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Employer – Employee Relationship

Parties What is the What are the rights and Is he an Final Disposition
and business of duties of the employee of
Case No. the Complainant? the
Company? company?
Coca- Retail Dr. Dean Climaco was No. The Court, in determining the existence of an employer-
Cola business hired by virtue of a employee relationship, has invariably adhered to the four-fold
Bottlers, Retainer Agreement as test:
Inc. vs company doctor. He has (1) the selection and engagement of the employee;
Climaco the following duties: (2) the payment of wages;
GR. No. (3) the power of dismissal; and
146881 1.Consultation, (4) The power to control the employee’s conduct, or the so-
Februar diagnosis and treatment called “control test,” considered to be the most important
y 5, of occupational and non- element.
2007 occupational injuries
and diseases In effect, the Labor Arbiter held that petitioner company,
2. Evaluate other through the Comprehensive Medical Plan, provided guidelines
matters relating to merely to ensure that the end result was achieved, but did not
health control the means and methods by which respondent
3.Periodic inspections for performed his assigned tasks.
food services and rest
rooms. In addition, the Court finds that the schedule of work and the
4.Encourage employees requirement to be on call for emergency cases do not amount to
to maintain good such control, but are necessary incidents to the Retainership
personal health. Agreement.

The retainership The Court also notes that the Retainership Agreement granted
agreement shall be good to both parties the power to terminate their relationship upon
only for a period of one giving a 30-day notice. Hence, petitioner company did not wield
(1) year. Either party the sole power of dismissal or termination.
may terminate the
contract upon giving 30-
day written notice to the
other. Dr. Climaco is
entitled to compensation
of 3,800 per month for
the Complainant.
Angelina Corporation Complainant was hired Yes. The better approach would therefore be to adopt a two-tiered
Francisc –Restaurant as an Accountant and test involving:
o v Operation Corporate Secretary. Her (1) the putative employer’s power to control the employee with
NLRC duties include: respect to the means and methods by which the work is to be
G.R. No. 1. Handle all the accomplished; and
170087 accounting needs of the (2) The underlying economic realities of the activity or
August company relationship. This two-tiered test would provide us with a
31, 2. Designated as Liaison framework of analysis, which would take into consideration the
2006 Officer to the City of totality of circumstances surrounding the true nature of the
Makati to secure relationship between the parties.
business permits,
construction permits This is especially appropriate in this case where there is no
and other licenses for written agreement or terms of reference to base the relationship
the initial operation of on; and due to the complexity of the relationship based on the
the company. various positions and responsibilities given to the worker over
3. She was not entrusted the period of the latter’s employment.
with any corporate
document. The determination of the relationship between employer and
employee depends upon the circumstances of the whole
After a year, she was economic activity, such as:
designated as Acting (1) the extent to which the services performed are an integral
Manager assigned to part of the employer’s business;
handle recruitment of all (2) the extent of the worker’s investment in equipment and
employees and perform facilities;
management (3) the nature and degree of control exercised by the employer;
administration (4) the worker’s opportunity for profit and loss;
functions; represent the (5) the amount of initiative, skill, judgment or foresight required
company in all dealings for the success of the claimed independent enterprise;
with government (6) the permanency and duration of the relationship between
agencies. the worker and the employer; and
(7) the degree of dependency of the worker upon the employer
Thereafter, she was for his continued employment in that line of business.
demoted to a Technical Under the broader economic reality test, the petitioner can
Assistant and her salary likewise be said to be an employee of respondent corporation
was reduced by P2,500 a because she had served the company for six years before her
month. dismissal, receiving check vouchers indicating her salaries/
wages, benefits, 13th month pay, bonuses and allowances, as
well as deductions and Social Security contributions from
August 1, 1999 to December 18, 2000.

It is therefore apparent that petitioner is economically

dependent on respondent corporation for her continued
employment in the latter’s line of business.

A diminution of pay is prejudicial to the employee and amounts

to constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal is an
involuntary resignation resulting in cessation of work resorted
to when continued employment becomes impossible,
unreasonable or unlikely; when there is a demotion in rank or a
diminution in pay; or when a clear discrimination, insensibility
or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to an employee.
Great Insurance Brothers Rodrigo and Yes Article 280 of the Labor Code provides that “[t]he provisions of
Pacific Business Ernesto Ruiz entered written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and
Life into an individual agency regardless of the oral agreements of the parties, an employment
Assuran agreements with the shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been
ce petitioner. engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or
Corporat desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer.
ion vs. They started as trainee-
NLRC agents and got promoted . . .” Furthermore, in determining who is considered an
G.R. to higher positions. One “employee”, the Court has time and again applied the “four-
Nos. after the other, they fold” test,** with control being the most crucial and
80750- became district determinative indicator of an employer-employee relationship.
51 managers and zone
July 23, supervisors and were Applying the above, the Court finds that, as correctly held by
1990 tasked to collect and public respondent, the relationships of the Ruiz brothers and
remit premium. Grepalife were those of employer-employee.

However, they were As zone supervisor and district manager they are necessary and
dismissed after having desirable to the usual business of the insurance company.
been found guilty of acts
inimical to the interest of True, it cannot be denied that based on the definition of an
the company. “insurance agent” in the Insurance Code [Art. 300] some of the
functions performed by private respondents were those of
insurance agents. Nevertheless, it does not follow that they are
not employees of Grepalife. The Insurance Code may govern the
licensing requirements and other particular duties of insurance
agents, but it does not bar the application of the Labor Code
with regard to labor standards and labor relations.

Moreover, it is well-settled that the existence of an employer-

employee relationship is ultimately a question of fact, and such
findings of fact of the labor arbiter and the NLRC shall be
accorded not only respect but even finality when supported by
substantial evidence
Manila Utility ASDAI (agency) and No. As to the provision in the agreement that MERALCO reserved
Electric Meralco (company) the right to seek replacement of any guard whose behavior,
Compan entered into a Security conduct or appearance is not satisfactory, such merely
y vs. Service Agreement which confirms that the power to discipline lies with the agency.
Benamir provides the
a complainants the It is a standard stipulation in security service agreements that
G.R. No. following duties and the client may request the replacement of the guards to it.
145271 responsibilities for the Service-oriented enterprises, such as the business of providing
July 14, Company: security services, generally adhere to the business adage that
2005 “the customer or client is always right” and, thus, must satisfy
1. Work on 8 hour the interests, conform to the needs, and cater to the reasonable
security duty. impositions of its clients.

2. Discharge duties and Neither is the stipulation that the agency cannot pull out any
responsibilities as security guard from MERALCO without its consent an
provided in the written indication of control. It is simply a security clause designed to
specific instruction prevent the agency from unilaterally removing its security
furnished by the guards from their assigned posts at MERALCO’s premises to
Company to the Agency. the latter’s detriment.
3. Company reserves the Needless to stress, for the power of control to be present, the
right to require without person for whom the services are rendered must reserve the
explanation replacement right to direct not only the end to be achieved but also the
of the guards. means for reaching such end. Not all rules imposed by the
hiring party on the hired party indicate that the latter is an
employee of the former. Rules which serve as general guidelines
towards the achievement of the mutually desired result are not
indicative of the power of control.

ASDAI and AFSISI are not “labor-only” contractors.

