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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
February-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 99039 February 3, 1997 - FORD PHIL., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100748 February 3, 1997 - JOSE BARITUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108547 February 3, 1997 - FELICIDAD VDA. DE CABRERA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112761-65 February 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PORFERIO M. PEPITO

  • G.R. No. 114183 February 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS BORJA

  • G.R. No. 119310 February 3, 1997 - JULIETA V. ESGUERRA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119935 February 3, 1997 - UNITED SOUTH DOCKHANDLERS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122156 February 3, 1997 - MANILA PRINCE HOTEL v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123332 February 3, 1997 - AUGUSTO GATMAYTAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118915 February 4, 1997 - CAPITOL MEDICAL CENTER-ACE-UFSW v. BIENVENIDO LAGUESMA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1110 February 6, 1997 - MELENCIO S. SY v. CARMELITA S. MONGCUPA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1203 February 6, 1997 - ERNESTO A. REYES v. NORBERTO R. ANOSA

  • G.R. No. 110668 February 6, 1997 ccc zz

    SMITH, BELL & CO., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111682 February 6, 1997 - ZENAIDA REYES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117982 February 6, 1997 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118843 February 6, 1997 - ERIKS PTE. LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118950-54 February 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUCRECIA GABRES

  • G.R. No. 119322 February 6, 1997 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 98252 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENE JANUARIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110391 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOLORES DE LEON

  • G.R. No. 112191 February 7, 1997 - FORTUNE MOTORS (PHILS.) CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112714-15 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO SAGARAL

  • G.R. No. 117472 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEO ECHEGARAY

  • G.R. No. 119657 February 7, 1997 - UNIMASTERS CONGLOMERATION, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 119772-73 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NIGEL RICHARD GATWARD

  • G.R. No. 125249 February 7, 1997 - JIMMY S. DE CASTRO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1161 February 10, 1997 - JESUS N. BANDONG v. BELLA R. CHING

  • G.R. No. 108894 February 10, 1997 - TECNOGAS PHIL. MFG. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109887 February 10, 1997 - CECILIA CARLOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117702 February 10, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISPIN YPARRAGUIRRE

  • G.R. No. 124553 February 10, 1997 - ROSARIO R. TUASON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-95-1070 February 12, 1997 - MARIA APIAG, ET AL. v. ESMERALDO G. CANTERO

  • Adm. Matter No. P-87-100 February 12, 1997 - FELISA ELIC VDA. DE ABELLERA v. NEMESIO N. DALISAY

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1231 February 12, 1997 - ISAIAS P. DICDICAN v. RUSSO FERNAN, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 68166 February 12, 1997 - HEIRS OF EMILIANO NAVARRO v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104666 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BIENVENIDO OMBROG

  • G.R. No. 115129 February 12, 1997 - IGNACIO BARZAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116511 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. COLOMA TABAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118025 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REBECCO SATOR

  • G.R. No. 120769 February 12, 1997 - STANLEY J. FORTICH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125531 February 12, 1997 - JOVAN LAND v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126013 February 12, 1997 - HEINZRICH THEIS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107554 February 13, 1997 - CEBU INT’L. FINANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108763 February 13, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112968 February 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARSENIO LETIGIO

  • G.R. No. 114144 February 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO ABAD

  • G.R. Nos. 114711 & 115889 February 13, 1997 - GARMENTS and TEXTILE EXPORT BOARD v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122728 February 13, 1997 - CASIANO A. ANGCHANGCO v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-217 February 17, 1997 - MANUEL F. CONCEPCION v. JESUS V. AGANA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ 97-1369 February 17, 1997 - OCTAVIO DEL CALLAR v. IGNACIO L. SALVADOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 103501-03 & 103507 February 17, 1997 - LUIS A. TABUENA v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119247 February 17, 1997 - CESAR SULIT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119536 February 17, 1997 - GLORIA S. DELA CRUZ v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121017 February 17, 1997 - OLIVIA B. CAMANAG v. JESUS F. GUERRERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122165 February 17, 1997 - ALA MODE GARMENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123823 February 17, 1997 - MODESTO G. ESPAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 96249 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALIPIO QUIAMCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114396 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM ROBERT BURTON

  • G.R. No. 118140 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE PIANDIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121084 February 19, 1997 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. v. TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. LABOR UNION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107916 February 20, 1997 - PERCIVAL MODAY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112288 February 20, 1997 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1034 February 21, 1997 - LEWELYN S. ESTRELLER v. SOFRONIO MANATAD, JR.

