a collections of case digests and laws that can help aspiring law students to become a lawyer.
A petition for certification election was filed by private respondent Pinag-Isang Tinig at Lakas ng Anakpawis– Holy Child Catholic School Teachers and Employees Labor Union (HCCS-TELU-PIGLAS). Holy Child Parochial School raised that member of private respondent do not belong to the same class; it is not only a mixture of managerial, supervisory, and rank-and-file employees – as three (3) are vice-principals, one (1) is a department head/supervisor, and eleven (11) are coordinators – but also a combination of teaching and non-teaching personnel – as twenty-seven (27) are non-teaching personnel. It insisted that, for not being in accord with Article 245 of the Labor Code, private respondent is an illegitimate labor organization lacking in personality to file a petition for certification election The Med-Arbiter denied the same.
Whether or not a petition for certification election is dismissible on the ground that the labor organization’s membership allegedly consists of supervisory and rank-and-file employees.
No. Before, when the 1989 Rules was still in application, mingling will prevent an otherwise legitimate and duly registered labor organization from exercising its right to file a petition for certification election. But then, the 1989 Amended Omnibus Rules was further amended by Department Order No. 9, series of 1997 (1997 Amended Omnibus Rules). Specifically, the requirement under Sec. 2(c) of the 1989 Amended Omnibus Rules – that the petition for certification election indicate that the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees has not been mingled with supervisory employees – was removed.
Petitioner argued that, in view of the improper mixture of teaching and nonteaching personnel in private respondent due to the absence of mutuality of interest among its members, the petition for certification election should have been dismissed on the ground that private respondent is not qualified to file such petition for its failure to qualify as a legitimate labor organization, the basic qualification of which is the representation of an appropriate bargaining unit. The Supreme Court disagreed and said that the concepts of a union and of a legitimate labor organization are different from, but related to, the concept of a bargaining unit.
In case of alleged inclusion of disqualified employees in a union, the proper procedure for an employer like petitioner is to directly file a petition for cancellation of the union’s certificate of registration due to misrepresentation, false statement or fraud under the circumstances enumerated in Article 239 of the Labor Code, as amended. To reiterate, a private respondent who has been awarded a valid certificate of registration should be considered to have gained legal personality that cannot be challenged collaterally.
Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard vs. Bureau of Labor Relations
· February 16, 2010: the Samahan through Alipio filed an application for registration of its name “Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard” with DOLE o The application stated that the association had a total of 120 members
· February 26, 2010: the DOLE-Pampanga issued the certificate of registration
· March 15, 2010: Hanjin prayed for the cancellation of registration of Samahan on the ground that its members did not fall under any of the types of workers enumerated in the second sentence of Art. 243 of the LC o The enumeration included only ambulant, intermittent, itinerant, rural workers, self-employed, and those without definite employers may form a workers’ association o Hanjin also posited that 1/3 of the members of the association had definite employers and the continued existence of the association would prejudice the company o Hanjin added that Samahan committed a misrepresentation in connection with the list of members who took part in the ratification of their constitution and by-laws Hanjin claimed that Samahan made it appear that its members were all qualified to become members of the worker’s association
· DOLE Regional Director: Ruled in favor of Hanjin o RD Bihis found that the preamble as stated in the Consti and by-laws of Samahan, was an admission that all its members were employees of Hanjin: “KAMI, ang mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard ay naglalayong na isulong ang pagbpapabuti…”. The same claim was made by Samahan it its motion to dismiss, but it failed to adduce evidence that the remaining 63 members were employees of Hanjin.
