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PILTEA 525 SCRA 361 (2007)

FACTS: Since the CBA between PILTEL and PILTEA was due to expire, the unions
submitted its proposals for the re-negotiation of the non-representation aspects of the
CBA. As there was a standstill on several issues, the parties submitted their dispute
NCMB for conciliation
1. Not arriving at any conciliation, the union then filed a notice of strike with NCMB
for unfair labor practice due to alleged acts of restraint and coercion of union
members and interference with their right to self-organization
2. PILTEL then filed a petition for DOLE assume jurisdiction over the labor dispute.
Secretary of Labor Laguesma issued an order enjoining both parties from
conducting any strike or lockout and directing both parties to cease and desist
from committing any or all acts that might exacerbate the situation
3. Consequently, PILTEA filed a second notice of strike with NCMB on the following
a. Union busting, for alleged refusal of the company to turn over union funds
b. Mass promotion of union members during the CBA negotiation, allegedly
aimed at excluding them from the bargaining unit during the CBA negotiation
On the same day, the union went on strike.
4. Laguesma ordered the striking union officers and members to return to work
within 24 hours and for the company to accept all strikers under the same terms
and conditions of employment prior to the strike to which the union members
5. LA declared the strike conducted by PILTEA illegal and declared that its union
officers have lost their employment. LA based its ruling on the fact that the union
defied the Labor Secretarys assumption order and that pursuant to Art 264
Labor Code, a strike undertaken despite the issuance of an assumption order or
certification order by Secretary of Labor is illegal
6. NLRC affirmed the decision.
ISSUE: WON the PILTEAs strike was illegal
HELD: Yes, PILTEAs strike was illegal. Art 263 Labor Code as amended by RA 6715
and Rule XXII Book V IRR outlined the following requirements for a valid strike:
1. A notice of strike, with the required contents, should be filed with DOLE,
specifically the regional branch of NCMB, copy furnished the employer of
the union
2. A cooling off period must be observed between the filing of notice and the
actual execution of the strike of 30 days in case of bargaining deadlock and
15 days in case of unfair labor practice. However, in the case of union
busting where the unions existence is threatened, the cooling off period
need not be observed
3. Before a strike is actually commenced, a strike vote should be taken by
secret balloting within 24 hours prior notice to NCMB. The decision to
declare a strike requires the secret-ballot approval of majority of the total
union membership in the bargaining unit concerned

4. The result of the strike vote should be reported to NCMB at least 7 days
before the intended strike or lockout, subject to the cooling off period
It is settled that these requirements are mandatory in nature and failure to comply
therewith renders the strike illegal.
In the case at bar, the Union staged the strike on the same day that it filed its second
notice of strike. The Union violated the seven-day strike ban. This requirement should
be observed to DOLE an opportunity to verify whether the projected strike really carries
the approval of the majority of the union members.
Moreover, there was no union busting which would warrant the non-observance of the
cooling-off period. To constitute union busting under Art 263 Labor Code, there
must be:
1) a dismissal from employment of union officers duly elected in accordance
with the union constitution and by-laws; and
2) the existence of the union must be threatened by such dismissal. In the
case at bar, the second notice of strike filed by the Union merely assailed
the "mass promotion" of its officers and members during the CBA
negotiations. Surely, promotion is different from dismissal.
Art 264 Labor Code provides: No strike or lockout shall be declared after assumption of
jurisdiction by the President or the Secretary or after certification or submission of the
dispute to compulsory or voluntary arbitration or during the pendency of cases involving
the same grounds for the strike or lockout. Any workers whose employment has been
terminated as a consequence of an unlawful lockout shall be entitled to reinstatement
with full back wages. Any union officer who knowingly participates in illegal strike and
any worker or union officer who knowingly participates in the commission of illegal acts
during a strike may be declared to have lost his employment status: Provided, that mere
participation of a worker in a lawful strike shall not constitute sufficient ground for
termination of his employment, even if a replacement had been hired by the employer
during such lawful strike.
The effects of illegal strikes, as outlined in Art 264 Labor Code, make a distinction
between ordinary workers and union officers who participate therein. Under established
jurisprudence, a union officer may be terminated from employment for knowingly
participating in an illegal strike. The fate of union members is different. Mere
participation in an illegal strike is not a sufficient ground for termination of the services of
the union members. The Labor Code protects ordinary, rank-and-file union members
who participated in such a strike from losing their jobs provided that they did not commit
illegal acts during the strike.
Here, the union cannot claim good faith in the conduct of the strike because, as can be
gleaned from the findings of the Labor Arbiter, this was an extensively coordinated
strike having been conducted all throughout the offices of PILTEL all over the country.
Evidently, the strike was planned.


