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Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Top Form Manufacturing v.

NLRC (Romero, 1998) Pet: SMTFM is the certified bargaining representative of all regular rank and file employees of Priv. Res: Top Form Manufacturing Philippines, Inc. Facts: 1. Feb. 27, 90: Collective bargaining negotiations. According to the minutes of the meeting: a. Art VII 3 of the CBA: Union proposed that any future wage increase given by the government should be implemented by the company across-the-board or non-conditional. - Management requested the union to retain this provision since their sincerity was already proven when the P25.00 wage
increase was granted across-the-board. The union acknowledges management's sincerity but they are worried that in case there is a new set of management, they can just show their CBA. The union decided to defer this provision.

2. Oct. 1990 RTWPB-NCR issues Wage Order No. 01 granting an increase of P17.00 per day in the salary of
workers. Followed by Wage Order No.02 granting an additional P12.00 increase. 3. - The union requested the implementation of this increase across the board. The company implemented the increase in a certain staggered scheme1 to avoid wage distortions. - The union, through counsel, wrote to the company demanding that it should fulfill its pledge that the union agreed on the deferment of the above provision due to the companys promise and assurance of an across the board salary increase. The company still did not comply, maintaining its position that their implementation scheme was done to avoid wage distortions. 4. Hence the union FILED: a complaint that the act of the company of reneging on its undertaking/promise clearly constitutes an act of unfair labor practice through bargaining in bad faith. ANSWER: There was no agreement of such across the board wage increase in the CBA which was voluntarily entered into by both parties. 5. LA: Dismissed the complaint. (1)There was no unfair labor practice since it was the union itself which decided for its deferment. (2)The wage orders themselves do not allow for across the board wage increases. What the company did in order to deter wage distortion is certainly commendable. (3) There was no violation of LC Art. 100 since no benefits were withdrawn, the alleged past across the board increase is an isolated act which did not make it a company practice. NLRC: Affirmed LA. Dismissed. Issue: (1)w/n there was unfair labor practice in its refusal to grant the wage increase across the board. (2) w/n there was a significant wage distortion Decision: There was no unfair labor practice. The finding of fact by the lower q.jud. courts shall be accorded respect in that they found there was a significant wage distortion if the orders were granted across the board. 1. The company is not obligated to grant the wage increase across the board based only on the minutes of the CBA negotiation meeting. a. Union should have insisted on the provision to be included in the CBA. Union could have invoked LC Art. 252 defining the duty on the part of the employer to bargain. However the same provision does not compel any party to agree to a proposal or make any concession. The minutes may not be claimed as included in the final CBA. 2. The CBA is the law between the contracting parties. a. Compliance with it is mandated by law. b. CBA should be construed liberally rather than narrowly and technically, and the courts

b.

This deferred provision was however not included in the 1990 CBA agreement.

c. Why? Because the CBA is not an ordinary contract but one impressed with public interest.3 d. Where a proposal raised by a contracting party does not find print in the CBA it is not a
part thereof and the proponent has no claim whatsoever to its implementation. e. It is but natural for both parties to adopt different positions or make demands and offer proposals and counter proposals; but nothing is considered final until the parties have
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must place a practical and realistic construction upon it, giving due consideration to the context in which it is negotiated and purpose which it is intended to serve.2

Private respondent granted the P17.00 increase under Wage Order No. 01 to workers/employees receiving salary of P125.00 per day and below. The P12.00 increase mandated by Wage Order No. 02 was granted to those receiving the salary of P140.00 per day and below. For employees receiving salary higher than P125.00 or P140.00 per day, private respondent granted an escalated increase ranging from P6.99 to P14.30 and from P6.00 to P10.00, respectively.
2
3

Marcopper Mining Corporation v. NLRC, Phil. 618, 632 (1996)., at p. 634. Art. 1700 of the Civil Code

3.

Unions reliance on Kiok Loy v. NLRC is misplaced. a. There: The company completely refused to negotiate, ignoring all notices for negotiations. b. Here: There was in fact a negotiation and that the provision was deferred by the union relying on the undertaking of the company that it will grant it. However, the mere fact that the proposal was not included in the final CBA indicates that no contractual commitment thereon was ever made by the company. All provision in the CBA are supposed to have been jointly and voluntarily incorporated therein by both parties. 4. The adamant insistence on a bargaining position to the point where the negotiations reach an impasse does not establish bad faith.

reached an agreement. If the company promised to grant the across the board increases, such a promise could only be demandable if it is incorporated in the CBA.

a.

A party may refuse to enter into a collective bargaining contract unless it includes a desired provision as to a matter which is a mandatory subject of collective bargaining; but a refusal to contract unless the agreement covers a matter which is not a mandatory subject is in substance a refusal to bargain about matters which are mandatory subjects of collective bargaining, and it is no answer to the charge of refusal to bargain in good faith that the insistence on the disputed clause was not the sole cause of the failure to agree or that agreement was not reached with respect to other disputed clauses4

5. SC agrees with the NLRC and LA that no benefits were withdrawn as a result of the implementation scheme used. The single instance of implementing an across the board wage increase may not be considered an established company practice. 6. The issue of w/n a wage distortion exists is a question of fact, within the jurisdiction of the NLRC and the LA. Factual findings of admin bodies are accorded respect and even finality if they are supported by substantial evidence. SC finds no reason to depart from the conclusion of the NLRC and LA. WHEREFORE AFFIRMED. The complaint is dismissed. The wage scheme used by the company is valid. -Czarina Dee

Divine Word University of Tacloban v. Secretary of Labor and Employment, G.R. No. 91915, September 11, 1992, 213 SCRA 759, 773.