RD Bihis stated that the remaining employees should have formed a labor union for collective bargaining instead
· Aggrieved, Samahan filed an appeal to the Bureau of Labor Relations. Samahan pointed out that the words “Hanjin Shipyard” was used to refer to a workplace and not as an employer or company o When a shipyard was put up in Subic, Zambales, it became known as Hanjin Shipyard. Further, the remaining 63 members stated that they were either working or had worked at Hanjin à therefore no misrepresentation
· Bureau of Labor Relations: Granted Samahan’s appeal and reversed the decision of the RD, but directed Samahan to remove “Hanjin Shipyard” from name of association. BLR stated that the law clearly afforded the right to self-organization to all workers including those without definite employers but subject to the limitation that it is only for mutual aid and protection. It is NOT stated anywhere that the right to self-organization is limited to collective bargaining o The BLR stated that there was no misrepresentation – “kami ang manggagawa sa Hanjin shipyard”, if translated is: “We, the workers AT Hanjin Shipyard…”. The use of the preposition “at” is intended to describe a place. At most, the use by Samahan of the name Hanjin Shipyard would only warrant a change in the name of the association
· CA: Reversed the decision of the BLR; the registration of Samahan is contrary to the Labor Code o The CA stressed that only 57/120 members were working at Hanjin while the phrase in the preamble created an impression that ALL members were employees of Hanjin à a clear proof of misrepresentation.
Whether or not the CA erred in cancelling the registration of Samahan.
Yes, right to self-organization includes the right to form a union, workers’ association and labor management councils: More often than not, the right to self-organization connotes unionism workers, however, can also form and join a workers’ association as well as labor-management councils. Art. XIII of the ’87 Constitution Sec. 3 states that the State shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization. Art. III of the Labor Code states that the State shall assure the rights of workers to Self-organization, collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just and humane conditions of work. The right to self-organization is not limited to unionism. Workers may also form or join an association for mutual aid and protection and for other legitimate purposes.
NATIONAL UNION OF WORKERS IN HOTELS, RESTAURANTS AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES- MANILA PAVILION HOTEL CHAPTER vs SEC. OF LABOR
A certification election was conducted on June 16, 2006 among the rank-and-file employees of respondent Holiday Inn Manila Pavilion Hotel (the Hotel) with the following results:
EMPLOYEES IN VOTERS’ LIST=353
TOTAL VOTES CAST=346
In view of the significant number of segregated votes, contending unions, petitioner, NUHWHRAIN-MPHC, and respondent Holiday Inn Manila Pavillion Hotel Labor Union (HIMPHLU), referred the case back to Med-Arbiter to decide which among those votes would be opened and tallied. 11 votes were initially segregated because they were cast by dismissed employees, albeit the legality of their dismissal was still pending before the Court of Appeals. Six other votes were segregated because the employees who cast them were already occupying supervisory positions at the time of the election. Still five other votes were segregated on the ground that they were cast by probationary employees and, pursuant to the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), such employees cannot vote. It bears noting early on, however, that the vote of one Jose Gatbonton (Gatbonton), a probationary employee, was counted.
Med-Arbiter Calabocal ruled for the opening of 17 out of the 22 segregated votes, especially those cast by the 11 dismissed employees and those cast by the six supposedly supervisory employees of the Hotel.
Petitioner, who garnered 151 votes, appealed to the Secretary of Labor and Employment (SOLE), arguing that the votes of the probationary employees should have been opened considering that probationary employee Gatbonton’s vote was tallied. And petitioner averred that respondent HIMPHLU, which garnered 169 votes, should not be immediately certified as the bargaining agent, as the opening of the 17 segregated ballots would push the number of valid votes cast to 338 (151 + 169 + 1 + 17), hence, the 169 votes which HIMPHLU garnered would be one vote short of the majority which would then become 169.
Secretary affirmed the decision of the med-arbiter. In fine, the SOLE concluded that the certification of HIMPHLU as the exclusive bargaining agent was proper.
Whether employees on probationary status at the time of the certification elections should be allowed to vote.
Yes. The inclusion of Gatbonton’s vote was proper not because it was not questioned but because probationary employees have the right to vote in a certification election. The votes of the six other probationary employees should thus also have been counted. As Airtime Specialists, Inc. v. Ferrer-Calleja holds:
In a certification election, all rank-and-file employees in the appropriate bargaining unit, whether probationary or permanent are entitled to vote. This principle is clearly stated in Art. 255 of the Labor Code which states that the “labor organization designated or selected by the majority of the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit shall be the exclusive representative of the employees in such unit for purposes of collective bargaining.” Collective bargaining covers all aspects of the employment relation and the resultant CBA negotiated by the certified union binds all employees in the bargaining unit. Hence, all rank-and-file employees, probationary or permanent, have a substantial interest in the selection of the bargaining representative. The Code makes no distinction as to their employment status as basis for eligibility in supporting the petition for certification election. The law refers to “all” the employees in the bargaining unit. All they need to be eligible to support the petition is to belong to the “bargaining unit.”