There is “labor only” contract when the person acting as

contractor is considered merely as an agent or intermediary of
the principal who is responsible to the workers in the same
manner and to the same extent as if they had been directly
employed by him. On the other hand, “job (independent)
contracting” is present if the following conditions are met:

(a) the contractor carries on an independent business and

undertakes the contract work on his own account under his
own responsibility according to his own manner and method,
free from the control and direction of his employer or principal
in all matters connected with the performance of the work
except to the result thereof; and

(b) The contractor has substantial capital or investments in the

form of tools, equipment, machineries, work premises and
other materials which are necessary in the conduct of his

Given the above distinction and the provisions of the security

service agreements entered into by petitioner with ASDAI and
AFSISI, we are convinced that ASDAI and AFSISI were engaged
in job contracting.

The individual respondents cannot be considered as regular

employees of the MERALCO for, although security services are
necessary and desirable to the business of MERALCO, it is not
directly related to its principal business and may even be
considered unnecessary in the conduct of MERALCO’s principal
business, which is the distribution of electricity.

The fact that there is no actual and direct employer-employee

relationship between MERALCO and the individual respondents
does not exonerate MERALCO from liability as to the monetary
claims of the individual respondents.

When MERALCO contracted for security services with ASDAI as

the security agency that hired individual respondents to work
as guards for it, MERALCO became an indirect employer of
individual respondents pursuant to Article 107 of the Labor
Code, which reads:

ART. 107. Indirect employer.—The provisions of the

immediately preceding Article shall likewise apply to any
person, partnership, association or corporation which, not
being an employer, contracts with an independent contractor
for the performance of any work, task, job or project. When
ASDAI as contractor failed to pay the individual respondents,
MERALCO as principal becomes jointly and severally liable for
the individual respondents’ wages, under Articles 106 and 109
of the Labor Code.
Basay v Sugar Cane Complainants Romeo Basay and The court found that Basay and Literal were employees but
Haciend Plantation Basay, Julian Literal and Literal were were not illegally dismissed on the ground of abandonment.
a Julian Abueva were employees.
Consola hired as laborers in the We are not unmindful of the rule in labor cases that the
cion Hacienda. Abueva was employer has the burden of proving that the termination was
G.R. No. found to be for a valid or authorized cause; however, it is likewise
175532 a mere incumbent upon the employees that they should first establish
  April contractor. by competent evidence the fact of their dismissal from
19, employment.
The one who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it and the
proof should be clear, positive and convincing. In this case,
aside from mere allegations, no evidence was proffered by the
petitioners that they were dismissed from employment. The
records are bereft of any indication that petitioners were
prevented from returning to work or otherwise deprived of any
work assignment by respondents.
The elements to determine the existence of an employment
relationship are:
(1) selection and engagement of the employee;
(2) the payment of wages;
(3) the power of dismissal; and
(4) the employer’s power to control the employee’s conduct.

PAL v Transportat The Respondents, by Yes Legitimate contracting and labor-only contracting are defined in
Ligan ion virtue of the Contractual Department Order (D.O.) No. 18-02, Series of 2002 (Rules
G.R. No. Agreement between PAL Implementing Articles 106 to 109 of the Labor Code, as
146408. and Synergy Services amended) as follows:
  Conrporation, were
Februar tasked of the following: Section 3. Trilateral relationship in contracting arrangements.
y 29, a. Loading and In legitimate contracting, there exists a trilateral relationship
2008 unloading of baggage under which there is a contract for a specific job, work or
and cargo to and from service between the principal and the contractor or
the aircraft; subcontractor, and a contract of employment between the
b. Delivering of baggage contractor or subcontractor and its workers. Hence, there are
from the ramp to the three parties involved in these arrangements, the principal
baggage claim area; which decides to farm out a job or service to a contractor or
c. Picking up of subcontractor, the contractor or subcontractor which has the
baggage from the capacity to independently undertake the performance of the
baggage sorting area to job, work or service, and the contractual workers engaged by
the designated parked the contractor or subcontractor to accomplish the job, work or
aircraft; service.
d. Delivering of cargo
unloaded from the flight Section 5. Prohibition against labor-only contracting.—Labor-
to cargo terminal; only contracting is hereby declared prohibited. For this
e. Other related jobs purpose, labor-only contracting shall refer to an arrangement
(but not janitorial where the contractor or subcontractor merely recruits, supplies
functions) as may be or places workers to perform a job, work or service for a
required and necessary; principal, and any of the following elements are [sic] present:

(i) The contractor or subcontractor does not have substantial

capital or investment which relates to the job, work or service
to be performed and the employees recruited, supplied or
placed by such contractor or subcontractor are performing
activities which are directly related to the main business of the
principal; OR

(ii) The contractor does not exercise the right to control over
the performance of the work of the contractual employee.
Even if only one of the two elements is present then, there is
labor-only contracting.

The express provision in the Agreement that Synergy was an

independent contractor and there would be “no employer-
employee relationship between [Synergy] and/or its employees
on one hand, and [petitioner] on the other hand” is not legally
binding and conclusive as contractual provisions are not valid
determinants of the existence of such relationship. For it is the
totality of the facts and surrounding circumstances of the case
which is determinative of the parties’ relationship.
Lopez Warehouse Petitioner was engaged No. It is a basic rule of evidence that each party must prove his
vs. Business as a lady keeper tasked affirmative allegation. If he claims a right granted by law, he
Bodega with manning its ladies’ must prove his claim by competent evidence, relying on the
City room by virtue of a strength of his own evidence and not upon the weakness of that
G.R. No. concessionaire of his opponent.
155731. agreement.
Septemb The test for determining on whom the burden of proof lies is
er 3, found in the result of an inquiry as to which party would be
2007. successful if no evidence of such matters were given.

In an illegal dismissal case, the onus probandi rests on the

employer to prove that its dismissal of an employee was for
avalid cause. However, before a case for illegal dismissal can
prosper, an employer-employee relationship must first be

A solitary petty cash voucher does not prove that a person had
been receiving salary from another or that she had been the
latter’s employee for ten (10) years.

The so-called “control test” is commonly regarded as the most

crucial and determinative indicator of the presence or absence
of an employer-employee relationship. Under the control test,
an employer-employee relationship exists where the person for
whom the services are performed reserves the right to control
not only the end achieved, but also the manner and means to
be used in reaching that end.

ID cards where the words “EMPLOYEE’S NAME” appear printed

therein do not prove employer-employee relationship where said
ID cards are issued for the purpose of enabling certain
“contractors,” such as singers and band performers, to enter
the premises of an establishment.
Petitioner is likewise estopped from denying the existence of the
subject concessionaire agreement. She should not, after
enjoying the benefits of the concessionaire agreement with
respondents, be allowed to later disown the same through her
allegation that she was an employee of the respondents when
the said agreement was terminated by reason of her violation of
the terms and conditions thereof.

The principle of estoppel in pais applies wherein—by one’s acts,

representations or admissions, or silence when one ought to
speak out—intentionally or through culpable negligence,
induces another to believe certain facts to exist and to rightfully
rely and act on such belief, so as to be prejudiced if the former
is permitted to deny the existence of those facts.

