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RUBEN D. TORRES, in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of


G.R. No. 92391

July 3, 1992

In 1988, Med-Arbiter Basa issued an Order granting the petition for
Certification election filed by the Trade Union of the Philippines and Allied
Services (TUPAS). Said order directed the holding of a certification election
among the regular and seasonal workers of the Philippine Fruits and
Vegetables, Inc. After a series of pre-election conferences, all issues relative
to the conduct of the certification election were threshed out except that
which pertains to the voting qualifications of the hundred ninety four (194)
workers enumerated in the lists of qualified voters submitted by TUPAS.
Election transpired and only 168 of the questioned workers actually voted.
This was opposed by the company and objected the proceeding. However, it
was subsequently agreed upon that workers whose names were inadvertently
omitted in the list of qualified voters were allowed to vote, subject to
challenge. Only 38 of them voted in the election. Subsequently, since the
majority votes of the employees were not reached, a need to open the 168
challenged vote was necessary, this was again objected by the company.
Eventually, the petitioner-company filed a protest but was then denied. After
the denial of its motion for reconsideration by the Secretary of Labor, the
company filed for a petition for certiorari in the Court alleging that the
Secretary of Labor committed manifest error in upholding the certification of
TUPAS as the sole bargaining agent mainly on an erroneous ruling that the
protest against the canvassing of the votes cast by 168 dismissed workers
was filed beyond the reglementary period.

ISSUE: Whether or not the protest was belatedly filed

Yes. The Court ruled that that the formal protest of petitioner PFVII
was filed beyond the reglementary period. Under Section 4, Rule VI, Book V
of the Implementing Rules of the Labor Code:
Sec. 4. Protest to be decided in twenty (20) working days. Where the
protest is formalized before the med-arbiter with five (5) days after the close
of the election proceedings, the med-arbiter shall decide the same within
twenty (20) working days from the date of formalizationxxx
The Court stated the two requirements in order that a protest filed
thereunder would prosper: (1) The protest must be filed with the
representation officer and made of record in the minutes of the proceedings
before the close of election proceedings, and (2) The protest must be
formalized before the Med-Arbiter within five (5) days after the close of the
election proceedings.
The records of the case clearly disclosed that petitioner, after filing a
manifestation of protest on December 16, 1988, election day, only formalized
the same on February 20, 1989, or more than two months after the close of
election proceedings . As explained correctly by the Solicitor General, the
phrase "close of election proceedings" as used in Sections 3 and 4 of the
pertinent Implementing Rules refers to that period from the closing of the
polls to the counting and tabulation of the votes as it could not have been the
intention of the Implementing Rules to include in the term "close of the
election proceedings" the period for the final determination of the challenged
votes and the canvass thereof, as in the case at bar which may take a very
long period. 6 Thus, if a protest can be formalized within five days


LABOR et al.

G.R. Nos. L-38955-56

October 31, 1974


This is a consolidated case regarding the dismissal of the petition for

certification election filed by FFW to the 2 companies involved herein. On
February 15, 1974 the Continental Manufacturing Corporation, (hereinafter
referred to as CMC) renewed for another three years or until February 15,
1977 its collective bargaining agreement with Continental Employees and
Laborers Association (hereinafter referred to as CELA) an affiliate of petitioner
Confederation of Citizens Labor Unions, (hereinafter referred to as CCLU)
which is a legitimate labor organization. However, on February 12,
respondent FFW, another legitimate labor organization, filed with NLRC a
"Petition for Certification Election at the CMC ". The CMC-CELA collective
bargaining agreement was certified on March 4, 1974. On February 28, 1974,
CMC filed its answer to the petition praying for the dismissal of the petition
on the ground of the contract-bar rule.

In another case, . A three-year collective bargaining agreement 3 was

signed on March 4, 1974 4 but to be effective as of February 16, 1974 by
REDSON and RELA. Such CE was certified on March 15, 1974. The FFW,
however, had already filed on February 25, 1974 it, "Petition for Certification
Election at Redson with the NLRC. On March 18, 1974 REDSON filed its
answer praying for the dismissal of the petition principally on the ground that
the petition was barred by the collective bargaining agreement which it had
signed with RELA. The NLRC upon consolidation of the petitions directed the
conduct of the CE. Petitioners filed a motion to cancel the pre-election
conference. The election was enjoined by the Court. The respondents also
filed their comments affirming that they both signed a CE with CELA and
RELA and alleged the dismissal of the petition by the FFW for the collective
bargaining agreements of CMC and REDSON were in effect certified as of
February 15, 1974, and no certification election could be entertained during
the life of said bargaining contracts. In the present petition, the Petitioners
contend, among others that respondent NLRC had no authority to modify the
"contract-bar rule" by requiring that a collective bargaining agreement had to
be certified before it could constitute a bar to a petition for certification

ISSUE: Whether or not the NLRC modified the contract-bar rule as asserted
by the petitioners

