G.R. No. L-14848 October 31, 1962
COLOMBIAN ROPE COMPANY OF THE PHILIPPINES, (TACLOBAN BRANCH), and/or E. C. SIMONSEN, JR., HAROLD L. CICERONE and RAFAEL DELGADO Petitioners, vs. TACLOBAN ASSOCIATION OF LABORERS and EMPLOYEES and/or BRAULIO MALPAS, FELIPE SUPERABLE, JOSE DE LA ROSA, ANDRES MACAMAY and THE COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, Respondents.
Ross, Selph and Carrascoso for petitioners.
This is a petition for review by certiorari of the decision of the Court of Industrial Relations.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Respondents Braulio Malpas, Felipe Superable, Jose de la Rosa and Andres Macamay were the complainants low against petitioner Columbian Rope Company of Philippines (Tacloban Branch), alleging that they employees of the latter who were dismissed by reason of their membership in the Tacloban Association Laborers and Employees (CIR Case No. 16-ULP-C Superable was dismissed on September 17, 1954; Malpas on November 17, 1954; de la Rosa on December 1, 1954; Macamay on February 8, 1955. After trial and pending decision of the court, the Company filed an "urgent petition" for permission to close down its Tacloban branch effective October 15, 1955, on the ground of continuing losses in its local business. Acting on the petition, the court on September 29, 1955 issued an order stating that "there being no provision in Republic Act No. 875 or any other act to the effect that an employer could close his or its business without first securing authority from this Court if there is a pending certification of unfair labor practice case involving said business, the grant of such authority is unnecessary," but that "should Tacloban Branch of respondent Company be actually closed as planned, such closing should be without prejudice to the results of the two pending cases (Cases 16-ULP-C and 28MC-Cebu) involving said Company and the Tacloban Association of Laborers and Employees." On September 22, 1958 the Industrial Relations Court rendered decision declaring that the dismissal of the complainant was violative of Section 4 (a), subsections 1, 2 and 4 Republic Act 875 and requiring the company "to cease and desist from committing unfair labor practice; to back wages to the complainants from the time of the dismissal until they are made whole; and to maintain terms and conditions of employment at the time of their dismissal and not to disturb their seniority."chanrobles virtual law library
A motion for reconsideration was denied by the court en banc, with a separate concurring and dissenting opinion by Judge Emiliano C. Tabigne.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
In the instant petition, petitioner does not question the Industrial Relations Court's finding of unfair labor practice and the right of the complaining employees to back wages from the dates of their respective dismissals up to the time petitioner closed its Tacloban branch, allegedly on September 30, 1955. The sole issue now presented is: May an employer, found guilty of unfair labor practice in dismissing four employees, be ordered to reinstate them after the closure of its branch office where they were employed, and to pay the dismissed employees back wages from the date of such closure until they are actually reinstated?chanrobles virtual law library
On this question this Court's ruling in Durable Shoe Factory v. Court of Industrial Relations, L-7783, May 31, 1956, is in point:
Apropos of a similar question of reinstatement under circumstances analogous to those claimed by petitioner, it is stated in Erlanger & Galinger, Inc. v. Court of Industrial Relations, L-15118, December 29, 1960:
Even in the absence of any finding that an employer has been guilty of unfair labor practice a business recession may affect the right of an employee to reinstatement. So in Philippine American Drug Co. v. Court of Industrial Relations, involving the dismissal of an employee because of business losses suffered by the employer, it was held:
The same view is held in American Jurisprudence:
Respondents contend that even if it be true that Tacloban Branch of petitioning Company has been closed for the reason alleged by it, they could still be reinstated in its other branches. There is indeed authority for proposition that in such case the employer must offer the discharged employees substantially equivalent employment, if available:
Reinstatement under this circumstance does not necessarily have to be immediate:
The views so far expounded assume that the employer has legitimately closed its business. In the present case the lower court has made no finding on this point. No evidence one way or another was presented at the trial. All that appears is that petitioner asked for permission to close its Tacloban branch, and that its allegation of actual closure on September 30, 1955, contained in memorandum submitted in support of its motion for reconsideration in the court below, has not been categorically denied by respondents in their written opposition to motion.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
In the Durable Shoe Factory case, supra, where a similar question was raised, namely, whether the employee business closed on December 3, 1952, the lower court decision not containing any express finding thereon, this Court, in order to "avoid any injustice that may be committed through any assumption that petitioner continue operations even after December 6, 1952," ruled that the Industrial Relations Court should require evidence on particular question of fact and therefore remanded the case for that purpose.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
The decision of respondent Court is set aside and the case is remanded for further proceedings - specific to receive evidence on, and decide the questions of (1) whether or not the Tacloban branch of petitioning Company was closed on September 30, 1955 or on any other date thereafter; (2) whether such closure was for a justifiable cause, as alleged by said company, or was resolution to in order to circumvent any decision requiring reinstatement which the said court might render, as alleged by respondent employees; and (3) if the closure was true and justified, whether or not, on the basis of the evidence order the reinstatement of said employees in the Company's other branches or to put them on a preference list for that purpose, on the basis of the exigencies of business. Without costs.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes, Dizon and Regala, concur.
Search for www.chanrobles.com
|Copyright © ChanRoblesPublishing Company| Disclaimer | E-mailRestrictions|
ChanRobles™Virtual Law Library ™ | chanrobles.com™