Realistically, it would be a rare contract of service that gives

untrammeled freedom to the party hired and eschews any
intervention whatsoever in his performance of the engagement.

Logically, the line should be drawn between rules that merely

serve as guidelines towards the achievement of the mutually
desired result without dictating the means or methods to be
employed in attaining it, and those that control or fix the
methodology and bind or restrict the party hired to the use of
such means. The first, which aim only to promote the result,
create no employer-employee relationship unlike the second,
which address both the result and the means used to achieve
Parties and What is the What are the Is he an LA NLRC CA SC
Case No. business of rights and employee of
the duties of the the
Company? Complainant? company?
PNB v Banking The Yes. Labor Arbiter NLRC with Petitioner Labor arbiters clearly
Cabansag Business – complainant rendered jurisdiction bank had have original and
Singapore as Credit judgment in In a Resolution failed to exclusive jurisdiction
G.R. No. Branch Officer on favor of the dated June 29, adduce in over claims arising
157010. temporary Complainant 2001, the evidence from employer-
June 21, appointment and against Commission the employee relations,
2005 has the the affirmed that Singaporea including termination
following Respondents, Decision, but n law disputes involving all w
rights and the decretal reduced the supposedly orkers, among whom
duties: portion of moral damages governing are overseas Filipino
which reads as to P100, 000 the latter’s workers (OFW).
1. Assigned as follows: and the employmen Whether employed
a Credit WHEREFORE, exemplary t Contract locally or overseas, all
Officer on considering the damages to P50, with Filipino workers enjoy
temporary foregoing 000. In a respondent the protective mantle
appointment premises, subsequent . The of Philippine labor and
2. Probation judgment is Resolution, the appellate social legislation,
period of 3 hereby NLRC denied court contract stipulations to
months rendered PNBs Motion for found that the contrary
3. Keep in finding Reconsideration the notwithstanding. This
strictest respondents . Contract pronouncement is in
confidence all guilty of Illegal had keeping with the basic
matters dismissal and actually public policy of the
related to devoid of due been State to afford
bank process. processed protection to labor,
transactions by the promote full
4.Promote the The LA Philippine employment, ensure
business and ordered: Embassy equal work
interest of the 1. in opportunities
Bank Reinstatement Singapore regardless of sex, race
2. Solidary and or creed, and regulate
liability approved the relations between
backwages, by the workers and
bonus, leave Philippine employers. For the
credits, 13th Overseas State assures the basic
month pay, Employme rights of all workers to
damages and nt self-organization,
attorney’s fees. Administra collective bargaining,
tion security of tenure, and
(POEA). just and humane
The CA conditions of work
held that [Article 3 of the Labor
petitioner Code of the
had failed Philippines; See
to also Section 18, Article
establish a II and Section 3,
just cause Article XIII, 1987
for the Constitution]. This
dismissal ruling is likewise
of rendered imperative by
respondent Article 17 of the Civil
. The bank Code which states that
had also laws which have for
failed to their object public
give her order, public policy
sufficient and good customs
notice and shall not be rendered
an ineffective by laws or
opportunit judgments
y to be promulgated, or by
heard and determination or
to defend conventions agreed
herself. upon in a foreign
The CA country.
ruled that
she was
ly entitled
ent and
from the
time of her
up to the
time of her

UNION Corporation The No. The Labor The NLRC From all the foregoing,
MOTORS Complainant Arbiter reversing and it becomes clear that
CORPORA was assigned rendered his setting aside the the charges filed by
TION v as the decision decision of the Ms. Go against
NLRC following after dismissing the Labor Arbiter, a petitioners partake of
a series of private new one entered the nature of an intra-
G.R. No. corporate respondents’ finding that corporate dispute. The
125931. Se revamp: complaint. complainant- determination of the
ptember Stating that, appellant was rights of Ms. Go and
16, 1999 1.Administrati the separation illegally the concomitant
ve and of the dismissed. In liability of the
Personnel complainant lieu of petitioners arising from
Manager from her reinstatement, her ouster as a
2.Treasurer service, for respondent corporate officer, is an
3.Assistant to whatever Union Motors intra-corporate
the President cause, must be Corporation is controversy.
and upheld. The hereby ordered To conclude, we find
Administrative strained to pay that the NLRC erred in
and Personnel relation complainant assuming jurisdiction
Manager existing separation pay over, and thereafter in
between the failing to dismiss, the
The records parties does private respondents
clearly show not favor the complaint for illegal
that private continuous dismissal against
respondents stay of the petitioners, because
position as complainant in the NLRC is without
Assistant to the respondent jurisdiction on the
the President corporation. subject matter of the
and Personnel controversy.
Manager is a
office under
the by-laws of
DELTAVEN Petitioner filed Decision was NLRC issued a In denying petitioner's
TURES the third-party rendered by writ of petition for injunction,
RESOURC claim before Executive execution directi the court a quo is
ES, INC v the court a Labor Arbiter ng NLRC merely upholding the
Hon. quo by reason Norma Deputy Sheriff time-honored principle
Cabato of a writ of Olegario, Adam Ventura that a Regional Trial
execution National Labor to execute the Court, being a co-equal
G.R. No. issued by the Relations judgment body of the National
118216. NLRC-CAR Commission against Labor Relations
March 9, Sheriff against declaring the respondents, Commission, has no
2000 a property to respondents Green Mountain jurisdiction to issue
which it guilty of Illegal Farm, Roberto any restraining order
claims Dismissal and Ongpin and or injunction to enjoin
ownership. Unfair Labor Almus Alabe. the execution of any
Practice. decision of the latter.
The complaint The case was
before the trial remanded to the NLRC
court was for for further proceedings
the recovery of
injunction, but
in essence it
was an action
the legality or
propriety of
the levy vis-a-
vis the alias
writ of
including the
acts performed
by the Labor
Arbiter and
the Deputy
the writ.
GEORG Multination Complainant Firstly, the trial court
GROTJAH al company was a sales should not have held
N GMBH & representative. itself without
CO v Hon. She contracted jurisdiction over Civil
Violago a loan from Case. It is true that the
the petitioner. loan and cash
G.R. No. advances sought to be
109272 RTC dismissed recovered by petitioner
August 10, the complaint were contracted by
1994 due to lack of private respondent
Petitioner jurisdiction. Romana Lanchinebre
impugns Obviously the while she was still in
the said cash the employ of
dismissal advances were petitioner.
of its made Nonetheless, it does
Complaint pursuant to not follow that Article
for a sum the employer- 217 of the Labor Code
of money employee covers their
by the relationship relationship.
respondent between the Not every dispute
judge for (petitioner) between an employer
lack of and the said and employee involves
jurisdiction (private matters that only labor
and lack of respondent) arbiters and the NLRC
capacity to and as such, can resolve in the
sue. within the exercise of their
original and adjudicatory or quasi-
exclusive judicial powers.
jurisdiction of
the National The pivotal question to
Labor Our mind is whether
Relations or not the Labor Code
Commission. has any relevance to
the reliefs sought by
Where the claim to the
principal relief sought
is to be resolved not by
reference to the Labor
Code or other labor
relations statute or a
collective bargaining
agreement but by the
general civil law, the
jurisdiction over the
dispute belongs to the
regular courts of
justice and not to the
Labor Arbiter and the
AFP Insurance Eutiquio No. LA ruled that Respondent Reversed the
MUTUAL Bustamante the dismissal Commission Resolution of the NLRC
BENEFIT had been an of the affirmed the
ASSOCIATI insurance complainant is decision of the First Issue: Not All
ON, INC. v underwriter of just and valid Labor Arbiter. That Glitters Is Control
NLRC petitioner AFP and denied In the assailed
Mutual Benefit claim for Resolution, (Private respondent)
G.R. No. Association. separation pay. respondent had complete control
102199. Ja Commission over his occupation
nuary 28, solicit found no reason and (petitioner) did not
1997 exclusively for to disturb said exercise any right of
AFPMBAI ruling of the Control and
(petitioner), labor arbiter Supervision over his
and shall be and ruled performance except as
bound by the to the payment of
latter's commission the
policies, memo amount of which
circulars, entirely depends on
rules and the sole efforts of
regulations (private
respondent). He was
confine his free to engage in other
business occupation or practice
activities for other profession for as
AFPMBAI long as he did not
while inside commit any violation of
any military the ethical standards
camp, prescribed in the Sales
installation or Agent's Agreement
residence of The "control" which the
military above factors indicate
personnel did not sum up to the
power to control
entitled to the private respondent's
commission conduct in and mode
due for all of soliciting
premiums insurance. On the
actually due contrary, they clearly
and received indicate that the
by AFPMBAI juridical element of
out of life control had been
insurance absent in this
policies situation. Thus, the
solicited Court is constrained to
rule that no
relationship had ever
existed between the