For purposes of this section (Rule II, Sec. 2 of Department Order No. 40-03, series of 2003), any employee, whether employed for a definite period or not, shall beginning on the first day of his/her service, be eligible for membership in any labor organization.
All other workers, including ambulant, intermittent and other workers, the self-employed, rural workers and those without any definite employers may form labor organizations for their mutual aid and protection and other legitimate purposes except collective bargaining.
The provision in the CBA disqualifying probationary employees from voting cannot override the Constitutionally protected right of workers to self-organization, as well as the provisions of the Labor Code and its Implementing Rules on certification elections and jurisprudence thereon.
A law is read into, and forms part of, a contract. Provisions in a contract are valid only if they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy.
British Airways vs Court of Appeals
Mahtani decided to visit is relatives in Bombay, India. He obtained the services of a
certain Mr. Gumar to prepare his travel plans. The latter purchased a ticket from British Airways (BA).
Since BA had no direct flights from Manila to Bombay, he had to take a flight to
Hongkong via PAL and from Hongkong, a connecting flight to Bombay on board BA.
Mahtani checked in at Philippine Air Lines (PAL) his two pieces of luggage containing his clothing’s and personal effects. Unfortunately, when Mahtani arrived in Bombay, he discovered that his luggage was missing and that upon inquiry from the BA representatives, he was told that the same might have been diverted to London. After one week, BA finally advised him to file a claim by accomplishing the "Property Irregularity Report. “Mahtani filed his complaint for damages and attorney's fees against BA and Mr. Gumar.
BA filed its answer with counter claim. BA filed a third-party complaint against PAL alleging that the reason for the non-transfer of the luggage was due to the latter's late arrival in Hongkong, thus leaving hardly any time for the proper transfer of Mahtani's luggage to the BA aircraft bound for Bombay. PAL filed its answer to the third-party complaint, arguing that there was, in fact, adequate time to transfer the luggage to BA facilities in Hongkong. Furthermore, the transfer of the luggage to Hongkong
authorities should be considered as transfer to BA.
The trial court rendered the decision in favor of Mahtani and the Third-Party Complaint
against PAL was dismissed for lack of cause of action. BA appealed to the Court of Appeals. CA
affirmed in toto the decision of the trial court. Thus, this petition.
Whether or not British Airline should be liable for the loss of the baggage.
Yes. In the instant case, it is apparent that the contract of carriage was between Mahtani and BA. Moreover, it is indubitable that his luggage never arrived in Bombay on time. Therefore, as in several cases, the Court have assessed the airlines' culpability in the form of damages for breach of contract involving misplaced luggage.
The nature of an airline's contract of carriage partakes of two types, namely: a contract to deliver a cargo or merchandise to its destination and a contract to transport passengers to their destination. A business intended to serve the travelling public primarily, it is imbued with public interest, hence, the law governing common carriers imposes an exacting standard. Neglect or malfeasance by the carrier's employees could
predictably furnish bases for an action for damages.
Sps Perena vs Sps Nicolas
Spouses Perena were engaged in school bus service, transporting students from Paranaque to Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati. In June 1996, spouses Zarate contracted spouses Perena to transport their son, Aaron Zarate, from their residence in Paranaque to Don Bosco. As on the usual days of school on August 22, 1996, the van picked up Aaron in their house, he then took the left side seat near the rear door of the said vehicle. Considering that the students were due by 7:15am at Don Bosco, and because of heavy traffic at the South Superhighway, the driver, Clemente Alfaro, decided to take the narrow path underneath the Magallanes interchange which then is being used by Makati bound vehicles as short cut. The said narrow path has a railroad crossing, and while traversing the said narrow path, closely tailing a huge passenger bus, the driver of the school service decided to overtake the said bus at about 50 meters away from the railroad crossing. Considering that the stereo is playing loudly and blinded by the bus, he did not hear the blowing of horn of the oncoming train as a warning to the vehicles. The bus successfully crossed the railroad crossing but the van did not. The train hit the rear side of the van and the impact threw 9 of the 12 students including Aaron. His body landed in the path of the train, which dragged him, severed his head, instantaneously killing him. Devastated by the sudden death of their son, spouses Zarate commenced this action for damages.
