petition. Meanwhile, FWU was allowed to conduct certification election, and eventually negotiated a CBA. Private respondent filed a motion to dismiss appeal of Samahan as it has become moot and academic. Secretary dismissed the appeal.

Whether or not pending appeal has been rendered moot and academic by a subsequently enacted CBA and WON legal personality of Samahan having been established the same could not be subject to collateral attack.

Petitioner is an independently registered labor union thus its rights to file petition for certification election on its own is beyond question. Its failure to prove its affiliation with NAFLU-KMU cannot affect its right to file petition as an independent union.
On second question, petitioner seasonably appealed, thus it stopped the holding of any certification election. Accordingly, there was an unresolved representation case at the time the CBA was entered by FWU and private respondent… “there should be no obstacle to the right of the employees to petition for a certification election at the proper time, that is within 60 days prior to the expiration of the life of a certified CBA… not even by a collective agreement submitted during the pendency of the representation case…”

GRN 119268 FEBRUARY 23, 2000

Petitioners were drivers of Goodman Taxi and were collected average of PhP400 as boundary plus 30pesos for car wash. They do not agree with the car wash fee and planned to form a union. Upon learning of their plan, private respondent refused to let petitioners drive their taxicab for few days. Petitioners filed illegal dismissal and illegal collection of wash fee. Labor Arbiter dismissed the complaint while NLRC reversed the decision ratiocinating that as employees, their dismissal must be for just cause and after due process.

Whether or not an employer-employee relationship exists.

Complainants ate taxi drivers on boundary system but in determining if employer-employee relationship exists, the four-fold test is applied: power of selection; payment of wages; power of dismissal, and; power to control the employees. Petitioners are undoubtedly employees of the respondent because taxi drivers perform activities which are necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. Thus an employee illegally dismissed shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to his full backwages, inclusive of allowances an to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement.

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