Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 3

No. L-45824. June 19, 1985.

* 44 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


VOLKSCHEL LABOR UNION, petitioner, vs. BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS, ASSOCIATED Volkschel Labor Union vs. Bureau of Labor Relations
LABOR UNION FOR METAL WORKERS, DMG, INC., PEOPLE’S CAR, INC., KARBAYAN, INC., Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Entitlement by local union which has disaffiliated and continued to
and RTC TRADING, INC., respondents. represent the employees of an employer to check-off dues under a collective bargaining contract.—Suffice it to state
that respondent federation is not entitled to union dues payments from petitioner’s members. “A local union
Labor Law; Unions; Disaffiliation; Constitutional Law; Right of a local union to disaffiliate from its mother
which has validly withdrawn from its affiliation with the parent association and which continues to represent
union; Freedom of local union to serve the interest of all its members, including the freedom to disaffiliate; Right
the employees of an employer is entitled to the check-off dues under a collective bargaining contract.”
to disaffiliate is consistent with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of association.—The right of a local union
to disaffiliate from its mother union is well-settled. In previous cases, it has been repeatedly held that a local
union, being a separate and voluntary association, is free to serve the interest of all its members including the PETITION for certiorari to review the resolutions of the Bureau of Labor Relations.
freedom to disaffiliate when circumstances warrant. This right is consistent with the Constitutional guarantee
of freedom of association (Article IV, Section 7, Philippine Constitution). The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
Ignacio P. Lacsina for petitioner.
Same; Same; Same; Same; One union for every industry policy should not violate the constitutional
mandate of protecting labor and the workers’ right to self organization; Workingmen’s welfare, the paramount William D. Dichoso for respondent DMG, Inc.
consideration in the implementation of the Labor Code and its implementing regulations; Restricting the right to Abraham B. Drapiza for private respondent.
self-organization due to the existence of a collective bargaining agreement would go against the spirit of the labor
law.—In reversing the CUEVAS, J.:
________________

* SECOND DIVISION.
Petition for certiorari to review the Resolutions dated January 25, 1977 and March 14, 1977 of the
Bureau of Labor Relations.
43
On April 25, 1977, however, a Supplemental Petition was filed seeking the issuance of—