  • G.R. No. 73399 February 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON ABEDES

  • G.R. No. 117394 February 21, 1997 - HINATUAN MINING CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. SDC-97-2-P February 24, 1997 - SOPHIA ALAWI v. ASHARY M. ALAUYA

  • G.R. No. 110427 February 24, 1997 - CARMEN CAÑIZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1195 February 26, 1997 - ROMEO NAZARENO, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. ALMARIO

  • G.R. No. 94237 February 26, 1997 - BUILDING CARE CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105294 February 26, 1997 - PACITA DAVID-CHAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107671 February 26, 1997 - REMMAN ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109849 February 26, 1997 - MAXIMINO FUENTES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110098 February 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BUENAFE AZUGUE

  • G.R. No. 111538 February 26, 1997 - PARAÑAQUE KINGS ENTERPRISES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116033 February 26, 1997 - ALFREDO L. AZARCON v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123404 February 26, 1997 - AURELIO SUMALPONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1368 February 27, 1997 - ERNESTO RIEGO, ET AL. v. EMILIO LEACHON, JR.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 121084   February 19, 1997 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. v. TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. LABOR UNION, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 121084. February 19, 1997.]

    TOYOTA MOTOR PHILIPPINES CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. TOYOTA MOTOR PHILIPPINES CORPORATION LABOR UNION AND THE SECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. LABOR AND SOCIAL LEGISLATION; LABOR RELATIONS; CERTIFICATION ELECTION; PURPOSE. — The purpose of every certification election is to determine the exclusive representative of employees in an appropriate bargaining unit for the purpose of collective bargaining. A certification election for the collective bargaining process is one of the fairest and most effective ways of determining which labor organization can truly represent the working force. In determining the labor organization which represents the interests of the workforce, those interests must be, as far as reasonably possible, homogeneous so as to genuinely reach the concerns of the individual members of a labor organization.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; BARGAINING UNIT; DEFINITION; POLICY OF THE LABOR CODE IN PREVENTING SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES FROM JOINING LABOR ORGANIZATIONS CONSISTING OF RANK AND FILE EMPLOYEES. — An appropriate bargaining unit is a group of employees of a given employer, composed of all or less than the entire body of employees, which the collective interests of all the employees, consistent with equity to the employer indicate to be best suited to serve reciprocal rights and duties of the parties under the collective bargaining provisions law. In Belyca Corporation v. Ferrer-Calleja, we defined the bargaining unit as "the legal collectivity for collective bargaining purposes whose members have substantially mutual bargaining interests in terms and conditions of employment as will assure to all employees their collective bargaining rights." This in mind, the Labor Code has made it a clear statutory policy to prevent supervisory employees from joining labor organizations consisting of rank-and-file employees as the concerns which involve members of either group are normally disparate and contradictory.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; THE COMPOSITION OF ANY LABOR ORGANIZATION MAY BE INQUIRED INTO ANTERIOR TO THE GRANTING OF AN ORDER ALLOWING A CERTIFICATION ELECTION WHENEVER THE STATUS OF THE LABOR ORGANIZATION IS CHALLENGED ON THE BASIS OF ARTICLE 245 OF THE LABOR CODE. — Under Art. 245 of the Labor Code, a labor organization composed of both rank-and-file and supervisory employees is no labor organization at all. It cannot, for any guise or purpose, be a legitimate labor organization. Not being one, an organization which carries a mixture of rank-and-file and supervisory employees cannot possess any of the rights of a legitimate labor organization, including the right to file a petition for certification election for the purpose of collective bargaining. It becomes necessary, therefore, anterior to the granting of an order allowing a certification election, to inquire into the composition of any labor organization whenever the status of the labor organization is challenged on the basis of Article 245 of the Labor Code.