178647 (2009)
FACTS: Sometime in the late 1990s, CCBPI experienced a significant decline in
profitability due to the Asian economic crisis, decrease in sales, and tougher
competition. As such, the company implemented 3 waves of an early retirement
program. Because several employees availed of the early retirement program,
vacancies were created in some departments, including the production department of
CCBPI Gen San where members of petitioner union worked.
1. This prompted petitioner to negotiate with the Labor Management Committee for
filling up the vacancies with permanent employees. No resolution was reached
by both parties.
2. CCBPI Gen San, then, engaged the services of JLBP Services to provide labor
and manpower services including janitorial services, messengers, and office
3. Petitioner union filed with NCMB a notice of strike on the ground of alleged unfair
labor practice committed by CCBPI Gen San for contracting services regularly
performed by union members (union busting)
4. Failing to arrive at an amicable settlement, the Secretary of Labor assumed
jurisdiction over the labor dispute and enjoined the threatening strike and
certifying the dispute to NLRC for compulsory arbitration
5. NLRC ruled that CCBPI was not guilty of unfair labor practice for contracting jobs
out to JLBP. NLRC based its decision on the validity of the going to the market
(GTM) system implemented by the company, which called for restructuring its
selling and distribution system, leading to the closure of certain sales offices and
the elimination of conventional sales routes. Petitioner failed to prove by
substantial evidence that the system was meant to curtail the right to selforganization of petitioners members
6. CA affirmed NLRC decision and upheld the validity of CCBPIs contracting out
jobs in its production department
ISSUE: WON CCBPIs contracting out of jobs to JLBP amounted to unfair labor practice
HELD: No, CCBPIs action did not constitute unfair labor practice. Art 248 Labor Code
provides that unfair labor practice constituted in contracting out services or functions
being performed by union members when such will interfere with, restrain or coerce
employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization.
Unfair labor practice refers to "acts that violate the workers right to organize." The
prohibited acts are related to the workers right to self-organization and to the
observance of a CBA. Without that element, the acts, even if unfair, are not unfair labor
Both the NLRC and the CA found that petitioner was unable to prove its charge of unfair
labor practice. It was the Union that had the burden of adducing substantial evidence to
support its allegations of unfair labor practice, which burden it failed to discharge.


FACTS: Petitioners Densing, Mirafuentes etc worked as casual employees of
respondent CENAPRO Chemicals. In the said company, there was a CBA between
CCEA and the company. Said CBA excluded casual employees from membership in the
incumbent union.
1. When the casual employees demand for regularization was denied, they formed
themselves into an organization, AIUP. AIUP filed a petition for certification
2. In May 4 and July 3, 1990, AIUP filed a notice of strike, minutes of strike vote and
other needed documentation with DOLE. AIUP cited as grounds for strike the
acts of CENAPRO constituting unfair labor practice, i.e., coercion of employees
and systematic union busting
3. Subsequently, AIUP proceeded to stage a strike, in the course of which, the
union perpetrated illegal acts. The strikers padlocked the gate of the company
and barricaded its gates. They also prevented and coerced other non-striking
employees from reporting for work.
4. As such, CENAPRO filed a petition for injunction with NLRC which granted a
TRO thereby enjoining the strikers from doing further acts of violence, coercion,
or intimidation and blocking the company premises
5. Thereafter, CENAPRO filed a complaint of illegal strike. LA declared the strike
illegal and dismissed the charge of illegal lockout and unfair labor practice filed
by AIUP against CENAPRO
ISSUE: WON the strike staged by AIUP was illegal
HELD: Yes, from the gamut of evidence on hand, it can be gathered that the strike
staged by the petitioner union was illegal for reasons, that:
1) The strikers committed illegal acts in the course of the strike. They formed
human barricades to block the road, prevented the passage of the respondent
company's truck, padlocked the company's gate, and prevented co-workers from
entering the company premises.
2) And violated the TRO enjoining the union and/or its members from obstructing
the company premises, and ordering the removal therefrom of all the barricades.
A strike is a legitimate weapon in the universal struggle for existence. It is considered as
the most effective weapon in protecting the rights of the employees to improve the
terms and conditions of their employment. But to be valid, a strike must be pursued
within legal bounds. The right to strike as a means for the attainment of social justice is
never meant to oppress or destroy the employer. The law provides limits for its exercise.
Among such limits are the prohibited activities under Art 264 Labor Code, particularly
paragraph (e), which states that no person engaged in picketing shall:
a) commit any act of violence, coercion, or intimidation or
b) obstruct the free ingress to or egress from the employer's premises for lawful
purposes or