VOL. 137, JUNE 19, 1985 43


1. (1)A preliminary mandatory injunction commanding respondents to return to petitioner the
Volkschel Labor Union vs. Bureau of Labor Relations union dues amounting to about P55,000.00 lawfully pertaining to it but illegally levied
Med-Arbiter’s resolution, respondent Bureau declared: the Department of Labor is set on a task to upon, collected and handed over by respondent Bureau, acting through the NLRC sheriff,
restructure the labor movement to the end that the workers will unite themselves along industry lines. Carried to respondent Associated Labor Union for Metalworkers, with the collusion of respondents
to its complete fruition, only one union for every industry will remain to bargain collectively for the workers. The
DMG, Inc., Karbayan, Inc. and RTC Machineries, Inc.;
clear policy therefore even now is to conjoin workers and worker groups, not to dismember them. This policy is
commendable. However, we must not lose sight of the constitutional mandate of protecting labor and the workers’ 2. (2)A preliminary restraining order prohibiting respondents from making further delivery to
right to self-organization. In the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of the Labor Code and its respondent Associated Labor Union for Metalworkers of Union dues collected or to be
implementing regulations, the workingman’s welfare should be the primordial and paramount consideration. In collected through check-off from the wages of petitioner’s members by respondents, DMG,
the case at bar, it would go against the spirit of the labor law to restrict petitioner’s right to self-organization due Inc., Karbayan, Inc., RTC Machineries, Inc., and People’s Car, Inc., under or by virtue of
to the existence of the CBA. We agree with the Med-Arbiter’s opinion that “A disaffiliation does not disturb the the questioned writ
enforceability and administration of a collective agreement; it does not occasion a change of administrators of the
contract nor even an amendment of the provisions thereof.” But nowhere in the record does it appear that the
45
contract entered into by the petitioner and ALUMETAL prohibits the withdrawal of the former from the latter.
VOL. 137, JUNE 19, 1985 45
Same; Same; Same; Same; Check-off; Obligation of employee to pay union dues is co-terminous with his
affiliation or membership; A contract between an employee and the parent organization as bargaining agent for Volkschel Labor Union vs. Bureau of Labor Relations
employees, terminated by the disaffiliation of the local union.—This now brings us to the second issue. Under of execution issued by respondent Bureau, dated April 4, 1977.
Section 3, Article I, of the CBA, the obligation of the respondent companies to deduct and remit dues to Petitioner was once affiliated with the Associated Labor Union for Metal Workers (ALUMETAL
ALUMETAL is conditioned on the individual check-off authorization of petitioner’s members. In other words, for short). On August 1, 1975, both unions, using the name Volkschel Labor Union-Associated Labor
ALUMETAL is entitled to receive the dues from respondent companies as long as petitioner union is affiliated Union for Metal Workers, jointly entered into a collective bargaining agreement with respondent
with it and respondent companies are authorized by their employees (members of petitioner union) to deduct companies. One of the subjects dealt with is the payment of union dues which is provided for in
union dues. Without said affiliation, the employer has no link to the mother union. The obligation of an employee
Section 3, Article I, of the CBA, which reads:
to pay union dues is co-terminous with his affiliation or membership. “The employees’ check-off authorization,
“Section 3. CHECK-OFF.—The COMPANY agrees to make payroll deductions not oftener than twice a month of
even if declared irrevocable, is good only as long as they remain members of the union concerned.” A contract
UNION membership dues and such special assessments fees or fines as may be duly authorized by the UNION,
between an employer and the parent organization as bargaining agent for the employees is terminated by the
provided that the same is covered by the individual check-off authorization of the UNION members. All said
disaffiliation of the local of which the employees are members. Respondent companies therefore were wrong in
deductions shall be promptly transmitted within five (5) days by the COMPANY to the UNION Treasurer. The
continuing the check-off in favor of respondent federation since they were duly notified of the disaffiliation and
COMPANY shall prepare two (2) checks. One (1) check will be under the name of the local union as their local
of petitioner’s members having already rescinded their check-off authorization.
fund including local special assessment funds and the other check will be for the ALU Regional Office regarding
44 the remittance of the UNION dues deduction.”
On March 10, 1976, a majority of petitioner’s members decided to disaffiliate from respondent From the pleadings filed and arguments of counsel, the following issues present themselves for
federation in order to operate on its own as an independent labor group pursuant to Article 241 this Court’s resolution.
(formerly Article 240) of the Labor Code of the Philippines, the pertinent portion of which reads: I
“Incumbent affiliates of existing federations or national unions may disaffiliate only for the purpose of joining a
federation or national union in the industry or region in which it properly belongs or for the purpose of operating Is petitioner union’s disaffiliation from respondent federation valid?
as an independent labor group.”
II
Accordingly, a resolution was adopted and signed by petitioner’s members revoking their check-off
authorization in favor of ALUMETAL and notices thereof were served on ALUMETAL and
Do respondent companies have the right to effect union dues collections despite revocation by the employees
respondent companies. of the check-off authorization? and
Confronted with the predicament of whether or not to continue deducting from employees’ wages
and remitting union III
46
46 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Is respondent federation entitled to union dues payments from petitioner union’s members notwithstanding
Volkschel Labor Union vs. Bureau of Labor Relations their disaffiliation from said federation?
dues to respondent ALUMETAL which wrote respondent companies advising them to continue We resolve the first issue in the affirmative.
deducting union dues and remitting them to said federation, respondent companies sought the legal The right of a local union to disaffiliate from its mother union is well-settled. In previous cases,
opinion of the respondent Bureau as regards the controversy between the two unions. On November it has been repeatedly held that a local union, being a separate and voluntary association, is free to
11, 1976, Med-Arbiter George A. Eduvalla of respondent Bureau rendered a Resolution which in serve the interest of all its members including the freedom to disaffiliate when circumstances
effect found the disaffiliation legal but at the same time gave the opinion that petitioner’s members warrant. This right is consistent with the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of association (Article
4

should continue paying their dues to ALUMETAL in the concept of agency fees. 1

IV, Section 7, Philippine Constitution).


From the said Resolution of the Med-Arbiter both petitioner and respondent ALUMETAL ________________
appealed to the Director of respondent Bureau. Petitioner contended that the Med-Arbiter’s opinion
to the effect that petitioner’s members remained obligated to pay dues to respondent ALUMETAL Annex “A”, Supplemental Petition.
3

was inconsistent with the dispositive finding that petitioner’s disaffiliation from ALUMETAL was Liberty Cotton Mills Workers Union v. Liberty Cotton Mills, 66 SCRA 512; People’s Industrial & Commercial Employees
4

and Workers Organization (FFW) v. People’s Industrial & Commercial Corporation, 112 SCRA 440.
valid. ALUMETAL, on the other hand, assailed the Resolution in question asserting that the
disaffiliation should have been declared contrary to law. 48
On January 25, 1977, respondent Bureau, through its Acting Director, Francisco L. Estrella,
48 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
REVERSED the Med-Arbiter’s Resolution, and declared that the Bureau recognized “the continued
affiliation of Volkschel Labor Union with the Associated Labor Union for Metal Workers.” 2 Volkschel Labor Union vs. Bureau of Labor Relations
Petitioner appealed the Acting Director’s Resolution to the Secretary of Labor (now Minister of Petitioner contends that the disaffiliation was not due to any opportunist motives on its part. Rather
Labor and Employment) who, treating the appeal as a Motion for Reconsideration, referred the same it was prompted by the federation’s deliberate and habitual dereliction of duties as mother federation
back to respondent Bureau, On March 14, 1977, the Bureau denied the appeal for lack of merit. towards petitioner union. Employees’ grievances were allegedly left unattended to by respondent
Hence, the instant petition. federation to the detriment of the employees’ rights and interests.
Meanwhile, on April 4, 1977, on motion of ALUMETAL, the then Acting Secretary of Labor, In reversing the Med-Arbiter’s resolution, respondent Bureau declared: the Department of Labor
Amado Gat Inciong, issued a writ of execution commanding the Sheriff of the National Labor is set on a task to restructure the labor movement to the end that the workers will unite themselves
Relations Commission “to enforce and execute the order along industry lines. Carried to its complete fruition, only one union for every industry will remain
________________ to bargain collectively for the workers. The clear policy therefore even now is to conjoin workers and
worker groups, not to dismember them. This policy is commendable. However, we must not lose sight
5