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; RATIONALE BEHIND THE LABOR CODE’S EXCLUSION OF SUPERVISORS FROM UNIONS OF RANK AND FILE EMPLOYEES. — The rationale behind the Code’s exclusion of supervisors from union of rank-and-file employees while in the performance of supervisory functions, become the alter ego of management in the making and the implementing of key decisions at the sub-managerial level. Certainly, it would be difficult to find unity or mutuality of interests in a bargaining unit consisting of a mixture of rank-and-file and supervisory employees. And this is so because the fundamental test of a bargaining units’ acceptability is whether or not such a unit will best advance to all employees within the unit the proper exercise of their collective bargaining rights. The Code itself has recognized this in preventing supervisory employees from joining unions of rank-and-file employees.

    5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; UNION MEMBERS OCCUPYING LEVEL 5 POSITIONS ARE SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES; CASE AT BAR. — While there may be a genuine divergence of opinion as to whether or not union members occupying Level 4 positions are supervisory employees, it is fairly obvious, from a reading of the Labor Code’s definition of the term that those occupying Level 5 positions are unquestionably supervisory employees. Supervisory employees, as defined above are those who in the interest of the employer effectively recommend managerial actions if the exercise of such authority is not merely routinary or clerical in nature but require the use of independent judgment. Under the job description for level five employees, such personnel — all engineers — having a number of personnel under them, not only oversee production of new models but also determine manpower requirements, thereby influencing of important hiring decisions at the highest levels. This determination is neither routine nor clerical but involves the independent assessment of factors affecting production, which in turn affect decisions to hire or transfer workers. The use of independent judgment in making the decision to hire, fire or transfer in the identification of manpower requirements would be greatly impaired if the employee’s loyalties are torn between the interests of the union and the interests of management. A supervisory employee occupying a level five position would therefore find it difficult to objectively identify the exact manpower requirements dictated by production demands. This is precisely what the Labor Code, in requiring separate unions among rank-and-file employees on one hand, and supervisory employees on the other, seeks to avoid.


    D E C I S I O N


    KAPUNAN, J.:


    On November 26, 1992, the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Union (TMPCLU) filed a petition for certification election with the Department of Labor, National Capital Region, for all rank-and-file employees of the Toyota Motor Corporation. 1

    In response, petitioner filed a Position Paper on February 23, 1993 seeking the denial of the issuance of an Order directing the holding of a certification election on two grounds: first, that the respondent union, being "in the process of registration" had no legal personality to file the same as it was not a legitimate labor organization as of the date of the filing of the petition; and second, that the union was composed of both rank-and-file and supervisory employees in violation of law. 2 Attached to the position paper was a list of union members and their respective job classifications, indicating that many of the signatories to the petition for certification election occupied supervisory positions and were not in fact rank-and-file employees. 3

    The Med-Arbiter, Paterno D. Adap, dismissed respondent union’s petition for certification election for lack of merit. In his March 8, 1993 Order, the Med-Arbiter found that the labor organization’s membership was composed of supervisory and rank-and-file employees in violation of Article 245 of the Labor Code, 4 and that at the time of the filing of its petition, respondent union had not even acquired legal personality yet. 5

    On appeal, the Office of the Secretary of Labor, in a Resolution 6 dated November 9, 1993 signed by Undersecretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma, set aside the Med-Arbiter’s Order of March 3, 1993, and directed the holding of a certification election among the regular rank-and-file employees of Toyota Motor Corporation. In setting aside the questioned Order, the Office of the Secretary contended that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Contrary to the allegation of herein respondent-appellee, petitioner-appellant was already a legitimate labor organization at the time of the filing of the petition on 26 November 1992. Records show that on 24 November 1992 or two (2) days before the filing of the said petition, it was issued a certificate of registration.

    We also agree with petitioner-appellant that the Med-Arbiter should have not dismissed the petition for certification election based on the ground that the proposed bargaining unit is a mixture of supervisory and rank-and-file employees, hence, violative of Article 245 of the Labor Code as amended.