c) obstruct public thoroughfares

Even if the strike is valid because its objective or purpose is lawful, the strike may still
be declared invalid where the means employed are illegal.
It follows therefore that the dismissal of the officers of the striking union was justified
and valid. Their dismissal as a consequence of the illegality of the strike staged by them
finds support in Art 264 (a) Labor Code, pertinent portion of which provides: "Any union
officer who knowingly participates in an illegal strike and any union officer who
knowingly participates in the commission of illegal acts during a strike may be declared
to have lost his employment status"
Union officers are duty bound to guide their members to respect the law. If instead of
doing so, the officers urge the members to violate the law and defy the duly constituted
authorities; their dismissal from the service is a just penalty or sanction for their unlawful
acts. The officers' responsibility is greater than that of the members.


FACTS: In the earlier part of 1993, petitioner union and respondent Moldex negotiated
for the renewal of their CBA. Due to some economic differences, the negotiations
ended in a deadlock
1. Petitioner Union filed a notice of strike with NCMB. Consequently, the union
conducted a strike vote among its members and the results of the voting were
conveyed to the Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organization
(ANGLO) for submission to NCMB, but for some unknown reason, the same was
not made
2. Petitioners went on strike without the report of the strike vote submitted to the
3. Private respondent Moldex filed a petition to declare strike illegal and authorize
dismissal of the officers and other employees for illegal acts with NLRC. The
petition alleged that the petitioners barricaded the 3 gates of Moldex and
committed acts of violence, threats and coercion. A TRO was later issued
4. LA declared the strike illegal. Upon appeal, NLRC remanded the case to LA
citing that both parties were unable to submit crucial evidence to support their
respective positions
ISSUE: WON the strike conducted by petitioner union was illegal.
HELD: Yes, the strike was illegal. has been shown that the results of the strike-vote
were never forwarded to the NCMB, as admitted by petitioners themselves and as
attested to by a Certification of Non-Submission of Strike Vote issued by the NCMB.5
There is thus no need for additional evidence on the matter, as it would not change the
fact that the results of the strike-vote were not submitted to the NCMB. Without the
submission of the results of the strike-vote, the strike was illegal, pursuant to Article 264
of the Labor Code, which reads:
Art. 264. Prohibited activities. (a) No labor organization or employer shall
declare a strike or lockout without first having bargained collectively in
accordance with Title VII of this Book or without first having filed the notice
required in the preceding Article or without the necessary strike or lockout vote
first having been obtained and reported to the Ministry.
Neither is there any need to remand the case to determine whether petitioners were
sent notices or copies of the petition and whether the service of a copy of private
respondent's (Moldex) formal offer of evidence with the federation, ANGLO, instead of
petitioners' counsel, was valid. In their Memorandum (paragraph 31), petitioners deny
ever making such a claim. And if ever they made such claim, they are now waiving such
irregularity, dispensing with the need of resolving the same.
It is therefore established that the result of the strike-vote was not submitted to the
NCMB making the strike staged by petitioners illegal, in accordance with Article 264 of
the Labor Code.


