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Brotherhood Labor Unity Movement of the Phil. v.

Zamora

Facts:
The petitioners are workers who have been employed at the San Miguel Parola Glass Factory as “pahinantes” or
“kargadors” for almost seven years. They worked exclusively at the SMC plant, never having been assigned to other
companies or departments of San Miguel Corp, even when the volume of work was at its minimum. Their work was
neither regular nor continuous, depending on the volume of bottles to be loaded and unloaded, as well as the business
activity of the company. However, work exceeded the eight-hour day and sometimes, necessitated work on Sundays and
holidays. -for this, they were neither paid overtime nor compensation.
Sometime in 1969, the workers organized and affiliated themselves with Brotherhood Labor Unity Movement (BLUM).
They wanted to be paid to overtime and holiday pay. They pressed the SMC management to hear their grievances.
BLUM filed a notice of strike with the Bureau of Labor Relations in connection with the dismissal of some of its
members. San Miguel refused to bargain with the union alleging that the workers are not their employees but the
employees of an independent labor contracting firm, Guaranteed Labor Contractor.
The workers were then dismissed from their jobs and denied entrance to the glass factory despite their regularly
reporting for work. A complaint was filed for illegal dismissal and unfair labor practices.

Issue:
Whether or not there was employer-employee (ER-EE)relationship between the workers and San Miguel Corp.

Held:
YES. In determining if there is an existence of the (ER-EE) relationship, the four-fold test was used by the Supreme Court.
These are:
· The selection and engagement of the employee
· Payment of wages
· Power of dismissal
· Control Test- the employer’s power to control the employee with respect to the means and methods by which
work is to be accomplished
In the case, the records fail to show that San Miguel entered into mere oral agreements of employment with the
workers. Considering the length of time that the petitioners have worked with the company, there is justification to
conclude that they were engaged to perform activities necessary in the usual business or trade. Despite past shutdowns
of the glass plant, the workers promptly returned to their jobs. The term of the petitioner’s employment appears
indefinite and the continuity and habituality of the petitioner’s work bolsters the claim of an employee status.
As for the payment of the workers’ wages, the contention that the independent contractors were paid a lump sum
representing only the salaries the workers where entitled to have no merit. The amount paid by San Miguel to the
contracting firm is no business expense or capital outlay of the latter. What the contractor receives is a percentage from
the total earnings of all the workers plus an additional amount from the earnings of each individual worker.
The power of dismissal by the employer was evident when the petitioners had already been refused entry to the
premises. It is apparent that the closure of the warehouse was a ploy to get rid of the petitioners, who were then
agitating the company for reforms and benefits.
The inter-office memoranda submitted in evidence prove the company’s control over the workers. That San Miguel has
the power to recommend penalties or dismissal is the strongest indication of the company’s right of control over the
workers as direct employer.

*SC ordered San Miguel to reinstate the petitioners with 3 years backwages.