The Regional Trial Court ruled in favor of the spouses Zarate. On appeal, The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower court but lowered the moral damages to Php 2,500,000.00.
Whether or not there is a breach of contract of a common carrier and whether there is negligence.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor spouses Zarate, affirming the decision of the Court of Appeals. In this case, the Supreme Court, once and for all lay the matter to rest that the school service is a common carrier and not a private carrier, and as such, they are required to observe the extraordinary diligence as provided under Article 1733 of the Civil Code. According to the Supreme Court, the true test for a common carrier is not the quantity or extent of the business transacted, or the number and character of the conveyances used in the activity, but whether the undertaking is a part of the activity engaged in by the carrier that he has held out to the general public as his business or occupation. Otherwise stated, making the activity, or holding himself or itself out to the public as a ready to act for all who may desire his or its services to transport goods or persons for a fee.
Applying the considerations mentioned above, there is no question that Perenas as the operators of a school service were: 1) engaged in transporting passengers generally as a business not just as a casual occupation; 2) undertaking to carry passengers over established roads; 3) transporting students for a fee. Despite catering limited clientele, the Perenas operated as a common carrier because they hold themselves out as a ready transportation indiscriminately to the students at a particular school living within or near where they operated the service and for a fee.
First Philippine Industrial Corporation vs Court of Appeals
· Petitioner FPIC is a grantee of a pipeline concession under RA 387 (Petroleum Act) to contract, install, and operate oil pipelines.
· Sometime in January 1995, the FPIC applied for a Mayor’s Permit from the Office of the City Mayor of Batangas.
· Before said permit was to be issued, the City Treasurer required the payment of local tax based on gross receipts from the fiscal year 1993 pursuant to the Local Government Code. This amounted to Php 956, 076.04, payable in four (4) installments.
· FPIC paid the first installment under protest. In its protest, FPIC contended that it is engaged in the business of transporting petroleum products from Batangas refineries, via pipeline, to Sucat and JFT Pandacan Terminals.
· FPIC claimed exemption from paying tax on gross receipts under Sec. 133 of the LGC. It further alleged that transportation contractors are not included in the enumeration of contractors under Sec. 131 of the Local Government Code.
· The City Treasurer denied the protest on the ground that FPIC cannot considered to be engaged in the transportation business. It was also asserted by the Respondent City Treasurer that pipelines are not included in the term “common carrier” which it contended solely refers to trucks, trains, ships, and the like. As such, the City Treasurer held that FPIC is not exempted.
· FPIC filed a complaint for tax refund with the RTC Batangas, but the same was denied.
· The Court of Appeals affirmed the same.
· While the SC initially denied the petition, it was reinstated after the granting of Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration.
Whether or not Petitioner is a common carrier and is consequently exempt from paying tax on gross receipts.
Yes. A common carrier may be defined as one who holds himself out to the public as engaged in the business of transporting persons or property from place to place, for compensation, offering his services to the public.
The test for determining whether a party is a common carrier of goods is:
1. He must be engaged in the business of carrying goods for others as a public employment, and must hold himself out as ready to engage in the transportation of goods for person generally as a business and not as a casual occupation;
2. He must undertake to carry goods of the kind to which his business is confined;
3. He must undertake to carry by the method by which his business is conducted and over his established roads; and
4. The transportation must be for hire. Based on these definitions and requirements, there is no doubt that FPIC is a common carrier.