FACTS: Petitioner SMC and respondent union IBM executed a CBA under which they
agreed to submit all disputes to grievance and arbitration proceedings. The CBA also
included a mutually enforceable no-strike no-lockout agreement.
1. On April 11, 1994, IMB, through its VP Alfredo Colomeda, filed with NCMB a
notice of strike against SMC for allegedly committing: a. illegal dismissal of union
members; b. illegal transfer; c. violation of CBA; d. contracting out of jobs
performed by union members; e. labor-only contracting; f. harassment of union
officers and members; and other acts of unfair labor practice
2. The following day, IBM, through its president Galvez, filed another notice of strike
raising similar issues
3. NCMB found that the real issues involved were non-strikeable. Hence, NCMB
director issued orders to both union groups, converting their notice of strike into
preventive mediation
4. On May 27, 1994, the Colomeda group notified NCMB of the results of their
strike vote, which favored the holding of a strike. As a reply, NCMB issued
another letter pursuant to the ruling in PAL v. Drilon, that their notice of strike was
deemed not to have been filed which as a consequence, invalidated any
subsequent strike for lack of compliance with the notice requirement.
5. Despite this, IBM went on strike. The strike paralyzed the operations of SMC,
causing it losses allegedly amounting to P28.98 million in daily lost production
6. After the declaration of strike, petitioner SMC filed with NLRC a petition for
injunction with prayer for the issuance of TRO. After due hearing and ocular
inspection, NLRC issued a TRO directing free ingress and egress from
petitioners plants without prejudice to the unions right to peaceful picketing and
continuous hearings on the injunction case
7. Respondent IBM thereafter moved to reconsider the issuance of the TRO and
sought to dismiss the injunction case in view of the cessation of its picketing
activities as a result of the signed MOA between SMC and IBM. IBM argued that
the case had become moot and academic since there were no more prohibited
activities to restrain. SMC opposed the motion. However, NLRC did not rule on
the opposition to the TRO and allowed it to lapse
8. On November 29, 1994, NLC denied the petition for injunction for lack of factual
basis. NLRC found that the circumstances at the time did not constitute or no
longer constituted an actual or threatened commission of unlawful acts
ISSUE: WON NLRC committed a grave abuse of discretion in denying the injunction
filed by SMC
HELD: Yes, NLRC committed a grave abuse of discretion. Art 254 Labor Code
provides that no temporary or permanent injunction or restraining order in any case
involving or growing out of labor disputes shall be issued by any court or other entity
except as otherwise provided in Arts 218 and 264 Labor Code. Under the first
exception, Art 218 (e) Labor Code expressly confers upon the NLRC the power to
enjoin or restrain actual and threatened commission of any or all prohibited or

unlawful acts, or to require the performance of a particular act in any labor

dispute which, if not restrained or performed forthwith, may cause grave or
irreparable damage to any party or render ineffectual any decision in favor of
such party. The second exception, on the other hand, is when the labor organization or
the employer engages in any of the prohibited activities enumerated in Art 264.
In the case at bar, petitioner sought a permanent injunction to enjoin the respondents
strike. A strike is considered as the most effective weapon in protecting the rights of the
employees to improve the terms and conditions of their employment. However, to be
valid, a strike must be pursued within legal bounds. One of the procedural requisites
that Art 263 Labor Code and its Implementing Rules prescribe is the filing of a
valid notice of strike with the NCMB. Imposed for the purpose of encouraging the
voluntary settlement of disputes, this requirement has been held to be
mandatory, the lack of which shall render a strike illegal.
Petitioners should have complied with the prohibition to strike ordered by the NCMB
when the latter dismissed the notices of strike after finding that the alleged acts of
discrimination of the hotel were not ULP, hence not strikeable. The refusal of the
petitioners to heed said proscription of the NCMB is reflective of bad faith. Such
disregard of the mediation proceedings was a blatant violation of the
Implementing Rules, which explicitly oblige the parties to bargain collectively in
good faith and prohibit them from impeding or disrupting the proceedings.

