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Myla Ruth N.


American Pres Lines vs. Clave


The Maritime Security Union through private respondent filed a complaint against petitioner for unfair labor
practice under RA 875. They contended that the petitioner had refused to negotiate an agreement with them and
discriminated them regarding their tenure of employment by dismissing them.
Petitioner entered into a contract with the Maritime Security Agency for the latter to guard the petitioner’s
vessel. The term of the contract is one year and may be terminated by either party upon 30 days notice.
The relationship between petitioner and Maritime Security Agency is that it was the latter who hired the
guards and the guards were not known to petitioner. A lump sum would be paid by the petitioner to the agency
wherein the latter pays the compensation to the guards. However, petitioner terminated the contract on its
termination period with prior notice. After its termination, petitioner executed a contact with another agency.
Respondents protested on this.

ISSUE: W/N an employer-employee relationship exists between petitioner and watchmen


No. It is the agency that hires the work of its watchmen. Hence, a watchman cannot perform any security
service unless the agency first accepts him. It is also the agency that pays the wages to a watchman. Neither does
the petitioner have any power of dismissal, because such power lies in the hands of the agency. Since the petitioner
has to deal with the agency, petitioner does not exercise any power over watchmen’s conduct. Thus, it is the
agency that is answerable to the petitioner for the conduct of its guards. It follows that petitioner cannot be guilty
of unfair labor practice because under RA 875 Sec. 13, an unfair labor practice may be committed only within the
context of an employer-employee relationship.