The Respondents’ argument that the term common carriers refer only to transporting goods via vehicles or vessels is erroneous. The definition makes no distinction as to the means of transporting. Further, under Art. 86 of the Petroleum Act, FPIC is considered a common carrier.
The BIR likewise consider FPIC a common carrier in BIR Ruling No. 069-83. From the foregoing, there is no doubt that the petitioner is a common carrier and is exempt from the business tax under Sec. 133 of the Local Government Code.
De Guzman v Court Of Appeals
Cendena was a junk dealer and was engaged in buying used bottles and scrap materials in Pangasinan and brought these to Manila for resale. He used two 6-wheeler trucks. On the return trip to Pangasinan, he would load his vehicles with cargo which various merchants wanted delivered to Pangasinan. For that service, he charged freight lower than regular rates. General Milk Co. contacted with him for the hauling of 750 cartons of milk. On the way to Pangasinan, one of the trucks was hijacked by armed men who took with them the truck and its cargo and kidnapped the driver and his helper.
Only 150 cartons of milk were delivered. The Milk Co. sued to claim the value of the lost merchandise based on an alleged contract of carriage. Cendena denied that he was a common carrier and contended that he could not be liable for the loss it was due to force majeure. The trial court ruled that he was a common carrier. The Court of Appels reversed.
Whether or not Cendena is a common carrier.
Yes, Cendena is properly characterized as a common carrier even though he merely backhauled goods for other merchants, and even if it was done on a periodic basis rather than on a regular basis, and even if his principal occupation was not the carriage of goods. Article 1732 makes no distinction between one whose principal business activity is the carrying of persons or goods or both, and one who does such carrying only as an ancillary activity. It also avoids making a distinction between a person or enterprise offering transportation services on a regular or scheduled basis and one offering service on an occasional, episodic, or unscheduled basis. Neither does it make a distinction between a carrier offering its services to the public and one who offers services or solicits business only from a narrow segment of population.
S.S. Ventures International, Inc. vs. S.S. Ventures Labor Union (SSVLU)
G.R. No. 161690
Petitioner S.S. Ventures International, Inc. (Ventures) is in the business of manufacturing sports shoes. Respondent S.S. Ventures Labor Union (Union) is a labor organization registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
March 21, 2000, the Union filed with DOLE-Region III a petition for certification election in behalf of the rank-and-file employees August 21, 2000, Ventures filed a Petition to cancel the Union’s certificate of registration alleging that the Union deliberately and maliciously included the names of more or less 82 former employees no longer connected with Ventures in its list of members who attended the organizational meeting and in the adoption/ratification of its constitution and by-laws; that No organizational meeting and ratification actually took place; and the Union’s application for registration was not supported by at least 20% of the rank-and-file employees of Ventures.
Regional Director of DOLE- Region III favored Ventures and resolved to Cancel the Certificate of the union. On appeal, the BLR Director granted the Union’s appeal and reversing the decision of RD. Ventures went to the CA. The CA dismissed Ventures’ petition as well as the MR. Hence, this petition for review
Whether the registration of the Union must be cancelled.
No. The right to form, join, or assist a union is specifically protected by Art. XIII, Section 3 of the Constitution and such right, according to Art. III, Sec. 8 of the Constitution and Art. 246 of the Labor Code, shall not be abridged. Once registered with the DOLE, a union is considered a legitimate labor organization endowed with the right and privileges granted by law to such organization. While a certificate of registration confers a union with legitimacy with the concomitant right to participate in or ask for certification election in a bargaining unit, the registration may be canceled or the union may be decertified as the bargaining unit, in which case the union is divested of the status of a legitimate labor organization. Among the grounds for cancellation is the commission of any of the acts enumerated in Art. 239(a) of the Labor Code, such as fraud and misrepresentation in connection with the adoption or ratification of the union’s constitution and like documents. The Court, has in previous cases, said that to decertify a union, it is not enough to show that the union includes ineligible employees in its membership. It must also be shown that there was misrepresentation, false statement, or fraud in connection with the application for registration and the supporting documents, such as the adoption or ratification of the constitution and by-laws or amendments thereto and the minutes of ratification of the constitution or by-laws, among other documents.