FACTS: Petitioner Union of Filipro Employees (UFE) alleged that public respondent
NLRC had acted with grave abuse of discretion in affirming the decision of LA declaring
the strikes staged by UFE as illegal
1. UFE filed a notice of strike on November 14, 1985 with BLR against Nestle. UFE
subsequently filed a complaint for unfair labor practices against the respondent
company on the ground of violation of Art 94 Labor Code on Holiday pay, nonimplementation of the CBA provisions, etc
2. Upon petition, the Minister of Labor and Employment assumed jurisdiction over
the instant labor disputed and issued an order enjoining both parties from
performing any strike, lockout or any other form of concerted action which tend to
disrupt the company operations
3. UFE then filed a petition for certiorari with prayer for issuance of TRO assailing
the jurisdiction of the Minister
4. Despite this, the union members and its officers, in clear defiance of the
Ministers order, staged a strike and continued to man the picket lines of the
companys premises
5. Nestle, then, filed a petition to declare the strike illegal based on violation of the
CBA provisions on no strike/no lockout clause and the grievance machinery
provisions on settlement of disputes
ISSUE: Won the strike was illegal
HELD: No. As provided in Art 264 (g) Labor Code, assumption and certification orders
are executory in character and are to be strictly complied with by the parties even during
the pendency of any petition questioning their validity. This extraordinary authority given
to the Secretary of Labor is aimed at arriving at a peaceful and speedy solution to labor
disputes without jeopardizing national interests
Regardless of their motives or the validity of their claims, UFE must cease and desist
from any and all acts that tend to undermine this authority of the Secretary of Labor,
once an assumption and/or certification order is issued. They cannot, for instance,
ignore return to work orders, citing unfair labor practices on the part of the company to
justify their actions.
Moreover, the strike was considered illegal by NLRC on the following reasons:
1. The strike was staged in violation of the existing CBA provisions on no strike/no
lockout, which is illegal especially when such terms provide for conclusive
arbitration clause
2. Instead of exhausting all the steps provided for in the grievance machinery in the
CBA to resolve the dispute amicably and harmoniously within the plant level,
UFE went on strike
3. The prescribed mandatory cooling-off period and then 7-day strike and after
submission of the report of strike vote at Nestles office were not complied with.

4. In carrying out the strike, coercion, force, intimidation, violence with physical
injuries, sabotage, and the use of unnecessary and obscene language or
epithets were committed by the union members and officers. Such manner in
conducting a strike is illegal


FACTS: LMG Chemicals Corp is a domestic corporation engaged in the manufacture
and sale of various kinds of chemical substances, including aluminum sulfate which is
essential in purifying water, and technical grade sulfuric acid used in thermal power
plants. Respondent union CWU is the duly registered labor organization acting as the
collective bargaining agent of all daily paid employees in the Inorganic division.
1. In December 1995, LMG Chemicals and CWU started negotiations for a new
CBA. They were able to agree on the political provisions of the new CBA but no
agreement was ever reached on the economic issues
2. Since the negotiations resulted in a deadlock, CWU filed a notice of strike with
NCMB and consequently staged a strike.
3. In an attempt to end the strike early, LMG Chemicals made an improved offer of
P135/day (as opposed to the initial offer of P120/day) but the said offer was
rejected by the union
4. Secretary of Labor, upon finding that the labor dispute was impressed with
national interest, assumed jurisdiction over the same
5. Subsequently, LMG Chemicals made a turn-around alleging that it could no
longer afford to grant its previous offer considering its financial losses in the early
months of 1996
6. Secretary of Labor issued an order ordering that LMGs offer of P135 per day be
increased to P140/day
7. Petitioner alleged that the respondent secretary whimsically presumed that the
company can survive despite losses being suffered by its Inorganic division and
its additional losses due to the strike staged by CWU
ISSUE: WON the respondent secretary acted in grave abuse of discretion in issuing the
order increasing the companys offer from P135/day to P140/day
HELD: No. respondent Secretary did not gravely abuse his discretion in ordering the
wage increase. Grave abuse of discretion implies whimsical and capricious exercise of
power which, in the instant case, is not obtaining.
It is a sound business practice that a Company's income from all sources are collated to
determine its true financial condition. Regardless of whether one division or another
losses or gains in its yearly operation is not material in reckoning a Company's financial
status. In fact, the loss in one is usually offset by the gains in the others. It is not a good
business practice to isolate the employees or workers of one division, which incurred an
operating loss for a particular period. That will create demoralization among its ranks,
which will ultimately affect productivity. The eventual loser will be the company.
Besides, as a major player in the country's corporate field, reneging from a wage
increase package it previously offered and later on withdrawing the same simply
because this Office had already assumed jurisdiction over its labor dispute with the
Union cannot be countenanced. It will be worse if the employer is allowed to withdraw
its offer on the ground that the union staged a strike and consequently subsequently

