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G.R. No.

178647, February 13, 2009 Article 248 of the Labor Code provides that unfair labor practice refers to acts that violate the
GENERAL SANTOS COCA-COLA PLANT FREE WORKERS UNION-TUPAS, Petitioner, workers’ right to organize. The prohibited acts are related to the workers’ right to self-
v. organization and to the observance of a CBA. Without that element, the acts, even if unfair, are
COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PH., INC. (GENERAL SANTOS CITY), THE CA and THE NLRC, not unfair labor practices. (The petition is denied and the decision of the CA is affirmed)
Respondents.

FACTS: Sometime in the late 1990s, CCBPI experienced a significant decline in profitability due G.R. No. 67158, May 30, 1988
to the Asian economic crisis, decrease in sales, and tougher competition. To curb the negative CLLC E.G. GOCHANGCO WORKERS UNION, Petitioner,
effects on the company/CCBPI Head Office, it implemented three (3) waves of an Early v.
Retirement Program and also there was an inter-office memorandum mandating to put on hold NLRC, Respondents.
all requests for hiring to fill in vacancies in both regular and temporary positions in the Head
Office and in the Plants. This prompted GSCCPFWU/Petitioner to negotiate with the Labor FACTS: E.G. GWU/Petitioner is a local chapter of the Central Luzon Labor Congress (CLLC), a
Management Committee for filling up the vacancies with permanent employees. No resolution legitimate labor federation duly registered with the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE),
was reached on the matter. Faced with the "freeze hiring" directive, CCBPI Gen San engaged the while the individual petitioners are former employees of Gochangco Inc./private respondent
services of JLBP Services Corporation, a company in the business of providing labor and who were officers and members of the E.G. GWU/petitioner union. Gochangco Inc./Private
manpower services, including janitorial services, messengers, and office workers to various respondent is a corporation engaged in packing and crating, general hauling, warehousing, sea
private and government offices. van and freight forwarding. Sometime in January 1980, the majority of the rank and file
GSCCPFWU/Petitioner then filed with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board a Notice employees of Gochangco Inc./respondent firm organized the E.G. GWU as an affiliate of the
of Strike on the ground of alleged unfair labor practice committed by CCBPI Gen San for CLLC. On January 23, 1980, the union filed a petition for certification election. On February 7,
contracting-out services regularly performed by union members. The Secretary of Labor issued 1980, the CLLC national president wrote the general manager of Gochangco Inc./respondent
an Order enjoining the threatened strike and certifying the dispute to the NLRC for compulsory firm informing him of the organization of the union and requesting for a labor-management
arbitration. The NLRC ruled that CCBPI was not guilty of unfair labor practice for contracting out conference to normalize employer-employee relations. On February 26, 1980, the union sent a
jobs to JLBP. GSCCPFWU/Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration which the NLRC denied. written notice to Gochangco Inc./respondent firm requesting permission for certain member
The CA also denied the petition for certiorari as well as the motion for reconsideration. Hence, officers and members of the union to attend the hearing of the petition for certification election.
this petition. The management refused to acknowledge receipt of said notice. On February 28, 1980,
Gochangco Inc./private respondent preventively suspended the union officers and members
ISSUE: Whether the act of contracting-out services from JLBP constitutes unfair labor practices? who attended the hearing. The common ground alleged by Gochangco Inc./private respondent
for its action was “abandonment of work on February 27, 1980. All the gate passes of all
RULING: Under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules on Civil Procedure, only questions of law may be employees to Clark Air Base were confiscated by a Base guard. Claiming that Gochangco
raised in a Petition for Review on Certiorari. There is a question of law if the issue raised is Inc./private respondent instigated the confiscation of their gate passes to prevent them from
capable of being resolved without need of reviewing the probative value of the evidence. An performing their duties and that Gochangco Inc./respondent firm did not pay them their
examination of the issues raised by GSCCPFWU/petitioner reveals that they are questions of overtime pay, 13th month pay and other benefits, petitioner union and its members filed a
fact. The issues raised, i.e., whether JLBP is an independent contractor, whether CCBPI’s complaint for constructive lockout and unfair labor practice against Gochangco Inc./private
contracting-out of jobs to JLBP amounted to unfair labor practice, and whether such action was respondent. Gochangco Inc./Private respondent filed a clearance to dismiss certain employees,
a valid exercise of management prerogative, call for a re-examination of evidence, which is not the services of 9 union members were terminated on the ground that their contract expired. 9
within the ambit of SC’s jurisdiction. Moreover, factual findings of the NLRC, an administrative employees filed illegal dismissal charges. Labor Arbiter Bernardo decided in favor of the
agency deemed to have acquired expertise in matters within its jurisdiction, are generally employees. To reinstate all the suspended/dismissed employees to their former positions
accorded not only respect but finality especially when such factual findings are affirmed by the without loss of seniority rights and other privileges, with full backwages including cost of
CA. emergency living allowance from the date of their suspension/dismissal up to the supposed date
of actual reinstatement. The Gochangco Inc./respondent company filed an appeal with NLRC
Furthermore, the court found no reversible error in the assailed Decision. It is true that the NLRC which reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter granting the clearance for dismissal.
erroneously concluded that the contracting- out of jobs in CCBPI Gen San was due to the “Going-
to-Market” system, which actually affected CCBPI’s sales and marketing departments, and had ISSUE: Whether an error was committed by the NLRC in rendering judgement?
