Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

PROTECTION TECHNOLOGY v SEC of LABOR March 1, 1995 FELICIANO, J.

Petitioner(s): PROTECTION TECHNOLOGY Respondent(s): HONORABLE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, MED-ARBITER BRIGIDA C. FADRIGON and SAMAHAN NG MANGGAGAWA SA PROTECTION-ALLIANCE OF NATIONALIST AND GENUINE LABOR ORGANIZATION (SMP-ANGLO) Facts: On 12 January 1994, respondent Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Protection Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organizations ("Union"), a newly organized union affiliated with a federation, filed a Petition for direct certification or for certification election to determine the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the regular rank and file employees of petitioner Protection Technology Inc. ("Company") with the National Capital Region Med Arbitration Branch In its Comment on the petition, petitioner Company stated that the Union was not a legitimate labor organization capable of filing the petition because it failed to submit its books of account with the Bureau of Labor Relations at the time it was registered as a legitimate labor organization. Pursuant to the Court's ruling in ruling Progressive Development Corporation v. Secretary, submission of such documentation is a "mandatory" requirement before a union can exercise the rights and privileges of a legitimate labor organization On 14 March 1994, Med Arbiter Brigida C. Fadrigon dismissed the Union's petition and held that the submission of the books of account, consisting of journals, ledgers and other accounting books, was one of several "preventive measures against commission of fraud" arising from "improper or incorrect recording of union funds, inefficient administration and even malversation of union funds." The Union appealed to the Secretary of Labor, arguing that the Labor Code and Progressive Development "never mentioned journals and ledgers" as part of the documentation requirements for registration of a newly-organized local union. On 6 July 1994, respondent DOLE Undersecretary, Bienvenido Laguesma, set aside the Order of the Med Arbiter, holding that the requirement to submit books of account applies only to labor organizations already existing for at least a year. Undersecretary Laguesma ordered the holding of a certification election with the following as choices: (1) the Union; and (2) no union. He also took note of the Union's submission of one sheet of paper captioned a "Statement of Income and Expenses for the month ended September 28, 1993." This "Statement" contained one entry: "Cash on hand P590.00;" the sheet was certified correct by the Union secretary, attested by the Union president and duly subscribed. After its motion for reconsideration was denied, the company filed a Petition for Certiorari with prayer for a temporary restraining order (TRO), seeking annulment of the Resolution and Order of the respondent DOLE Undersecretary for grave abuse of discretion. On 9 November 1994, the Court issued a TRO upon the companys posting of a sufficient cash bond. Notwithstanding this, the certification election was still conducted on 10 November 1994 in the presence and under the supervision of DOLE representation officers. Of the fifty-eight (58) votes validly cast, the Union obtained fifty-three (53) votes. On 17 November 1994, the Union prayed that the petition should be considered moot and academic since the results of the certification election showed that a majority the employees had chosen it to be their

collective bargaining representative. On the other hand, the Company moved that public respondents be "admonished" for hastily conducting the certification election, "just to accommodate" the Union. Issue(s): WON books of account, consisting of ledgers, journals and other accounting books, form part of the mandatory documentation requirements for registration of a newly organized union affiliated with a federation? Held: Yes Ratio: In Progressive Development Corporation v. Secretary, DOLE , the Court said: A local or chapter therefore becomes a legitimate labor organization only upon submission of the following to the BLR: 1) A chapter certificate within 30 days from its issuance by the labor federation or national union, and 2) The constitution and by-laws, a statement on the set of officers and the books of accounts all of which are certified under oath by the secretary or treasurer, as the case may be, of such local or chapter, and attested to by its president. Absent compliance with these mandatory requirements, the local or chapter does not become a legitimate labor organization. Thus, non-submission of such books of account certified by and attested to by the appropriate officer is a ground for an employer to legitimately oppose a petition for certification election filed by the local or chapter of a national union. Although the federation to which the Union is affiliated submitted documents showing that the union had offered books of account to support its application for registration as a legitimate labor organization, what was submitted to the BLR by the Union was a mere "financial statement" Books of account are different from financial statements. The former consist of journals, ledgers and other accounting books (which are registered with the BIR) containing a record of individual transactions wherein monies are received and disbursed by an establishment or entity; entries are made on such books on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, Statements of accounts or financial reports merely summarize such individual transactions set out in the books of account and are usually prepared at the end of an accounting period, commonly corresponding to the fiscal year of the establishment or entity concerned. Statements of account and financial reports do not set out or repeat the basic data (i.e., the individual transactions) on which they are based and are, therefore, much less informative sources of cash flow information. Books of account are kept and handled by bookkeepers (employees) of the company or agency; financial statements may be audited statements, i.e., prepared by external independent auditors (certified public accountants). Regardless of the fact that the Union, having been organized for less than a year, would have had no real opportunity to levy and collect dues and fees from its members which need to be recorded in the books of account. Such accounting books must still be submitted to the BLR, even if they contain no detailed or extensive entries yet. The purpose is that the applicant local or chapter must demonstrate to the BLR that it is entitled to registered status because it has a system for accounting for members' contributions to its fund even before it actually receives dues or fees from its members. The intent is to minimize the risk of fraud in the course of the subsequent formation and growth of the Union fund.