suffered business setbacks in its income projections. To sustain the Company's position
is like hanging the proverbial sword of Damocles over the Union's right to concerted
activities, ready to fall when the latter clamors for better terms and conditions of
Petitioner contends that public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion when
he ordered that the new CBA which the parties will sign shall retroact to January 1,
1996. Invoking the provisions of Article 253-A of the Labor Code, petitioner insists that
public respondent's discretion on the issue of the date of the effectivity of the new CBA
is limited to either: (1) leaving the matter of the date of effectivity of the new CBA to the
agreement of the parties or (2) ordering that the terms of the new CBA be prospectively
Secretary assumed jurisdiction over the dispute because it is impressed with
national interest. As noted by the Secretary, "the petitioner corporation was then
supplying the sulfate requirements of MWSS as well as the sulfuric acid of
NAPOCOR, and consequently, the continuation of the strike would seriously
affect the water supply of Metro Manila and the power supply of the Luzon Grid."
Such authority of the Secretary to assume jurisdiction carries with it the power to
determine the retroactivity of the parties' CBA.
It is well settled in our jurisprudence that the authority of the Secretary of Labor
to assume jurisdiction over a labor dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or
lockout in an industry indispensable to national interest includes and extends to
all questions and controversies arising therefrom. The power is plenary and
discretionary in nature to enable him to effectively and efficiently dispose of the
primary dispute.
To deprive respondent Secretary of such power and discretion would run counter to the
well-established rule that all doubts in the interpretation of labor laws should be resolved
in favor of labor. In upholding the assailed orders of respondent Secretary, this Court is
only giving meaning to this rule. Indeed, the Court should help labor authorities in
providing workers immediate benefits, without being hampered by arbitration or litigation
processes that prove to be not only nerve-wracking but financially burdensome in the
long run.


FACTS: Petitioner union filed a petition for certification election so that it may be
considered the exclusive bargaining representative of the Hotels employees for the
purpose of collective bargaining. Said petition was dismissed by DOLE. After a few
months, the union sent a letter to the respondent hotel informing it of its desire to
negotiate for a CBA. However, the hotel denied its request stating that it cannot
recognize the hotel as the employees bargaining agent since its petition for certification
letter had been earlier dismissed by DOLE
1. As such, the union announced it as taking a strike vote. A notice of strike was
then filed with NCMB for the hotels alleged refusal to bargain and for alleged
acts of unfair labor practice
2. Respondent hotel alleged that the strike was illegal and it had to dismiss some
employees for their participation in the allegedly illegal concerted activity. The
union, on the other hand, accused the hotel of illegally dismissing the workers.
3. Subsequently, the Secretary of Labor assumed jurisdiction over the labor dispute
and issued an order directing the striking workers to return to work within 24
hours and ordered the hotel to accept them under the same terms and conditions
prior to the strike
4. Having received the order, the union members reported for work the following
day but the hotel refused to accept the returning workers
5. Thereafter, the acting Secretary of Labor (Espanol) issued another order
modifying the earlier one and instead of an actual return to work, Espanol
directed that the strikers be reinstated only in the payroll
ISSUE: WON the Secretary of Labor acted in grave abuse of discretion in issuing the
order providing for payroll reinstatement to the union members instead of actual
HELD: Yes. CA based its decision in the case of UST v. NLRC where the
Secretary of Labor assumed jurisdiction over the labor dispute between the
striking teachers and the university. He ordered the striking teachers to return to
work and the university to accept them under the same terms and conditions.
However, in a subsequent order, the NLRC provided payroll reinstatement for the
striking teachers as an alternative remedy to actual reinstatement. However, the
UST ruling was made in the light of one very important fact: the teachers could
not be given back their academic assignments since the order of the Secretary
for them to return to work was given in the middle of the first semester of the
academic year. The NLRC was, therefore, faced with a situation where the striking
teachers were entitled to a return to work order, but the university could not
immediately reinstate them since it would be impracticable and detrimental to the
students to change teachers at that point in time.
In the present case, there is no showing that the facts called for payroll
reinstatement as an alternative remedy. A strained relationship between the
striking employees and management is no reason for payroll reinstatement in lieu