1 Annex “A”, Pages 2-3. of the constitutional mandate of protecting labor and the workers’ right to self-organization. In the
Annex “C”, Page 3.
implementation and interpretation of the provisions of the Labor Code and its implementing
2

47 regulations, the workingman’s welfare should be the primordial and paramount consideration. In
VOL. 137, JUNE 19, 1985 47 the case at bar, it would go against the spirit of the labor law to restrict petitioner’s right to self-
organization due to the existence of the CBA. We agree with the Med-Arbiter’s opinion that “A
Volkschel Labor Union vs. Bureau of Labor Relations disaffiliation does not disturb the enforceability and administration of a collective agreement; it does
of January 25, 1977, which has become final and executory. Pursuant thereto, the NLRC Sheriff
3
not occasion a change of administrators of the contract nor even an amendment of the provisions
enforced and implemented the Order of January 25, 1977, as a result of which respondent companies thereof.” But nowhere in the record does it appear that the contract entered into by the petitioner
6

turned over and handed to respondent federation the union dues and other assessments in and ALUMETAL prohibits the withdrawal of the former from the latter.
accordance with the check-off provision of the CBA.
This now brings us to the second issue. Under Section 3, Artide I, of the CBA, the obligation of One who petitions the courts for an early union election cannot afterwards be heard to claim,
the respondent companies to deduct and remit dues to ALUMETAL is conditioned on the individual after an election was actually held wherein the other party’s ticket won, except for one slot, that said
check-off authorization of petitioner’s members. In other words, ALUMETAL is entitled to receive election is null and void because of a policy of the Ministry of Labor that the term of union officers
the dues from respondent companies as long as petitioner union is affiliated with it and respondent should be three years and not less. (San Miguel Corporation Employees’ Union vs. Noriel, 103 SCRA
companies are authorized by their 185.)
________________

——o0o——
5 Annex “C”, Page 2.
6 Annex “A”, Page 2.

49
VOL. 137, JUNE 19, 1985 49
Volkschel Labor Union vs. Bureau of Labor Relations
employees (members of petitioner union) to deduct union dues. Without said affiliation, the employer
has no link to the mother union. The obligation of an employee to pay union dues is coterminous with
his affiliation or membership. “The employees’ check-off authorization, even if declared irrevocable,
is good only as long as they remain members of the union concerned.” A contract between an 7

employer and the parent organization as bargaining agent for the employees is terminated by the
disaffiliation of the local of which the employees are members. Respondent companies therefore were
8

wrong in continuing the check-off in favor of respondent federation since they were duly notified of
the disaffiliation and of petitioner’s members having already rescinded their check-off authorization.
With the view we take on those two issues, we find no necessity in dwelling further on the last
issue. Suffice it to state that respondent federation is not entitled to union dues payments from
petitioner’s members. “A local union which has validly withdrawn from its affiliation with the parent
association and which continues to represent the employees of an employer is entitled to the check-
off dues under a collective bargaining contract.”9
WHEREFORE, the Resolutions of the Bureau of Labor Relations of January 25, 1977 and March
14, 1977 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Respondent ALUMETAL is ordered to return to
petitioner union all the union dues enforced and collected through the NLRC Sheriff by virtue of the
writ of execution dated April 4, 1977 issued by respondent Bureau.
No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Makasiar, Aquino, Concepcion, Jr., Abad Santos and Escolin, JJ., concur.
________________

7 Phil. Federation of Petroleum Workers v. Court of Industrial Relations, 37 SCRA 711.


8 51 C.J.S. 865 (citing Textile Workers Union of America, C.I.O. versus Bellman Brook Bleaching Company).

50
50 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Espiritu vs. Court of Appeals
Resolution reversed and set aside.
Notes.—The purpose of a certification election is to give employees true representation in their
collective bargaining with an employer. (Confederation of Citizens Labor Union vs. Noriel, 116 SCRA
694.)
Local union and local members have the right to disaffiliate from federation in the absence of a
provision in the federation’s by laws prohibiting disaffiliation. (People’s Industrial and Commercial
Employees’ Workers Organization vs. People’s Industrial and Commercial Corporation, 112 SCRA
440.)