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13 Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils., Inc. v. Ilocos Professional 1.

With regard to the IMU: As proven by the certification of


and Technical Employees Union (IPTEU) the IMU President as well as the CBAs executed between
GR No. 193798, Sept. 9, 2015, Carpio IMU and COCA-COLA, the 22 employees sought to be
represented by IPTEU are not IMU members and are
Doctrine/s: not included in the CBAs due to reclassification of their
Exposure to internal business operations of the positions. If these document were false, the IMU should
company is not per se a ground for the exclusion in the have manifested its vigorous opposition.
bargaining unit.
2. As to whether the 16 voters sought to be excluded from
Facts: the appropriate bargaining unit are confidential
1. Petitioner Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils., Inc. (COCA-COLA) employees, such query is a question of fact, which is not
is a domestic corporation, engaged in the beverage a proper issue in a petition for review under Rule 45 of
business. the Rules. This holds more true in the present case in
view of the consistent findings of the Mediator-Arbiter, the
2. Respondent Ilocos Professional and Technical SOLE, and the CA.
Employees Union (IPTEU) is a registered independent
labor organization. The determination of factual issues is vested in the Med-Arbiter
and the DOLE Pursuant to the doctrine of primary jurisdiction,
3. IPTEU filed a verified Petition for certification election the Court should refrain from resolving such controversies
seeking to represent a bargaining unit consisting of unless the case falls under recognized and well-established
approximately twenty-two (22) rank-and-file professional exceptions.
and technical employees of COCA-COLA
In this case, organizational charts, detailed job
4. COCA-COLA prayed for the denial and dismissal of the descriptions, and training programs were presented by
petition, arguing that several employees in the IPTEU are COCA-COLA before the Mediator-Arbiter, the SOLE, and
confidential employees; hence, ineligible for inclusion as the CA. Despite these, the Mediator-Arbiter ruled that
members of IPTEU. employees who encounter or handle trade secrets and
financial information are not automatically classified as
5. Mediator-Arbiter: Convinced that the union members confidential employees. It was admitted that the subject
are rank-and-file employees and not occupying positions employees encounter and handle financial as well as physical
that are supervisory or confidential in nature, thus granted production data and other information which are considered
IPTEU’S petition vital and important from the business operations’ standpoint.
Nevertheless, it was opined that such information is not the
6. In the Pre-election Conference, CCBPI and IPTEU kind of information that is relevant to collective bargaining
mutually agreed to conduct the certification election on negotiations and settlement of grievances as would classify
September 21, 2007. On election day, only sixteen (16) them as confidential employees. The SOLE, which the CA
of the twenty-two (22) employees in the IPTEU list voted. affirmed, likewise held that the questioned voters do not have
However, no votes were canvassed. access to confidential labor relations information.

7. COCA-COLA filed and registered a Protest arguing that: The SC defers to the findings of fact of the Mediator-Arbiter,
 The 16 employees are confidential employees the SOLE, and CA. Certainly, access to vital labor information
 There is already a bargaining unit who represents is the imperative consideration. An employee must assist or act
the rank-and-file, namely the Ilocos Monthlies in a confidential capacity and obtain confidential information
Union (IMU) relating to labor relations policies. Exposure to internal
business operations of the company is not per se a ground for
8. The Mediator-Arbiter denied CCBPI’s challenge to the 16 the exclusion in the bargaining unit.
votes. She found that the voters are rank-and-file
employees holding positions that are not confidential in
nature, and the 22 employees whom the IPTEU tends to Dispositive Portion:
represent are not members of the IMU. Consequently, the Wherefore, premises considered, petition is denied.
challenged votes were opened and canvassed.

9. After garnering 14 out of the 16 votes cast, IPTEU was Notes:


proclaimed as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent
of the rank-and-file exempt workers in COCA-COLA 1. The employees involved are: Sales Logistics Coordinator
Ilocos Norte Plant. and Maintenance Foreman, Financial Analysts, Quality
Assurance Specialists, Maintenance Manager Secretary,
10. SOLE: Affirmed Mediator-Arbiter’s decision. Trade Promotions and Merchandising Assistant, Trade
11. CA: In favored IPTEU. Hence, COCA-COLA filed a Asset Controller and Maintenance Coordinator, Sales
Petition for Review to the SC. Information Analyst, Sales Logistics Assistant, Product
Supply Coordinator, Buyer, Inventory Planner, and
Issue: Inventory Analyst.
1. W/N the IPTEU can represent the employees listed
therein, given the petitioner’s argument that (1) they
are confidential employees and (2) there is already
the IMU. – YES.
Held:
Court dismissed the petition and ruled in favor of IPTEU.