CABEU-NFL v. CAB (G.R. No. 186605; November 17, 2010)

CASE DIGEST: CENTRAL AZUCARERA DE BAIS EMPLOYEES UNION-NFL [CABEU-NFL] v. CENTRAL AZUCARERA DE BAIS, INC. [CAB].

FACTS: CABEU-NFL is a registered labor union and the bargaining agent of Respondent CAB. CABEU-NFL proposed a collective bargaining agreement which was rejected by CAB. With no common ground, the petitioner filed a notice of strike with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB). CAB issued a letter stating that the petitioner is no longer the bargaining agent of CAB because 90% of its rank and file employees left the union for another one. This was not acted upon by the NCMB, which led to the filing of Unfair Labor Practice with the Labor Arbiter. The LA dismissed the complaint, but the NLRC reversed the decision upon appeal. CAB elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the decision of the NLRC. Thus prompting the filing of the instant petition.

ISSUE: Was there unfair labor practice?

HELD: Article 247 of the Labor Code provides that "Unfair labor practices violate the constitutional right of workers and employees to self-organization, are inimical to the legitimate interests of both labor and management, including their right to bargain collectively and otherwise deal with each other in an atmosphere of freedom and mutual respect, disrupt industrial peace and hinder the promotion of healthy and stable labor-management relations."For a charge of unfair labor practice to prosper, it must be shown that CAB was motivated by ill will, "bad faith, or fraud, or was oppressive to labor, or done in a manner contrary to morals, good customs, or public policy, and, of course, that social humiliation, wounded feelings or grave anxiety resulted x x x"in suspending negotiations with CABEU-NFL.Notably, CAB believed that CABEU-NFL was no longer the representative of the workers.It just wanted to foster industrial peace by bowing to the wishes of the overwhelming majority of its rank and file workers and by negotiating and concluding in good faith a CBA with CABELA."Such actions of CAB are nowhere tantamount to anti-unionism, the evil sought to be punished in cases of unfair labor practices. DENIED.

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