Well-settled is the
doctrine that the
existence of an
relationship is
ultimately a question
of fact and that the
findings thereon by the
labor arbiter and the
National Labor
Relations Commission
shall be accorded not
only respect but even
finality when
supported by
substantial evidence
The determination of
the proper forum is
crucial because the
filing of the petition or
complaint in the wrong
court or tribunal is
fatal, even for a
patently meritorious
Santos v Corporation Human Yes. Labor Arbiter On appeal to Court of The Supreme Court
Servier Resource Aliman D. the appropriate Appeals explained that receipt
Philippines Manager Mangandog division (NLRC) affirmed th of retirement benefits
, Inc rendered a set aside the e NLRC does not bar the retiree
She attended a Decision Labor Arbiters decision from receiving
G.R. No. meeting of all dismissing decision. The separation
166377 human petitioners NLRC pay. Separation pay is
resource complaint for emphasized that a statutory right
November managers of payment of petitioner was designed to provide the
28, 2008 the several money not retired from employee with the
corporation in claims for the service wherewithal during the
Paris. She fell benefits. It pursuant to period that he/she is
into a coma stressed that law, collective looking for another
after having respondent bargaining employment. They are
dinner in had been agreement not mutually
Paris. generous in (CBA) or other exclusive. However,
giving financial employment this is only true if
Petitioner paid assistance to contract; rather, there is no specific
for all the the petitioner. she was prohibition against the
hospital He likewise dismissed from payment of both
expenses in noted that employment benefits in the
Paris and there was a due to a retirement plan and/or
subsequently retirement plan disease/disabilit in the Collective
in the for the benefit y under Article Bargaining Agreement
Philippines. of the 284. In view of (CBA).
employees. In her non-
denying entitlement to In the instant case, the
petitioners retirement Retirement Plan bars
claim for benefits, the the petitioner from
separation pay, amounts claiming additional
the Labor received by benefits on top of that
Arbiter petitioner provided for in the
ratiocinated should then be Plan.
that the same treated as her Petitioner is entitled
had already separation pay only to either the
been integrated separation pay under
in the the law or retirement
retirement plan benefits under the
established by Plan, and not both.
respondent. Th
us, petitioner
could no longer
separation pay
over and above
her retirement
PIONEER Foreign Complainant No. No Court of It is settled that an
CONCRET Corporation Todaro, herein employer- Appeals action for breach of
E engaged in respondent, is employee denied the contractual obligation
PHILIPPIN ready-mix the Managing relationshi Petition for is intrinsically a civil
ES, INC v concrete Director of p exists Certiorari dispute. In the
TODARO and Betonval between filed by the alternative, respondent
concrete Readyconcrete the corporation seeks redress on the
G.R. No. aggregates , Inc. After petitioners which basis of the provisions
154830 business resigning, he and stemmed of Articles 19 and 21 of
June was hired as a respondent. from the the Civil Code. Hence,
8, 2007 consultant for private denial of it is clear that the
PIL. He was respondent the RTC of present action is
refused to be is not their within the realm of
employed on a seeking any motion to civil law, and
permanent relief under dismiss for jurisdiction over it
basis. the Labor lack of belongs to the regular
Code, but jurisdiction courts.
seeks .
payment of The doctrine of forum
damages non conveniens,
on account literally meaning ‘the
of forum is inconvenient’,
petitioners' emerged in private
alleged international law to
breach of deter the practice of
their global forum shopping,
obligation that is to prevent non-
under their resident litigants from
agreement choosing the forum or
to employ place wherein to bring
him. their suit for malicious
reasons, such as to
secure procedural
advantages, to annoy
and harass the
defendant, to avoid
overcrowded dockets,
or to select a more
friendly venue. Under
this doctrine, a court,
in conflicts of law
cases, may refuse
impositions on its
jurisdiction where it is
not the most
"convenient" or
available forum and
the parties are not
precluded from seeking
remedies elsewhere.
[a] Philippine Court
may assume
jurisdiction over the
case if it chooses to do
so; provided, that the
following requisites are
(1) that the Philippine
Court is one to which
the parties may
conveniently resort to;
(2) that the Philippine
Court is in a position
to make an intelligent
decision as to the law
and the facts; and,
(3) that the Philippine
Court has or is likely
to have power to
enforce its decision."
Doctrine of forum non
conveniens should not
be used as a ground
for a motion to dismiss
because Sec. 1, Rule
16 of the Rules of
Court does not include
said doctrine as a
ground. the propriety
of dismissing a case
based on this principle
of forum non
conveniens requires a
factual determination,
hence it is more
properly considered a
matter of defense