    A perusal of the petition and the other documents submitted by petitioner-appellant will readily show that what the former really seeks to represent are the regular rank-and-file employees in the company numbering about 1,800 more or less, a unit which is obviously appropriate for bargaining purposes. This being the case, the mere allegation of respondent-appellee that there are about 42 supervisory employees in the proposed bargaining unit should have not caused the dismissal of the instant petition. Said issue could very well be taken cared of during the pre-election conference where inclusion/exclusion proceedings will be conducted to determine the list of eligible voters. 7

    Not satisfied with the decision of the Office of the Secretary of Labor, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of March 3, 1993, reiterating its claim that as of the date of filing of petition for certification election, respondent TMPCLU had not yet acquired the status of a legitimate labor organization as required by the Labor Code, and that the proposed bargaining unit was inappropriate.

    Acting on petitioner’s motion for reconsideration, the public respondent, on July 13, 1994 set aside its earlier resolution and remanded the case to the Med-Arbiter concluding that the issues raised by petitioner both on appeal and in its motion for reconsideration were factual issues requiring further hearing and production of evidence. 8 The Order stated:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    We carefully re-examined the records vis-a-vis the arguments raised by the movant, and we note that movant correctly pointed out that petitioner submitted a copy of its certificate of registration for the first time on appeal and that in its petition, petitioner alleges that it is an independent organization which is in the process of registration." Movant strongly argues that the foregoing only confirms what it has been pointing out all along, that at the time the petition was filed petitioner is (sic) not yet the holder of a registration certificate, that what was actually issued on 24 November 1992 or two (2) days before the filing of the petition was an official receipt of payment for the application fee; and, that the date appearing in the Registration certificate which is November 24, 1992 is not the date when petitioner was actually registered, but the date when the registration certificate was prepared by the processor. Movant also ratiocinates that if indeed petitioner has been in possession of the registration certificate at the time this petition was filed on November 26, 1992, it would have attached the same to the petition.

    The foregoing issues are factual ones, the resolution of which is crucial to the petition. For if indeed it is true that at the time of filing of the petition, the said registration certificate has not been approved yet, then, petitioner lacks the legal personality to file the petition and the dismissal order is proper. Sadly, we can not resolve the said questions by merely perusing the records. Further hearing and introduction of evidence are required. Thus, there is a need to remand the case to the Med-Arbiter solely for the purpose.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    WHEREFORE, the motion is hereby granted and our Resolution is hereby set aside. Let the case be remanded to the Med-Arbiter for the purpose aforestated.

    SO ORDERED. 9

    Pursuant to the Order, quoted above, Med-Arbiter Brigida C. Fodrigon submitted her findings on September 28, 1994, stating the following: 10

    [T]he controvertible fact is that petitioner could not have been issued its Certificate of Registration on November 24, 1992 when it applied for registration only on November 23, 1992 as shown by the official receipt of payment of filing fee. As Enrique Nalus, Chief LEO, this office, would attest in his letter dated September 8, 1994 addressed to Mr. Porfirio T. Reyes, Industrial Relations Officer of Respondent company, n response to a query posed by the latter, "It is unlikely that an application for registration is approved on the date that it is filed or the day thereafter as the processing course has to pass thought routing, screening, and assignment, evaluation, review and initialing, and approval/disapproval procedure, among others, so that a 30-day period is provided for under the Labor Code for this purpose, let alone opposition thereto by interested parties which must be also given due course."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Another evidence which petitioner presented . . . is the "Union Registration 1992 Logbook of IRD." . . and the entry date November 25, 1992 as allegedly the date of the release of the registration certificate . . . On the other hand, respondent company presented . . . a certified true copy of an entry on page 265 of the Union Registration Logbook showing the pertinent facts about petitioner but which do not show the petitioner’s registration was issued on or before November 26, 1992. 11

    Further citing other pieces of evidence presented before her, the Med-Arbiter concluded that respondent TMPCLU could not have "acquire[d] legal personality at the time of the filing of (its) petition." 12

    On April 20, 1996, the public respondent issued a new Resolution, "directing the conduct of a certification election among the regular rank-and-file employees of the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation. 13 Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was denied by public respondent in his Order dated July 14, 1995. 14

    Hence, this special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court, where petitioner contends that "the Secretary of Labor and Employment committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in reversing, contrary to law and facts the findings of the Med-Arbiters to the effect that: 1) the inclusion of the prohibited mix of rank-and file and supervisory employees in the roster of members and officers of the union cannot be cured by a simple inclusion-exclusion proceeding; and that 2) the respondent union had no legal standing at the time of the filing of its petition for certification election. 15

    We grant the petition.

