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Pointers on Collective Bargaining

Collective Bargaining – A method of resolving disputes over collective interest pf labor


vis-a-vis those of capital through negotiation. It is likewise a process where the parties
discuss their demands counter demands and after huggling, agree on a compromise,
reflecting concessions mutually given, resulting on a contract.

Duty to Bargain –

A. If there is no CBA – To meet and convene promptly in good faith for the purpose
of negotiating a CBA. It does not however compel a party to agree
B. If there is a CBA - Neither party shall terminate nor modify the CBA. The status
quo must be kept and to continue the CBA in full force and effect until a new CBA
is signed.

Procedure –

1. Written notice of intent with written proposal by the union.


2. Written reply within 10 calendar days.
3. Conference within 10 calendar days from receipt of request
4. NCMB to intervene through conciliation in case of deadlock.
5. Settle the dispute or have the matter submitted to voluntary arbitration.
6. If no settlement, strike or lock out may proceed subject to intervention of the
Secretary of Labor if and when the same affects and industry indispensible to
national interest.

CBA Terms and Periods

(New Pacific Timber v. NLRC)

In a recent case, the Court had occasion to rule that Article 253 and
253-A 17 mandate the parties to keep the status quo and to continue in full force and
effect the terms and conditions of the existing agreement during the 60-day period prior
to the expiration of the old CBA and/or until a new agreement is reached by the parties.
Consequently, the automatic renewal clause provided for by the law, which is deemed
incorporated in all CBA's, provides the reason why the new CBA can only be given a
prospective effect. In the case of Lopez Sugar Corporation vs. Federation of Free
Workers, et. al, 19 this Court reiterated the rule although a CBA has expired, it continues
to have legal effects as between the parties until a new CBA has been entered into. It is
the duty of both parties to the CBA to keep the status quo, and to continue in full force
and effect the terms and conditions of the existing agreement during the 60-day period
and/or until a new agreement is reached by the parties. 20
To rule otherwise, i.e., that the economic provisions of the existing CBA in the instant
case ceased to have force and effect in the year 1984 would be to create a gap during
which no agreement would govern, from the time the old contract expired to the time a
new agreement shall have been entered into. For if, as contended by the petitioner, the
economic provisions of the existing CBA were to have no legal effect, what agreement
as to wage increases and other monetary benefits would govern at all? None, it would
seem, if we are to follow the logic of petitioner Company. Consequently, the employees
from the year 1985 onwards would be deprived of a substantial amount of monetary
benefits which they could have enjoyed had the terms and conditions of the CBA
remained in force and effect. Such a situation runs contrary to the very intent and
purpose of Article 253 and 253-A of the Labor Code which is to curb labor unrest and to
promote industrial peace, as can be gleaned from the discussion of the legislators
leading to the passage of the said laws, thus:

HON. CHAIRMAN HERRERA: Pag nag-survey tayo sa mga


unyon, ganoon ang mangyayari. And I think our
responsibility here is to create a legal framework to promote
industrial peace and to develop responsible and fair labor
movement.

HON. CHAIRMAN VELOSO: In other words, the longer the


period of the effectivity.

xxx xxx xxx

HON. CHAIRMAN VELOSO: (continuing) . . . . in other


words, the longer the period of effectivity of the CBA, the
better for industrial peace.

xxx xxx xxx 21

Having established that the CBA between petitioner Company and NFL remained in
full force and effect even beyond the stipulated term, in the absence of a new
agreement; and, therefore, that the economic provisions such as wage increases
continued to have legal effect, we are now faced with the question of who are entitled to
the benefits provided thereunder.

STRIKES – Must be in accordance with law when:


1. Peaceful – No illegal acts, force, threat, coercion, intimidation and no obstruction
of ingress and egress or public thoroughfare and no defiance of return to work
2. Done in accordance with law – a. Based on legal grounds (ULP, Deadlock,
Union Busting); b.) staged by a legitimate party (ULP- any legitimate labor union;
Union Busting – Any legitimate labor organization; Deadlock- Exclusive
Bargaining Agent. c.) done in accordance with law – a.) Notice of Strike
(Deadlock – before 30 days; ULP- 15 days before; Union Busiting- 0 days); b.)
Strike Vote – simple majority; c.) Strike Vote Result – Submitted to DOLE at least
7 days prior to actual strike; c.) Observance of cooling off period
3. Consistent with Naitonal Interest - If no defiance of return to work and no
pending cases involving the same issue already subject of arbitration or any
related pending case

Consequences of Illegal Strike –

Mere Participation - Union Members may not necessarily lose employment status
but may be subject to disciplinary action; Union Officers may however lose
employment.

Commission of Illegal Acts – Union Members who actually take part as well as
officers may be held liable and may lose employment accordingly.

4.