Parties Facts of the case Is Which office Final Disposition
and Case there has
No. ULP? jurisdiction?
Digital DEU became the exclusive Yes. Labor It is well-settled that the pendency of a petition for
Telecomm bargaining agent of all the rank Secretary cancellation of union registration does not preclude
unications and file employees of Digitel. The assumed collective bargaining. That there is a pending
Philippine union became dormant after a jurisdiction, cancellation proceeding against the respondent Union is
s v DEU bargaining deadlock. it ordered the not a bar to set in motion the mechanics of collective
commenceme bargaining. If a certification election may still be ordered
G.R. Nos. After 10 years, the union sought a nt of the CBA despite the pendency of a petition to cancel the union’s
184903 negotiations from Digitel. negotiations registration certificate, more so should the collective
while the bargaining process continue despite its pendency. We
October Digitel responded by filing a unfair labor must emphasize that the majority status of the
10, 2012 petition to cancel the union’s practice respondent Union is not affected by the pendency of the
registration. While Digiserv, call dispute was Petition for Cancellation pending against it.
center contractor, reported that it certified for Digiserv was found to be a Labor-Only Contractor.
will cease its business operations. compulsory
arbitration The effects of the assumption order issued by the
Ground for Unfair Labor Practice before the Secretary of Labor are two-fold. It enjoins an impending
1. Union busting NLRC. strike on the part of the employees and orders the
2.Illegal Termination /lockout employer to maintain the status quo.
3. job contracting There is no doubt that Digitel defied the assumption
order by abruptly closing down Digiserv. The closure of a
department is not illegal per se.
bad faith was manifested by the timing of the closure of
Digiserv and the rehiring of some employees to
Interactive Technology Solutions, Inc. (I-tech), a
corporate arm of Digitel. The assumption order directs
employees to return to work, and the employer to
reinstate the employees. The existence of the
assumption order should have prompted Digitel to
observe the status quo. Instead, Digitel proceeded to
close down Digiserv.
the closure of Digiserv pending the existence of an
assumption order coupled with the creation of a new
corporation performing similar functions as Digiserv
leaves no iota of doubt that the target of the closure are
the union member-employees.
It needs to be mentioned too that the dismissal
constitutes an unfair labor practice under Article 248(c)
of the Labor Code which refers to contracting out
services or functions being performed by union members
when such will interfere with, restrain or coerce
employees in the exercise of their rights to self-
organization. At the height of the labor dispute,
occasioned by Digitel’s reluctance to negotiate with the
Union, I-tech was formed to provide, as it did provide,
the same services performed by Digiserv, the Union
members’ nominal employer.
The finding of unfair labor practice hinges on Digitel’s
contracting-out certain services performed by union
member-employees to interfere with, restrain or coerce
them in the exercise of their right to self-organization.
We have no basis to direct reinstatement of the affected
employees to an ostensibly different corporation. The
surrounding circumstance of the creation of I-tech point
to bad faith on the part of Digitel, as well as constitutive
of unfair labor practice in targeting the dismissal of the
union member-employees.
Employee Petitionet EUBP rejected Bayers Yes Labor Arbiter The issue raised pertained only to the validity of the acts
s Union of 9.9% wage-increase proposal of management in light of the fact that it still has an
Bayer resulting in a bargaining deadlock existing CBA with EUBP.
Phil. V and thereafter resulted in a strike
Facundo staged by EUBP. It must be remembered that a CBA is entered into in
order to foster stability and mutual cooperation between
Secretary of Labor assumed labor and capital. An employer should not be allowed to
jurisdiction and issued an arbitral rescind unilaterally its CBA with the duly certified
award ordering EUBP and Bayer bargaining agent it had previously contracted with, and
to execute a CBA. decide to bargain anew with a different group if there is
no legitimate reason for doing so and without first
Pending the resolution of the following the proper procedure.
dispute, respondent Avelina This is the reason why it is axiomatic in labor relations
Remigio (Remigio) and 27 other that a CBA entered into by a legitimate labor
union members, without any organization that has been duly certified as the exclusive
authority from their union bargaining representative and the employer becomes the
leaders, accepted Bayers wage- law between them.
increase proposal. Remigio started
to create another group of union Respondents Bayer, Lonishen and Amistoso, contend
to bargain with Bayer Philippines. that their acts cannot constitute unfair labor practice as
the same did not involve gross violations in the economic
provisions of the CBA, citing the provisions of Articles
A complaint for ULP was filed 248 (1) and 261 of the Labor Code, as amended. Their
against Bayer on the following argument is, however, misplaced.
Indeed, in Silva v. National Labor Relations
1. non-remittance of union dues Commission, we explained the correlations of Article 248
2. Organizing a company union (1) and Article 261 of the Labor Code to mean that for a
3. gross violation of CBA and ULP case to be cognizable by the Labor Arbiter, and for
contract bar rule the NLRC to exercise appellate jurisdiction thereon, the
4. violation of duty to bargain allegations in the complaint must show prima facie the
5. Abetting or assisting in the concurrence of two things, namely: (1) gross violation of
creation of another union the CBA; and (2) the violation pertains to the economic
6.Bayer’s unjustified refusal to provisions of the CBA.
process EUBPs grievances and to
recognize the said union as the This pronouncement in Silva, however, should not be
sole and exclusive bargaining construed to apply to violations of the CBA which can be
agent are tantamount to unfair considered as gross violations per se, such as utter
labor practice. disregard of the very existence of the CBA itself, similar
to what happened in this case. When an employer
proceeds to negotiate with a splinter union despite the
existence of its valid CBA with the duly certified and
exclusive bargaining agent, the former indubitably
abandons its recognition of the latter and terminates the
entire CBA.

Bisig ng Tryco Pharma Corporation (Tryco) No. Labor Arbiter We refuse to accept the petitioners wild and reckless
Manggaga is a manufacturer of veterinary imputation that the Bureau of Animal Industry
wa sa medicines and its principal office conspired with the respondents just to effect the transfer
Tryco v is located in Caloocan City. of the petitioners. There is not an iota of proof to support
NLRC this outlandish claim. Absent any evidence, the
Tryco received the Letter allegation is not only highly irresponsible but is grossly
Gr. No. dated March 26, 1997 from the unfair to the government agency concerned.
151309 Bureau of Animal Industry of the
October Department of Agriculture Trycos decision to transfer its production activities
15, 2008 reminding it that its production to San Rafael, Bulacan, regardless of whether it was
should be conducted in San made pursuant to the letter of the Bureau of Animal
Rafael, Bulacan, not Industry, was within the scope of its inherent right to
in Caloocan City. control and manage its enterprise effectively. While the
law is solicitous of the welfare of employees, it must also
As such, Tryco issued a protect the right of an employer to exercise what are
Memorandum directing its clearly management prerogatives. The free will of
employees to report to the management to conduct its own business affairs to
company site in Bulacan, with the achieve its purpose cannot be denied.
inclusion of some of the union This prerogative extends to the managements right to
members. regulate, according to its own discretion and judgment,
all aspects of employment, including the freedom to
BMT opposed the transfer of its transfer and reassign employees according to the
members to San Rafael, Bulacan, requirements of its business.
contending that it constitutes Indisputably, in the instant case, the transfer orders do
unfair labor practice not entail a demotion in rank or diminution of salaries,
benefits and other privileges of the petitioners.
Petitioners, therefore, anchor their objection solely on
the ground that it would cause them great inconvenience
since they are all residents of Metro Manila and they
would incur additional expenses to travel daily
from Manila to Bulacan.

