Valid strike requires: notice, vote and report

In order for a strike to be valid, the following requirements laid down in paragraphs (c) and (f) of Article 263 of the Labor Code must be complied with: (a) a notice of strike must be filed; (b) a strike-vote must be taken; and (c) the results of the strike-vote must be reported to the DOLE. It bears stressing that these requirements are mandatory, meaning, non-compliance therewith makes the strike illegal. The evident intention of the law in requiring the strike notice and strike-vote report is to reasonably regulate the right to strike, which is essential to the attainment of legitimate policy objectives embodied in the law. (G.R. No. 158158; January 17, 2005)

Primary Assumption of Jurisdiction

The discretion to assume jurisdiction may be exercised by the Secretary of Labor and Employment without the necessity of prior notice or hearing given to any of the parties. The rationale for his primary assumption of jurisdiction can justifiably rest on his own consideration of the exigency of the situation in relation to the national interests. (G.R. No. 155690, June 30, 2005)

Payroll Reinstatement as Exception to the General Rule

"Payroll reinstatement" of the employees, as an exception to the actual reinstatement required by a return to work order, may be allowed, pending final resolution of the validity of their dismissal, in view of a "superseding circumstance," i.e., the final decision of the panel of arbitrators as to the confidential nature of the positions. (G.R. No. 151379; January 14, 2005)

Labor Secretary's Great Breadth of Discretion

The powers granted to the Secretary under Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code have been characterized as an exercise of the police power of the State, aimed at promoting the public good. When the Secretary exercises these powers, he is granted "great breadth of discretion" to find a solution to a labor dispute. The most obvious of these powers is the automatic enjoining of an impending strike or lockout or its lifting if one has already taken place. (G.R. Nos. 169829-30; April 16, 2008)

National interest limits exercise of right to engage in concerted activities

Article 263 of the Labor Code speaks of the right of workers to engage in concerted activities for their mutual benefit and protection. Concerted activities, like the holding of a strike, are resorted to by employees in their effort to obtain more favorable terms and conditions of work for themselves. Due to its importance, the exercise of such right is limited only by the demands of national interest under paragraph (g) of said article. (G.R. No. 120751; March 17, 1999)

The Sensitive Explosive Rule in Labor Relations

THE RIGHT TO STRIKE is one of the rights recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution as an instrument of labor for its protection against management exploitation. By virtue of this right the workers are able to press their demands for better terms and conditions of employment with more energy and persuasiveness, poising the threat to strike as their reaction to their employer's intransigence. The strike is indeed a powerful weapon of the working class. But precisely, if not because of this, it must be handled carefully, like a sensitive explosive, lest it blows up in the workers' own hands. Simply put, a strike is recognized and protected by our labor laws only when waged on account of a labor dispute. In the absence thereof, the employees who engage themselves in work stoppage commit an illegal strike and should face the consequences thereof. (G.R. No. 124823; July 28, 1999)

Strikes, walkouts & temporary work stoppages in government service

It is the settled rule in this jurisdiction that employees in the public service may not engage in strikes. While the Constitution recognizes the right of government employees to organize, they are prohibited from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass leaves, walk-outs and other forms of mass action which will result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public services. The right of government employees to organize is limited only to the formation of unions or associations, without including the right to strike. The ability to strike is not essential to the right of association. In the absence of statute, public employees do not have the right to engage in concerted work stoppages for any purpose. As a general rule, even in the absence of express statutory prohibition like Memorandum Circular No. 6, public employees are denied the right to strike or engage in a work stoppage against a public employer.The right of the sovereign to prohibit strikes or work stoppages by public employee…

Honest Impression Rule in Strikes & Lockouts

The State guarantees the right of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, as well as peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike, in accordance with law. The right to strike, however, is not absolute. It has heretofore been held that a "no strike, no lock-out" provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") is a valid stipulation although the clause may be invoked by an employer only when the strike is economic in nature or one which is conducted to force wage or other concessions from the employer that are not mandated to be granted by the law itself. It would be inapplicable to prevent a strike which is grounded on unfair labor practice. In this situation, it is not essential that the unfair labor practice act has, in fact, been committed; it suffices that the striking workers are shown to have acted honestly on an impression that the company has committed such unfair labor practice and the surrounding c…

STRIKE as Powerful Weapon of the Working Class

The right to strike is one of the rights recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution as an instrument of labor for its protection against exploitation by management. By virtue of this right, the workers are able to press their demands for better terms of employment with more energy ad persuasiveness, poising the threat to strike as their reaction to the employer's intransigence.
The strike is indeed a powerful weapon of the working class. But precisely because of this, it must be handled carefully, like a sensitive explosive, lest it blow up in the workers' own hands. Thus, it must be declared only after the most thoughtful consultation among them, conducted in the only way allowed, that is, peacefully, and in every case conformably to reasonable regulation. Any violation of the legal requirements and strictures, such as a defiance of a return-to-work order in industries affected with public interest, will render the strike illegal, to the detriment of the very workers it is…

How can gov't employees' unions petition for better work conditions?

Government employees may, therefore, through their unions or associations, either petition the Congress for the betterment of the terms and conditions of employment which are within the ambit of legislation or negotiate with the appropriate government agencies for the improvement of those which are not fixed by law.(G.R. No. 85279; July 28, 1989)

Illegal Acts in Strike: Individual, NOT Collective; EXCEPT: Pervasive, widespead

A strike otherwise valid, if violent in character, may be placed beyond the pale. Care is to be taken, however, especially where an unfair labor practice is involved, to avoid stamping it with illegality just because it is tainted by such acts. To avoid rendering illusory the recognition of the right to strike, responsibility in such a case should be individual and not collective. A different conclusion would be called for, of course, if the existence of force while the strike lasts is pervasive and widespread, consistently and deliberately resorted to as a matter of policy. It could be reasonably concluded then that even if justified as to ends, it becomes illegal because of the means employed. (G.R. No. L-32853; September 25, 1981)

What is "split jurisdiction"?

Section 6, Rule 135 of the present Rules of Court provides that when by law, jurisdiction is conferred on a court or judicial officer, all auxiliary writs, processes and other means necessary to carry it into effect may be employed by such court or officer.
If this Court were to sustain petitioners' contention that jurisdiction over their certiorari petition lies with the CA, this Court would be confirming the exercise by two judicial bodies, the CA and the CTA, of jurisdiction over basically the same subject matter – precisely the split-jurisdiction situation which is anathema to the orderly administration of justice.35 The Court cannot accept that such was the legislative motive, especially considering that the law expressly confers on the CTA, the tribunal with the specialized competence over tax and tariff matters, the role of judicial review over local tax cases without mention of any other court that may exercise such power. Thus, the Court agrees with the ruling of the CA t…

Remedies vs. Causes of Action

Section 2, Rule 2 of the Rules of Court defines a cause of action as "the act or omission by which a party violates a right of another." The cause of action in Civil Case No. 273 and Civil Case No. 576 is the sale of the entire subject property by Basilia, et al., to petitioners without respondent’s knowledge and consent, hence, depriving respondent of her rights and interests over her pro-indiviso share in the subject property as a co-heir and co-owner. The annulment of the sale of respondent’s share in the subject property, the legal redemption by respondent of her co-heirs’ share sold to petitioners, and the claim for damages should not be mistaken to be the causes of action, but they were the remedies and reliefs prayed for by the respondent to redress the wrong allegedly committed against her.[R]espondent invoked Articles 1088 and 1620 of the Civil Code of the Philippines in support of their right to redeem the subject property. The said provisions state:

Art. 1088. Sho…