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11) Social Security System Employees Association (SSSEA) v.

CA government employees may strike because such are excluded from its coverage [LC doesn’t
Right to Self-Organization cover government employees].

Facts: SSS is covered under the restriction against strikes by employees in the Civil Service as it is a
- In 1987, SSS filed a complaint for damages against SSSEA for staging an illegal strike and government controlled corporation with an original charter  such is included in the
barricading the entrances to the SSS building, preventing non-striking employees from definition of civil service in Sec. 2(1), Art. IX.
reporting for work and SSS members from transacting business with the SSS
- The strikers refused to return to work despite being ordered to do so by the Public Distinction between private/public sector employees re: right to strike: Since the terms and
Sector Labor Management Council. conditions of government employment are fixed by law, government workers cannot use the
- They went on strike after SSS failed to act on the union’s demands, including: same weapons employed by workers in the private sector to secure concessions from their
o Implementation of the provisions of the old SSS-SSSEA collective bargaining employers. The principle behind labor unionism in private industry is that industrial peace
agreement on check-off of union dues cannot be secured through compulsion by law. Relations between private employers and
o Payment of accrued overtime pay, night differential pay, and holiday pay their employees rest on an essentially voluntary basis. In government employment, however,
o Conversion of temporary/contractual employees and their entitlement to the it is the legislature and, where properly given delegated power, the administrative heads of
same benefits and salaries given to other regular employees government which fix the terms and conditions of employment. And this is effected through
- RTC issued a restraining order, ruling that the strike was illegal statutes or administrative circulars, rules, and regulations, not through collective bargaining
- CA  affirmed, ruling that SSS employees are government employees thus are not agreements.
allowed to strike. SSSEA argues that RTC had no jurisdiction to hear the case initiated by
the SSS and to issue the restraining order, arguing that jurisdiction lies with the NLRC as - To allow government employees to strike would be to halt
the case involves a labor dispute - government employees are not without recourse. Under EO 180, guidelines for the
- SSS argues that employees of the SSS are covered by civil service laws and not the Labor exercise of right to organize, they may petition with the Congress (through their
code, therefore they do not have the right to strike. Since neither the DOLE nor the NLRC unions) for the betterment of the terms and conditions of employment which are
has jurisdiction over the dispute, RTC may enjoin the employees from striking within the ambit of legislation or negotiate with the appropriate government
agencies for the improvement of those which are not fixed by law  unsettled
Issue: W/N employees of the SSS have the right to strike? NO. disputes are referred to the Public Sector Labor-Management Council for
appropriate action
Held: Sec. 3, Art. XIII of the Constitution [Article on Social Justice and Human Rights], provides - It will be recalled that the Industrial Peace Act (R.A. No. 875), which was repealed
that the State “shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective by the Labor Code (P.D. 442) in 1974, expressly banned strikes by employees in the
bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities including the right to strike in Government,
accordance with law”.
Corollarily, RTC was not precluded from assuming jurisdiction over the SSS’s complaint for
By itself, this provision would seem to recognize the right of all workers and employees, damages and issuing the injunctive writ prayed for therein as the case did not involve a labor
including those in the public sector, to strike. But the Constitution itself fails to expressly dispute. PETITION DENIED.
confirm this impression, for in the Sub-Article on the Civil Service Commission, it provides
that “the right to self-organization shall not be denied to government employees”. The Bill
of Rights also provides that the right of the people, including those employed in the public
and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to
law shall not be abridged”.

Thus, while there is no question that the Constitution recognizes the right of government
employees to organize, it is silent as to whether such recognition also includes the right to

The intent of the framers of the Constitution is that just because government employees
have the right to organize, they also have the right to strike. “We are only talking about
organizing, uniting as a union.” Commissioner Lerum said.

The Industrial Peace Act (RA 875) repealed the Labor Code in 1974, expressly banning strikes
by employees in the government. Understandably, the Labor Code is silent as to whether