    The purpose of every certification election is to determine the exclusive representative of employees in an appropriate bargaining unit for the purpose of collective bargaining. A certification election for the collective bargaining process is one of the fairest and most effective ways of determining which labor organization can truly represent the working force. 16 In determining the labor organization which represents the interests of the workforce, those interests must be, as far as reasonably possible, homogeneous, so as to genuinely reach the concerns of the individual members of a labor organization.

    According to Rothenberg, 17 an appropriate bargaining unit is a group of employees of a given employer, composed of all or less than the entire body of employees, which the collective interests of all the employees, consistent with equity to the employer indicate to be best suited to serve reciprocal rights and duties of the parties under the collective bargaining provisions of law. In Belyca Corporation v. Ferrer Calleja, 18 we defined the bargaining unit as "the legal collectivity for collective bargaining purposes whose members have substantially mutual bargaining interests in terms and conditions of employment as will assure to all employees their collective bargaining rights." This in mind, the Labor Code has made it a clear statutory policy to prevent supervisory employees from joining labor organizations consisting of rank-and-file employees as the concerns which involve members of either group are normally disparate and contradictory. Article 245 provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ART. 245 Ineligibility of managerial employees to join any labor organization; right of supervisory employees. — Managerial Employees are not eligible to join, assist or form any labor organization. Supervisory employees shall not be eligible for membership in a labor organization of the rank-and-file employees but may join, assist or form separate labor organizations of their own.

    Clearly, based on this provision, a labor organization composed of both rank-and-file and supervisory employees is no labor organization at all. It cannot, for any guise or purpose, be a legitimate labor organization. Not being one, an organization which carries a mixture of rank-and-file and supervisory employees cannot possess any of the rights of a legitimate labor organization, including the right to file a petition for certification election for the purpose of collective bargaining. It becomes necessary, therefore, anterior to the granting of an order allowing a certification election, to inquire into the composition of any labor organization whenever the status of the labor organization is challenged on the basis of Article 245 of the Labor Code.

    It is the petitioner’s contention that forty-two (42) of the respondent union’s members, including three of its officers, occupy supervisory positions. 19 In its position paper dated February 22, 1993, petitioner identified fourteen (14) union members occupying the position of Junior Group Chief II 20 and twenty-seven (27) members in level five positions. Their respective job-descriptions are quoted below:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    LEVEL 4 (JUNIOR GROUP CHIEF II) — He is responsible for all operators and assigned stations, prepares production reports related to daily production output. He oversees smooth flow of production, quality of production, availability of manpower, parts and equipments. He also coordinates with other sections in the Production Department.

    LEVEL 5 — He is responsible for overseeing initial production of new models, prepares and monitors construction schedules for new models, identifies manpower requirements for production, facilities and equipment, and lay-out processes. He also oversees other sections in the production process (e.g. assembly, welding, painting)." (Annex "V" of Respondent TMP’s Position Paper, which is the Job Description for an Engineer holding Level 5 position in the Production Engineering Section of the Production Planning and Control Department).

    While there may be a genuine divergence of opinion as to whether or not union members occupying Level 4 positions are supervisory employees, it is fairly obvious, from a reading of the Labor Code’s definition of the term that those occupying Level 5 positions are unquestionably supervisory employees. Supervisory employees, as defined above, are those who, in the interest of the employer, effectively recommend managerial actions if the exercise of such authority is not merely routinary or clerical in nature but require the use of independent judgment. 21 Under the job description for level five employees, such personnel — all engineers — having a number of personnel under them, not only oversee production of new models but also determine manpower requirements, thereby influencing important hiring decisions at the highest levels. This determination is neither routine nor clerical but involves the independent assessment of factors affecting production, which in turn affect decisions to hire or transfer workers. The use of independent judgment in making the decision to hire, fire or transfer in the identification of manpower requirements would be greatly impaired if the employee’s loyalties are torn between the interests of the union and the interests of management. A supervisory employee occupying a level five position would therefore find it difficult to objectively identify the exact manpower requirements dictated by production demands.