The Court has previously declared that mere incidental

inconvenience is not sufficient to warrant a claim of
constructive dismissal. Objection to a transfer that is
grounded solely upon the personal inconvenience or
hardship that will be caused to the employee by reason
of the transfer is not a valid reason to disobey an order
of transfer

Petitioners, however, went further and argued that the

transfer orders amounted to unfair labor practice
because it would paralyze and render the union
ineffective. To begin with, we cannot see how the mere
transfer of its members can paralyze the union. The
union was not deprived of the membership of the
petitioners whose work assignments were only
transferred to another location.
More importantly, there was no showing or any
indication that the transfer orders were motivated by an
intention to interfere with the petitioners right to
organize. Unfair labor practice refers to acts that violate
the workers right to organize. With the exception of
Article 248(f) of the Labor Code of the Philippines, the
prohibited acts are related to the workers right to self-
organization and to the observance of a CBA. Without
that element, the acts, no matter how unfair, are not
unfair labor practices
Baptista v On suspicion of union No. Labor Arbiter The primary concept of ULP is embodied in Article 247 of
Villanueva mismanagement, petitioners, the Labor Code, which provides:
together with some other union Article 247. Concept of unfair labor practice and
G.R. No. members, filed a complaint for procedure for prosecution thereof.––Unfair labor
194709 impeachment of their union practices violate the constitutional right of workers and
president, Reynato Siozon, before employees to self-organization, are inimical to the
July 31, the executive board of Radio legitimate interests of both labor and management,
2013 Philippines Network, which was including their right to bargain collectively and otherwise
eventually abandoned. deal with each other in an atmosphere of freedom and
Thereafter, they filed it with mutual respect, disrupt industrial peace and hinder the
DOLE. After series of complaints, promotion of healthy and stable labor-management
RPNEU’s officers informed their relations.
company of the expulsion of In essence, ULP relates to the commission of acts that
petitioners and the 12 others from transgress the workers’ right to organize. As specified in
the union and requested the Articles 248 and 249 of the Labor Code, the prohibited
management to serve them acts must necessarily relate to the workers' right to self-
notices of termination from organization and to the observance of a CBA. Absent the
employment in compliance with said vital elements, the acts complained, although
their CBA’s union security clause. seemingly unjust, would not constitute ULP.
RPN HRD Manager, Lourdes Besides, any supposed procedural flaw in the
Angeles, informed petitioners and proceedings before the Committee was deemed cured
the 12 others of the termination of when petitioners were given the opportunity to be heard.
their employment effective March Due process, as a constitutional precept, is satisfied
20, 2006, enforcing Article II, when a person was notified of the charge against him
Section 2 also known as the union and was given an opportunity to explain or defend
security clause of their current himself. In administrative proceedings, the filing of
CBA. charges and giving reasonable opportunity for the
The petitioners filed ULP under person so charged to answer the accusations against
Art 289 of Labor Code against him constitute the minimum requirements of due
RPN in view of the termination process.
and that they were not afforded For a charge of ULP against a labor organization to
due process. prosper, the onus probandi rests upon the party alleging
it to prove or substantiate such claims by the requisite
quantum of evidence. In labor cases, as in other
administrative proceedings, substantial evidence or such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
sufficient to support a conclusion is required. Moreover,
it is indubitable that all the prohibited acts constituting
unfair labor practice should materially relate to the
workers' right to self-organization

BALMAR The record shows that on October Yes. Labor Arbiter The purpose of certification election is to give the
FARMS, 27, 1982, Med-Arbiter Antonino employees true representation in their collective
INC. v G. Jolejole issued an order bargaining with an employer, because certification
NLRC certifying ALU as the sole and election is the most democratic and expeditious method
G.R. No. exclusive bargaining by which the laborers can freely determine the union
73504 representative of the rank and file that shall act as their representative in their dealing with
October workers and employees of the establishment where they are working.
15, 1991 BALMAR, it appearing that in the It is the most effective way of determining which labor
certification election held at the organization can truly represent the working force.
premises of the employer BALMAR
on October 19, 1982, ALU In the case at bar, it is the ALU which is the exclusive
obtained the majority of the votes bargaining representative of BALMAR employees and as
cast. such it has the right and duty to bargain collectively
with BALMAR.
Balmar Employees Associatino
sent a letter to ALU (SAEBA of The duty to bargain collectively means the performance
Balmar rank and file employees) of a mutual obligation to meet and convene promptly
that it was disaffiliating with the and expeditiously in good faith for the purpose of
Union and will negotiate CBA with negotiating an agreement with respect to wages, hours of
Balmar Farms on its own. work and all other terms and conditions or employment
including proposals for adjusting any grievance or
ALU sent a letter to BALMAR, questions arising under such agreement if requested by
attaching therewith their either party but such duty does not compel any party to
proposals for collective bargaining agree to a proposal or to make any concession (Art. 252,
agreement. Balmar answered that Labor Code, as amended).
it cannot favorably act on the
request because of the letter sent BALMAR cannot also invoke good faith in refusing to
by Balmar Employees Association. negotiate with ALU, considering that the latter has been
certified as the exclusive bargaining representative of
ALU filed a complaint for unfair BALMAR rank and file employees.
labor practice and damages
against BALMAR Balmar's taking side with the rank and file employee
who allegedly disaffiliated, renders its stand on the
matter highly suspicious.
It can, therefore, be inferred that BALMAR's refusal to
bargain collectively with ALU is a clear act of unfair
labor practice. Article 248 (Labor Code, as amended),
enumerates unfair labor practices committed by
employers such as for them:

(g) To violate the duty to bargain collectively as

prescribed by this Code;


Parties Facts of the case Which Final Disposition
and office has
Case No. jurisdictio
SMC v Petitioner SMC terminated the Labor The law in point is Article 217 (a) of the Labor Code. It is elementary
NLRC services of respondent employees- Arbiter that this law is deemed written into the CBA. In fact, the law speaks
members on the ground of in plain and unambiguous terms that termination disputes, together
GR. No. redundancy. with unfair labor practices, are matters falling under the original and
108001 exclusive jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter, to wit:
March Respondent union, in behalf of Article 217. Jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and the Commission - (a)
15, private respondents, opposed the Except as otherwise provided under this Code, the Labor Arbiters
1996 intended dismissal and asked for a shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide x x x
dialogue with management. the following cases involving all workers, whether agricultural or non-
Petitioner opposed the complaint (1) Unfair labor practice cases:
filed before the Labor Arbiter (2) Termination disputes;
arguing that respondent Labor
Arbiter must defer consideration of The sole exception to the above rule can be found under Article 262 of
the unfair labor practice complaint the same Code, which provides:
until after the parties have gone Aricle 262. Jurisdiction over other labor disputes - The voluntary
through the grievance procedure arbitrator or panel of voluntary arbitrators, upon agreement of the
provided for in the existing parties, shall also hear and decide all other labor disputes including
Collective Bargaining Agreement unfair labor practices and bargaining deadlocks. (As added by R.A.
(CBA). 6715)

Under the CBA, The UNION, However, as patiently pointed out by this court, said provision does
however, shall have the right to not come into play considering that the union never exercised its right
seek reconsideration of any to seek reconsideration of the discharges effected by the company. It
discharge, lay-off or disciplinary would have been different had the union sought reconsideration. Such
action, and such requests for recourse under Section 2 would have been treated as a grievance
reconsideration shall be under Article IV (Grievance Machinery) of the CBA, thus calling for the
considered a dispute or grievance possible interpretation or implementation of the entire provision on
to be dealt with in accordance with Grievance Machinery as agreed upon by the parties. This was not the
the procedure outlined in Article case however. The union brought the termination dispute directly to
IV hereof [on Grievance the Labor Arbiter rendering Articles III and IV of the CBA inapplicable
Machinery]. for the resolution of this case.

However, the respondent union did It matters not that the cause of termination in the above cited cases
not seek reconsideration of the was retrenchment while that in the instant case was redundancy. The
dismissal but filed a complaint important fact is that in all of these cases, including the one at bar, all
straight with the Labor Arbiter. of the dismissed employees were officers and members of their
respective unions, and their employers failed to give a satisfactory
explanation as to why this group of employees was singled out.

