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1. VICTORIANO v. ELIZALDE ROPE WORKERS UNION  Being a member of a religious sect that prohibits the affiliation of its
G.R. No. L-25246 September 12, 1974 members with any labor organization, Appellee presented his
J. ZALDIVAR resignation to appellant Union in 1962, and when no action was taken
Digest by: POBE thereon, he reiterated his resignation on September 3, 1974.
 Thereupon, the Union wrote a formal letter to the Company asking
TOPIC: Rights and conditions of membership- Freedom of choice the latter to separate Appellee from the service in view of the fact
that he was resigning from the Union as a member.
DOCTRINE:  The management of the Company in turn notified Appellee and his
counsel that unless the Appellee could achieve a satisfactory
It must be pointed out that the free exercise of religious profession or belief arrangement with the Union, the Company would be constrained to
is superior to contract rights. In case of conflict, the latter must, therefore, dismiss him from the service.
yield to the former.  This prompted Appellee to file an action for injunction, in the Court
of First Instance of Manila to enjoin the Company and the Union from
FACTS: dismissing Appellee.
 CFI: judgment is rendered enjoining the defendant Elizalde Rope
Factory, Inc. from dismissing the plaintiff from his present
 Benjamin Victoriano, a member of the religious sect known as the employment.
"Iglesia ni Cristo", had been in the employ of the Elizalde Rope  In its appeal, the Union claimed that R.A. no. 3350 was
Factory, Inc. since 1958. unconstitutional on the ground that:
 As such employee, he was a member of the Elizalde Rope Workers'
Union which had with the Company a collective bargaining 1) prohibits all the members of a given religious sect from joining any
agreement containing a closed shop provision which requires labor union if such sect prohibits affiliations of their members thereto;
membership in the union as a condition of employment for all and, consequently, deprives said members of their constitutional right
permanent employees’ workers covered by this Agreement. to form or join lawful associations or organizations guaranteed by the
 The collective bargaining agreement expired on March 3, 1964 but Bill of Rights, and thus becomes obnoxious [to the] Constitution;
was renewed the following day, March 4, 1964. 2) Impairs the obligation of contracts;
 Under Section 4(a), paragraph 4, of Republic Act No. 875, prior to its 3) discriminates in favor of certain religious sects and affords no
amendment by Republic Act No. 3350, the employer was not protection to labor unions;
precluded "from making an agreement with a labor organization to 4) violates the constitutional provision that no religious test shall be
require as a condition of employment membership therein, if such required for the exercise of a civil right;
labor organization is the representative of the employees." 5) violates the equal protection clause; and
 On June 18, 1961, however, Republic Act No. 3350 was enacted, 6) the act violates the constitutional provision regarding the promotion
introducing an amendment to - paragraph (4) subsection (a) of of social justice
section 4 of Republic Act No. 875, as follows: ... "but such agreement
shall not cover members of any religious sects which prohibit ISSUE: WON RA 3350 infringes on the fundamental right to form lawful
affiliation of their members in any such labor organization" associations when it "prohibits all the members of a given religious sect from
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joining any labor union if such sect prohibits affiliations of their members Infringement of religious freedom may be justified only if there were an
thereto"; and, consequently, deprives said members of their constitutional immediate and grave danger to the security and welfare of the community
right to form or join lawful associations or organizations guaranteed by the where it is unavoidably necessary to prevent or avoid such danger.
Bill of Rights
CONCLUSION: It is clear, therefore, that the assailed act (Republic Act No.
3350), far from infringing the constitutional provision on freedom of
association, upholds and reinforces it. It does not prohibit the members of
HELD: said religious sects from affiliating with labor unions. It still leaves to said
members the liberty and the power to affiliate, or not to affiliate, with labor
ANSWER: NO. unions.

LAW: The purpose of Republic Act No. 3350 is secular, worldly, and temporal,
not spiritual or religious or holy and eternal. It was intended to serve the DISPOSITIVE PORTION / RULING:
secular purpose of advancing the constitutional right to the free exercise of
religion, by averting that certain persons be refused work, or be dismissed WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is dismissed, and the decision, dated August
from work, or be dispossessed of their right to work and of being impeded to 26, 1965, of the Court of First Instance of Manila, in its Civil Case No. 58894,
pursue a modest means of livelihood, by reason of union security appealed from is affirmed, with costs against appellant Union. It is so ordered.

Congress acted merely to relieve the exercise of religion, by certain persons,

of a burden that is imposed by union security agreements. It was Congress
itself that imposed that burden when it enacted the Industrial Peace Act
(Republic Act 875), and, certainly, Congress, if it so deems advisable, could
take away the same burden.

APPLICATION: In this case, the means adopted by the Act to achieve that
purpose (exempting the members of said religious sects from coverage of
union security agreements) is reasonable.

What the exception provides, is that members of said religious sects cannot
be compelled or coerced to join labor unions even when said unions have
closed shop agreements with the employers and that in spite of any closed
shop agreement, members of said religious sects cannot be refused
employment or dismissed from their jobs on the sole ground that they are
not members of the collective bargaining union.

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