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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.
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