(Contract-Bar Rule Applies: 1) when there exists an unexpired

registered CBA; or 2) when there is no challenge on the
representation status of the incumbent union during the freedom


No. The Court recognizes the NLRC in accordance with Rules and
Regulations Re Its Organization and Definition of Functions, which among
other things provide to rule on issues regarding petitions for certification
election of labor org. Further, the Court stated Labor Relations Implementing
Instruction No. 2 establishing rules and regulations concerning certification
elections for use and enforcement of the NLRC.Petitioners, however, contend
that respondent NLRC had no authority to promulgate Section 3 of
Implementing Instructions No. 2 because it violates not only General Order
No. 3 but also the existing jurisprudence on the matter. However,it was
shown that the NLRCs authority to promulgate rules emanates from the
Presidential Decree No. 21.

The President in General Order No. 3, ordered "all executive

departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the National
Government ... to function ... in accordance with existing laws, until otherwise
ordered by the Pres. or by te Pres duly designated representative," and the
Judiciary to continue trying and deciding cases in accordance with existing
laws. Assuming, gratia argumenti, that the existing law on collective
bargaining at the time of the promulgation of Implementing Instructions No. 2
was that a collective bargaining agreement need not be certified in order to
be a bar to a certification election, it does not mean that it could not be
changed by virtue of General Order No. 3. This Order did not render
unchangeable the existing law, for it is expressly provided therein that the
executive departments and their agencies may function not in accordance
with the then existing law if so ordered by the President or by his duly
authorized representative, and as stated above, the President granted the
NLRC original and exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving employee-
employer relationship, and the authority to issue rules and regulations
concerning collective bargaining.

Assuming arguendo, furthermore, that a non-certified collective

bargaining agreement may serve as a bar to a certification election as
petitioners would want the Court to hold, union would still be bereft of cause
to complain. The petition for certification election filed by FFW at the CMC
was filed on February 12, 1974. The collective bargaining agreement between
the CMC and the CELA which, as claimed, should bar said petition, had not
yet been filed as of that date for certification, for it was acknowledged only
on February 21, 1974.

The petition for certification election at Redson was filed on February

25, 1974. As of said date, no collective bargaining agreement had been
entered into between REDSON and RELA which could serve as a bar to the
petition, for their collective bargaining agreement was signed only on March
4, 1974, as admitted by REDSON in its answer, 18 and acknowledged only on
March 7, 1974.


FACTS: Petitioner Golden Farms, Inc., is a corporation engaged in the

production and marketing of bananas for export. On 1992, private respondent
Progressive Federation of Labor (PFL) filed a petition before the Med-Arbiter
praying for the holding of a certification election among the monthly paid
office and technical rank-and-file employees of petitioner Golden Farms.
Petitioner moved to dismiss claiming that PFL failed to show that it organized
a chapter within the petitioner establishment, that there was already an
existing CBA between the rank and file employees represented by NFL and
petitioner, and that the employees represented by PFL are disqualified by the
courts. PFL countered that the monthly-paid office workers and technical
employees should be allowed because they were expressly excluded from the
coverage of the CBA between Petitioner and NFL. Petitioner argued that the
subject employees shoull have joined the existing CBA if they are not
managerial employees. On April 18,1991, the Med-Arbiter ordered the
conduct of the certification elections. Petitioner appealed to the Secretary of
Labor which the LabSec denies the appeal for lack of merit.
ISSUE: WON the Monthly Paid rank and file employee can constitute a
bargaining unit separate from the existing bargaining units of its daily-paid
rank and file employees

RATIO: Yes, the Monthly Paid office and technical rank and file employee of
the petitioner enjoy constitutional rights to self organization and collective
bargaining. A "bargaining unit" has been defined as a group of employees of
a given employer, comprised of all or less than all of the entire body of
employees, which the collective interest of all the employees, consistent with
equity to the employer, indicate to be the best suited to serve the reciprocal
rights and duties of the parties under the collective bargaining provisions of
the law. The community or mutuality of interest is therefore the essential
criterion in the grouping. "And this is so because 'the basic test of an
asserted bargaining unit's acceptability is whether or not it is fundamentally
the combination which will best assure to all employees the exercise of their
collective bargaining right. In the case at bench, the evidence established
that the monthly paid rank-and-file employees of petitioner primarily perform
administrative or clerical work. In contradistinction, the petitioner's daily paid
rank-and-file employees mainly work in the cultivation of bananas in the
fields. It is crystal clear the monthly paid rank-and-file employees of
petitioner have very little in common with its daily paid rank-and-file
employees in terms of duties and obligations, working conditions, salary
rates, and skills. This dissimilarity of interests warrants the formation of a
separate and distinct bargaining unit for the monthly paid rank-and-file
employees of the petitioner. To rule otherwise would deny this distinct class
of employees the right to self-organization for purposes of collective