Respondent Undersecretary thus acted arbitrarily in disregarding the plain terms of the Omnibus Implementing Rules (Section 3(e), Rule III Book V) as well as the rule laid down in the Progressive Development. The statutory and regulatory provisions outlining the requirements of registration of legitimate labor organizations are an exercise of the police power of the State, designed for the protection of workers against potential abuse by unions and federations of unions. The purpose is defeated if the registration requirements are relaxed arbitrarily and registered status extended to an organization not entitled to such status. However, the Court will not set aside the certification election, which was held in the presence of representatives of the DOLE and presumably reflected the free and democratic will of the workers of petitioner Company, in the absence of compelling reasons to do so. Nevertheless, respondent Union must comply with all the requirements of registration as a legitimate labor organization before it may enjoy the fruits of the certification election and before it may exercise the rights of a legitimate labor organization. Registration is a condition sine qua non for the acquisition of legal personality by a labor organization and the exercise of the rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor organizations. Respondent Union must submit its books of account certified under oath by its treasurer and attested to by its president before it may demand recognition by the Company as exclusive bargaining agent of the members of the bargaining unit and before it may exercise any of the rights pertaining to such an agent. Petition is dismissed for being moot and academic but respondent union is enjoined from exercising the rights and privileges of a legitimate labor organization until it submits the required books of account. -A. Velasco SMEU PTGWO vs. SMPPEU-PDMP A legitimate labor organization is defined as "any labor organization duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment, and includes any branch or local thereof." The mandate of the Labor Code is to ensure strict compliance with the requirements on registration because a legitimate labor organization is entitled to specific rights under the Labor Code, and are involved in activities directly affecting matters of public interest. Registration requirements are intended to afford a measure of protection to unsuspecting employees who may be lured into joining unscrupulous or fly-by-night unions whose sole purpose is to control union funds rouse the labor organization for illegitimate ends. Legitimate labor organizations have exclusive rights under the law which cannot be exercised by non-legitimate unions, one of which is the right to be certified as the exclusive representative of all the employees in an appropriate collective bargaining unit for purposes of collective bargaining. The acquisition of rights by any union or labor organization, particularly the right to file a petition for certification election, first and foremost, depends on whether or not the labor organization has attained the status of a legitimate labor organization. The applicable Implementing Rules enunciates a two-fold procedure for the creation of a chapter or a local. The first involves the affiliation of an independent union with a federation or national union or industry union. The second, finding application in the instant petition, involves the direct creation of a local or a chapter through the process of chartering. The Implementing Rules stipulate that a local or chapter may be directly created by a federation or national union. A duly constituted local or chapter created in accordance with the foregoing shall acquire legal personality from the date of filing of the complete documents with the BLR. The issuance of the certificate of registration by the BLR or the DOLE Regional Office is not the operative act that vests legal personality upon a local or a chapter under Department Order No. 9. Such legal personality is acquired from the filing of the complete documentary requirements enumerated in Section 1, Rule VI. when an

unregistered union becomes a branch, local or chapter, some of the aforementioned requirements for registration are no longer necessary or compulsory. Whereas an applicant for registration of an independent union is mandated to submit, among other things, the number of employees and names of all its members comprising at least 20% of the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate, the same is no longer required of a branch, local or chapter.