nothing to do with GSCCPFWU/petitioner’s complaint. However, this does not diminish the
NLRC’s finding that JLBP was a legitimate, independent contractor and that CCBPI Gen San RULING: The Gochangco Inc./respondent company is indeed guilty of an unfair labor practice. It
engaged the services of JLBP to meet business exigencies created by the freeze-hiring directive is no coincidence that at the time said respondent issued its suspension and termination orders,
of the CCBPI Head Office. the E.G. GWU/petitioners were in the midst of a certification election preliminary to a labor-
The lower court found, based on the evidence, that CCBPI did not engage in labor-only management conference, purportedly, “to normalize employer-employee relations." It was
contracting and that the company’s action to contract-out the services and functions performed within the legal right of the petitioners to do so, the exercise of which was their sole prerogative,
by Union members was not directed at the members’ right to self-organization; therefore, it was and in which management may not as a rule interfere. In connection, the Gochangco
not guilty of unfair labor practice. Inc./respondent company deserves the strongest condemnation for ignoring the E.G.
GWU/petitioners’ request for permission for some time out to attend to the hearing of their
petition before the med-arbiter. It is not only an act of arrogance, but a brazen interference as RULING:
well, with the employees’ right to self-organization, contrary to the prohibition of the Labor 1. In the case at bar, it appears that the books of accounts and other pertinent papers of the
Code against unfair labor practices. The Court granted unto said workers another P5,000.00 AFPMBAI/respondent were ordered examined by the Chief of the Examining Division of the
each to answer for exemplary damages based on the provisions of Articles 2229 and 2231 and/or Court in order that the latter may be fully informed and guided as to the financial status of the
2232 of the Civil Code. For “acting in gross and evident bad faith in refusing to satisfy the AFPMBAI/respondent, and his Report submitted on March 31, 1971 shows that the current or
petitioners’ plainly valid, just and demandable claims, the respondent firm is further condemned working capital ratio of the AFPMBAI/respondent is more than the standard or average ratio.
to pay attorney’s fees. The Court considers the total sum of P20,000.00 fair and reasonable. If The alleged financial losses or poor financial condition as a consequence of the implementation
only for emphasis, the new Constitution considers “labor as a primary social economic force." of the New Minimum Wage Law on June 17,1970 and the cessation of the four aspects of its
As the conscience of the government, it is this Court’s sworn duty to ensure that none trifles operation are belied by the fact that in their Plantilla for 1971, salaries of the officers and other
with labor rights. (The decision of the NLRC was reversed and set aside) personnel were increased, which was implemented thereafter.
Thus, the findings reveal that the termination of the employment of the individual complainants
constitute ULP.
G.R. No. 67158, May 30, 1988 2. In labor jurisprudence, it is well-established that quitclaims and/or complete releases
AFP MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSOC., INC., Petitioner, executed by the employees do not estop them from pursuing their claims arising from the ULP
v. of the employer. The basic reason for this is that such quitclaims and/or complete releases are
AFP MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSOC., INC. EMPLOYEES’ UNION, Respondents. against public policy and, therefore, null and void. The acceptance of termination pay does not
divest a laborer of the right to prosecute his employer for ELP acts.
FACTS: There are 34 employees of AFPMBAI EU that started to be active in their union activities Hence, ULP acts are beyond and outside the sphere of compromises such as quitclaims, release
by sending economic demands to AFPMBAI/respondent, their employer. Eventually, AFPMBAI and settlements. (Decision, reinstatement of the employees and payment of their backwages)
and the employees’ union entered into a collective bargaining agreement. The following day
after the CBA was entered into, the 34 employees individually received letters which stated their
dismissal from their employment. The employer AFPMBAI/respondent claimed that the
dismissal of the 34 employees was lawful and that employees’ union were already aware that
the company will reduce its employees. This prompted the 34 employees to file a case through
the prosecutor for unfair labor practice and illegal dismissal. Later on, AFPMBAI/respondent
filed a motion to dismiss as to the individual complaints of 19 employees on the ground that
they already executed quitclaims and received their separation pays.
The Court of Industrial Relations ordered a hearing examiner, who upon conducting hearings,
found out that the complaints as to the 19 employees who already received their separation
pays and executed quitclaims should be dismissed. Furthermore, the hearing examiner declared
AFPMBAI/respondent to be guilty of ULP. The Court adopted the recommendation of the
hearing examiner and declared the AFPMBAI/respondent as guilty of ULP for dismissing the
employees by reason of their being active in the union.
The AFPMBAI EU and the individual complainants filed separate motions for reconsideration of
the CIR’s order. Complainants anchored their motion on the ground that receipt of separation
pay and quitclaims cannot absolve the AFPMBAI/respondent from the consequences of the
unfair labor practice, whereas the AFPMBAI/respondent maintained that the individual
complainants are not entitled to reinstatement nor backwages as ordered by the Court.
The CIR en banc denied both motions, finding no justification in altering or modifying the
questioned decision.
AFPMBAI: They validly terminated the employees because of lawful causes for the company to
survive because it does not have enough sources to pay the employees
AFPMBAI EU: The 34 employees were terminated in bad faith and that the dismissal constituted
ULP as the employees did not violate the terms of the CBA.

ISSUES:
1. Whether the AFPMBAI is guilty of ULP for dismissing thirty-four (34) of its employees by
reason of the suspension and/or abolition of some of its operations; and
2. Whether the trial court erred in dismissing the complaint against the individual complainants
who executed "Quitclaim and Complete Release.