It is for the above reason that we cannot hold the petitioners guilty of
the ULP charge. This will be the task of the Labor Arbiter. We however
find that based on the circumstances surrounding this case and
settled jurisprudence on the subject, the complaint filed by the private
respondents on February 25, 1991 alleges facts sufficient to
constitute a bona fide case of ULP, and therefore properly cognizable
by the Labor Arbiter under Article 2 17(a) of the Labor Code. This is
consistent with the rule that jurisdiction over the subject matter is
determined by the allegations of the complaint.

Petitioners cannot arrogate into the powers of voluntary arbitrators

the original and exclusive jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters over unfair
labor practices, termination disputes, and claims for damages, in the
absence of an express agreement between the parties in order for
Article 262 of the Labor Law to apply in the case at bar
Santuyo Due to a serious industrial Secretary On the issue of jurisdiction, Article 217(c) of the Labor Code provides:
v dispute, of Labor
Remerco the Kaisahan ng Manggagawa saR Article 217. Jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and the Commission.
Garment emerco Garments Manufacturing
s Inc.- KMM Kilusan (union) staged (c) Cases arising from the interpretation or implementation of
Gr. No. a strike against collective bargaining agreements and those arising from the
174420 respondent Remerco Garments interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies shall be
March Manufacturing, Inc. (RGMI). disposed of by the Labor Arbiter by referring the same to the grievance
22, Because the strike was machinery and voluntary arbitration as may be provided in said
2010 subsequently declared illegal, all agreements. (emphasissupplied)
union officers were dismissed. In This provision requires labor arbiters to refer cases involving the
addition to that, they alleged that implementation of CBAs to the grievance machinery provided therein
RGMI violated the CBA when it and to voluntary arbitration.
order a change in the salary
scheme from daily rate to piece Moreover, Article 260 of the Labor Code clarifies that such disputes
rate basis. must be referred first to the grievance machinery and, if unresolved
within seven days, they shall automatically be referred to voluntary
Union went on strike and blocked arbitration. In this regard, Article 261 thereof states:
the entry to RGMIs. Both the
union and RGMI filed with the Violations of a Collective Bargaining Agreement, except those which
NCMB a notice of strike and a are gross in character, shall no longer be treated as unfair labor
notice of lockout, respectively. practice and shall be resolved as grievances under the Collective
Bargaining Agreement. For purposes of this Article, gross violations of
Secretary of Labor assumed a Collective Bargaining Agreement shall mean flagrant and/or
jurisdiction and ordered the malicious refusal to comply with the economic provisions of such
striking workers to return to work agreement. (emphasis supplied)
immediately. It found that RGMI
did not commit ULP and that the Under this provision, voluntary arbitrators have original and exclusive
change of salary scheme is more jurisdiction over matters which have not been resolved by the
beneficial to the workers. grievance machinery.
Pursuant to Articles 217 in relation to Articles 260 and 261 of the
Labor Code, the labor arbiter should have referred the matter to the
grievance machinery provided in the CBA. Because the labor arbiter
clearly did not have jurisdiction over the subject matter, his decision
was void.

Nonetheless, the Secretary of the Labor assumed jurisdiction over the

labor dispute between the union and RGMI and resolved the same in
his September 18, 1996 order. Article 263(g) of the Labor Code gives
the Secretary of Labor discretion to assume jurisdiction over a labor
dispute likely to cause a strike or a lockout in an industry
indispensable to the national interest and to decide the controversy or
to refer the same to the NLRC for compulsory arbitration.

The Secretary of Labor assumed jurisdiction over the controversy

because RGMI had a substantial number of employees and was a
major exporter of garments to the United States and Canada. In view
of these considerations, the Secretary of Labor resolved the labor
dispute between the union and RGMI in his September 18, 1996
order. Since neither the union nor RGMI appealed the said order, it
became final and executory.
San Complainant was as a stevedore Voluntary Parenthetically, the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Labor
Jose v until he was advised to retire from Arbitrator
Arbiter under Article 217 (c), for money claims is limited only to those
NLRC service considering that he already
arising from statutes or contracts other than a Collective Bargaining
reached 65 years old. He was paid
G.R. No. P3,156.39 as retirement pay. Agreement.
121227. Claiming for the difference, the The Voluntary Arbitrator or Panel of Voluntary Arbitrators will have
August respondents opposed that original and exclusive jurisdiction over money claims arising from the
17, complainant did not actually interpretation or implementation of the Collective Bargaining
1998 render 11 years of service and that Agreement and, those arising from the interpretation or enforcement
he already voluntarily signed a
of company personnel policies, under Article 261.
waiver of quitclaim, hence, not
entitled to the difference. Article 261 indicates that the original and exclusive jurisdiction of
The NLRC reversed on Voluntary Arbitrator or Panel of Voluntary Arbitrators is limited only
jurisdictional ground stating that to:
his claim for separation pay ... unresolved grievances arising from the interpretation or
differential is based on CBA. implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and those
arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel
policies... Accordingly, violations of a collective bargaining agreement,
except those which are gross in character, shall no longer be treated
as unfair labor practice and shall be resolved as grievances under the
Collective Bargaining Agreement. xxx.
However, the Court will not remand the case to the Voluntary
Arbitrator or Panel of Voluntary Arbitrators for hearing. This case has
dragged on far too long - eight (8) years. Any further delay would be a
denial of speedy justice to an aged retired stevedore.

