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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.