of actual reinstatement. Petitioner correctly pointed out that labor disputes naturally
involve strained relations between labor and management, and that in most strikes, the
relations between the strikers and the non-strikers will similarly be tense. Nevertheless,
the government must still perform its function and apply the law, especially if, as in this
case, national interest is involved.
As a general rule, the State encourages an environment wherein employers and
employees themselves must deal with their problems in a manner that mutually suits
them best. This is the basic policy embodied in Article XIII, Section 3 of the Constitution,
which was further echoed in Art 211 Labor Code. Hence, a voluntary, instead of
compulsory, mode of dispute settlement is the general rule.
However, Art 263 (g) Labor Code, which allows the Secretary of Labor to assume
jurisdiction over a labor dispute involving an industry indispensable to the
national interest, provides an exception. This provision is viewed as an exercise of
the police power of the State. A prolonged strike or lockout can be inimical to the
national economy and, therefore, the situation is imbued with public necessity and
involves the right of the State and the public to self-protection.
It is, therefore, evident that the Secretarys subsequent order for mere payroll
reinstatement constitutes grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of


565 (2000)
FACTS: When the collective bargaining negotiations between the company Telefunken
and the petitioner union reached a deadlock, petitioner union filed a notice of strike with
1. Upon petition and considering the nature of its business and its effects to the
countrys economy, Secretary of Labor Brillantes assumed jurisdiction over the
instant labor dispute pursuant to Art 263 par (g) Labor Code
2. Notwithstanding this, the union staged a strike. As such, Secretary of Labor
ordered the striking workers to return to work within 24 hours. But the striking
union members failed to return to work; instead. They continued with their
pickets. Thereafter, complaints for threats, defamation, illegal detention and
physical injuries were filed against the strikers
3. The company, then, ordered the workers who joined the strike to submit a written
explanation why they should not be disciplined or dismissed from employment.
However, none of the employees submitted an explanation and some even
refused to return to work. Consequently, the employees were terminated for
refusing to report for work despite the assumption and return to work orders
4. The union argued that the exclusion of union officers, shop stewards, and those
with pending criminal charges from the directive to the company to accept back
the striking workers is tantamount to illegal dismissal since the workers are in
effect being terminated without due process of the law.
5. On the other hand, the company maintained that the dismissal of those who
failed to company with the assumption and return to work orders is valid and in
accordance with jurisprudence
ISSUE: WON the union members defiance of the assumption and return to work orders
merits termination
HELD: No. an assumption and/or certification order of the Secretary of Labor
automatically results in a return-to-work of all striking workers, whether or not a
corresponding order has been issued by the Secretary of Labor . Article 264 (g) Labor
Code is clear. Once an assumption/certification order is issued, strikes are enjoined, or
if one has already taken place, all strikers shall immediately return to work.
A strike that is undertaken despite the issuance by the Secretary of Labor of an
assumption or certification order becomes a prohibited activity and thus illegal, pursuant
to the second paragraph of Art 264 Labor Code as amended.
The effects of such illegal strikes, outlined in Article 265 (now Article 264) of the
Labor Code, make a distinction between workers and union officers who
participate therein. A union officer who knowingly participates in an illegal strike
and any worker or union officer who knowingly participates in the commission of
illegal acts during a strike may be declared to have lost their employment status.
An ordinary striking worker cannot be terminated for mere participation in an

illegal strike. There must be proof that he committed illegal acts during a strike. A
union officer, on the other hand, may be terminated from work when he
knowingly participates in an illegal strike, and like other workers, when he
commits an illegal act during a strike.
However, mere filing of charges against an employee for alleged illegal acts
during a strike does not by itself justify his dismissal. The charges must be
proved at an investigation duly called where the employee shall be given an
opportunity to defend himself. This is true even if the alleged ground constitutes
a criminal offense.
Thus to exclude union officers, shop stewards and those with pending criminal charges
in the directive to the company to accept back the striking workers without first
determining whether they knowingly committed illegal acts would be tantamount to
dismissal without due process of law. The Secretary of Labor gravely abused his
discretion in excluding union officers, shop stewards and those with pending criminal
charges in the order to the company to accept back the striking workers pending
resolution of the issue involving the legality of the strike.