Honda The grievance stemmed from the BIR The Voluntary Arbitrator has no jurisdiction to settle tax matters
Cars conversion of transportation The Labor Code vests the Voluntary Arbitrator original and exclusive
Phils. V allowance to monthly gasoline jurisdiction to hear and decide all unresolved grievances arising from
Honda allowance provided for under the the interpretation or implementation of the Collective Bargaining
Cars CBA. The union alleged that Agreement and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of
Technic gasoline allowance its members company personnel policies. Upon agreement of the parties, the
al have been receiving should be Voluntary Arbitrator shall also hear and decide allother labor
Specialis treated as fringe benefit and disputes, including unfair labor practices and bargaining deadlocks.
t and should not be subject to In short, the Voluntary Arbitrator’s jurisdiction is limited to labor
Supervis withholding tax. The company, disputes. Labor dispute means "any controversy or matter concerning
ors however, posited that when it is terms and conditions of employment or the association or
Union converted to cash, it becomes a representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining,
compensation income. changing, or arranging the terms and conditions of employment,
Gr. No regardless of whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation
204142 After a failed grievance procedure, of employer and employee
Novemb the parties submitted the issue to
er 19, a panel of voluntary arbitrators The Voluntary Arbitrator has no competence to rule on the taxability
2014 which ruled that the gasoline of the gas allowance and on the propriety of the withholding of tax.
allowance being enjoyed by the These issues are clearly tax matters, and do not involve labor
union members is a fringe benefit disputes. To be exact, they involve tax issues within a labor relations
not subject to tax. setting as they pertain to questions of law on the application of
Section 33 (A) of the NIRC. They do not require the application of the
Labor Code or the interpretation of the MOA and/or company
personnel policies. Furthermore, the company and the union cannot
agree or compromise on the taxability of the gas allowance. Taxation
is the State’s inherent power; its imposition cannot be subject to the
will of the parties.
PHILEC Eleodoro V. Lipio and Emerlito C. Voluntary A Voluntary Arbitrator or a panel of Voluntary Arbitrators has the
v CA Ignacio, Sr. were employees of Arbitrator exclusive original jurisdiction over grievances arising from the
Gr. No. PHILEC and former members of interpretation or implementation of collective bargaining agreements.
168612 the PHILEC Workers’ Union (PWU) Should the parties agree, a Voluntary Arbitrator or a panel of
Decemb of the rank and file employees. Voluntary Arbitrators shall also resolve the parties’ other labor
er 10, One provision in their CBA disputes, including unfair labor practices and bargaining deadlocks.
2014 provides for the step increases in An appeal under this Rule may be taken to the Court of Appeals
an employee’s basic salary in case within the period and in the manner herein provided, whether the
of promotion. appeal involves questions of fact, of law, or mixed questions of fact
PHILEC selected Lipio and Ignacio and law. Thus, the proper remedy against the award or decision of the
for promotion and instructed them Voluntary Arbitrator is an appeal before the Court of Appeals.
to undergo training and it paid Further, we ruled that Article 262-A of the Labor Code allows the
their allowance. appeal of decisions rendered by Voluntary Arbitrators. Statute
On September 17, 1997, PHILEC provides that the Voluntary Arbitrator’s decision "shall be final and
and PWU entered into a new CBA executory after ten (10) calendar days from receipt of the copy of the
effective retroactively on June 1, award or decision by the parties." Being provided in the statute, this
1997 and expiring on May 31, 10-day period must be complied with; otherwise, no appellate court
1999. will have jurisdiction over the appeal. This absurd situation occurs
Under the CBA, a rank-and-file when the decision is appealed on the 11th to 15th day from receipt as
employee promoted shall be allowed under the Rules, but which decision, under the law, has
entitled to the new step increases already become final and executory.
in his or her basic salary. This court further held that the office of the voluntary arbitrator,
Claiming that the schedule of whether acting solely or in a panel, enjoys in law the status of a
training allowance stated in the quasijudicial agency but independent of, and apart from, the NLRC
memoranda served on Lipio and since his decisions are not appealable to the latter. Thus, the
Ignacio,Sr. did not conform to voluntary arbitrator no less performs a state function pursuant to a
Article X, Section 4 of the June 1, governmental power delegated to him under the provisions therefor in
1997 collective bargaining the Labor Code and he falls, therefore, within the contemplation of the
agreement, PWU submitted the term "instrumentality" in the aforequoted Sec. 9 of B.P. 129.
grievance to the grievance
machinery. However, they failed to
settle amicably. Hence, they filed a
submission agreement with the
National Conciliation and
Mediation Board, submitting the
following issues to voluntary
United Cesario Ermita was terminated Voluntary We agree with the finding of public respondent Court of Appeals,
Paragon due to violation of company rules Arbitrator that in the absence of any board resolution from its board of
Mining v against infliction of bodily harm directors the [sic] authority to act for and in behalf of the
CA against co-employee. The matter corporation, the present action must necessary fail. The power of
Gr. No. was brought before the grievance the corporation to sue and be sued in any court is lodged with
150959 machinery in accord to the CBA. the board of directors that exercises its corporate powers. Thus,
Having failed to reach a the issue of authority and the invalidity of plaintiff-appellants
settlement, the parties submitted subscription which is still pending, is a matter that is also
the issue to a voluntary arbitrator. addressed, considering the premises, to the sound judgment of
the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Voluntary Arbitrator Mendez
rendered a decision Given the reality that the petition in CA-G.R. SP No. 44450 was filed
in Cesarios favor, stating that by Daniel in behalf of and in representation of petitioner UPMC
although the procedural without an enabling resolution of the latters board of directors, that
requirements in the termination of petition was fatally defective, inclusive of the verification and the
an employee had been complied certification of non-forum shopping executed by Daniel himself.
with, the termination of Cesario
was unjustified because it was True, ample jurisprudence exists to the effect that subsequent and
arrived at through gross substantial compliance of a petitioner may call for the relaxation of
misapprehension of facts. the rules of procedure in the interest of justice. But to merit the
Court's liberal consideration, petitioner must show reasonable cause
justifying non-compliance with the rules and must convince the Court
that the outright dismissal of the petition would defeat the
administration of justice.
Here, petitioner has not adequately explained its failure to have the
certification against forum shopping signed by its duly authorized
officer. Instead, it merely persisted in its thesis that it was not
necessary to show proof that its Personnel Superintendent was duly
authorized to file that petition and to sign the verification thereof and
the certification against forum shopping despite the absence of the
necessary board authorization, thereby repeating in the process its
basic submission that CA-G.R. SP No. 44450 is merely a continuation
of the proceedings before the Voluntary Arbitrator and that its
Personnel Superintendent was impleaded as one of the
respondents in Cesario’s complaint for illegal dismissal.
UNIVER USTFU filed a complaint against Voluntary Article 217(c) of the Labor Code provides that the Labor Arbiter shall
SITY OF UST for ULP alleging non- Arbitrator refer to the grievance machinery and voluntary arbitration as provided
SANTO remittance of deficiency in its in the CBA those cases that involve the interpretation of said
TOMAS contribution to the medical and agreements.
FACULT hospitalization fund of the UST The Voluntary Arbitrator or Panel of Voluntary Arbitrators has original
Y faculty members as well as its and exclusive jurisdiction over the controversy under Article 261 of
summary claims pursuant to their the Labor Code, and not the Labor Arbiter.
1996-2001 CBA. Article 261 of the Labor Code further provides that all unresolved
UST sought the dismissal of the grievances arising from the interpretation or implementation of the
UNIVER complaint on the ground of lack of CBA, including violations of said agreement, are under the original
SITY OF jurisdiction. It contended that the and exclusive jurisdiction of the voluntary arbitrator or panel of
STO. case falls within the exclusive voluntary arbitrators. Excluded from this original and exclusive
TOMAS jurisdiction of the voluntary jurisdiction is gross violation of the CBA, which is defined in Article
arbitrator or panel of voluntary 261 as "flagrant and/or malicious refusal to comply with the economic
arbitrators because it involves the provisions" of the CBA. San Jose v. NLRC provides guidelines for
G.R. No. interpretation and implementation understanding Articles 217, 261, and 262.
203957 of the provisions of the CBA; and the National Labor Relations Commission correctly ruled that the
July 30, the conflict between the herein Labor Arbiter had NO jurisdiction to hear and decide petitioner’s
2014 parties must be resolved as money-claim underpayment of retirement benefits, as the controversy
grievance under the CBA and not between the parties involved an issue "arising from the interpretation
as unfair labor practice. or implementation" of a provision of the collective bargaining
The Labor Arbiter denied the MTD agreement.
which prompted UST to appeal to However, we recognize that a remand to the voluntary arbitration
NLRC. However, the NLRC stage will give rise to the possibility that this case will still reach this
dismissed the appeal. Court through the parties’ appeals. Furthermore, it does not serve the
cause of justice if we allow this case to go unresolved for an inordinate
amount of time.