    This is precisely what the Labor Code, in requiring separate unions among rank-and-file employees on one hand, and supervisory employees on the other, seeks to avoid. The rationale behind the Code’s exclusion of supervisors from unions of rank-and-file employees is that such employees, while in the performance of supervisory functions, become the alter ego of management in the making and the implementing of key decisions at the sub-managerial level. Certainly, it would be difficult to find unity or mutuality of interests in a bargaining unit consisting of a mixture of rank-and-file and supervisory employees. And this is so because the fundamental test of a bargaining unit’s acceptability is whether or not such a unit will best advance to all employees within the unit the proper exercise of their collective bargaining rights. 22 The Code itself has recognized this, in preventing supervisory employees from joining unions of rank-and-file employees.

    In the case at bar, as respondent union’s membership list contains the names of at least twenty-seven (27) supervisory employees in Level Five positions, the union could not, prior to purging itself of its supervisory employee members, attain the status of a legitimate labor organization. Not being one, it cannot possess the requisite personality to file a petition for certification election.

    The foregoing discussion, therefore, renders entirely irrelevant, the technical issue raised as to whether or not respondent union was in possession of the status of a legitimate labor organization at the time of filing, when, as petitioner vigorously claims, the former was still at the stage of processing of its application for recognition as a legitimate labor organization. The union’s composition being in violation of the Labor Code’s prohibition of unions composed of supervisory and rank-and-file employees, it could not possess the requisite personality to file for recognition as a legitimate labor organization. In any case, the factual issue, albeit ignored by the public respondent’s assailed Resolution, was adequately threshed out in the Med-Arbiter’s September 28, 1994 Order.

    The holding of a certification election is based on clear statutory policy which cannot be circumvented. 23 Its rules, strictly construed by this Court, are designed to eliminate fraud and manipulation. As we emphasized in Progressive Development Corporation v. Secretary, Department of Labor and Employment, 24 the Court’s conclusion should not be interpreted as impairing any union’s right to be certified as the employees’ bargaining agent in the petitioner’s establishment. Workers of an appropriate bargaining unit must be allowed to freely express their choice in an election where everything is open to sound judgment and the possibility for fraud and misrepresentation is absent.25cralaw:red

    WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Resolution dated April 20, 1995 and Order dated July 14, 1995 of respondent Secretary of Labor are hereby SET ASIDE. The Order dated September 28, 1994 of the Med-Arbiter is REINSTATED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Padilla, Bellosillo, Vitug and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Annex "A," Rollo p. 42.

    2. Annex "D," Id., at 72.

    3. Rollo, pp. 90-96.

    4. Id., at 110.

    5. Id., at 109.

    6. Annex "I," Id., at 37-142.

    7. Rollo, pp. 141-142.

    8. Id., at p. 192.

    9. Id., at 192-193.

    10. Id., at 231-236.

    11. Id., at 233-236.

    12. Id., at 236.

    13. Id., at 307-312.

    14. Id., at 338-340.

    15. Id., at 15-16.

    16. PAFLU v. BLR, 69 SCRA 132 (1976).

    17. ROTHENBERG, LABOR RELATIONS, cite in C.A. AZUCENA, II THE LABOR CODE (1993).

    18. 168 SCRA 184 (1988).

    19. Rollo, p. 69.

    20. Id., at 71.

    21. Labor Code, Art. 212 (m).

    22. Philippine Land Air Sea Labor Union v. Court of Industrial Relations, Et Al., 110 Phil. 176 (1960).

    23. Progressive Development Corporation v. Secretary, Department of Labor and Employment, 205 SCRA 802 (1992).

    24. 205 SCRA 802, 815 (1992).

    25. Id.

    G.R. No. 121084   February 19, 1997 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. v. TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. LABOR UNION, ET AL.


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