Electromat v. Lagunzad (G.R. No. 172699; July 27, 2011)


FACTS: Nagkakaisang Samahan ng Manggagawa ng Electromat-Wasto (union), a charter affiliate of Workers Advocates for Struggle, Transformation and Organization (WASTO), applied for registration with the Bureau of Labor Relations and submitted the required documents under Department Order 40-03. The BLR approved the registration and issued the union a Certification of Creation of Local Chapter.Electromat Manufacturing and Recording Corporation (company) filed a petition for cancellation of the union registration certificate, for the union failure to comply with Article 234 of the Labor Code. It argued that D.O. 40-03 is an unconstitutional diminution of the Labor Code union registration requirements under Article 234. D.O. 40-03 delisted the requirements under Art. 234 of the Labor Code and replaced them with a charter certificate issued by the federation or national union indicating the creation of the chartered local.

DOLE-NCR Acting Director Ciriaco Lagunzad (Lagunzad) dismissed the petition. On appeal, BLR Director Hans Leo J.Cacdac (Cacdac) affirmed the dismissal. The company filed a petition for certiorari with the CA, which also dismissed the petition. The CA said that DOLE provided sufficient safety measures against the commission of fraud in union registration in D.O. 40-03 and the department order was issued pursuant to the rule-making power of DOLE.

ISSUE: Is D.O. 40-03 invalid?

D.O. 40-03 represents an expression of the government implementing policy on trade unionism.It builds upon the old rules by further simplifying the requirements for the establishment of locals or chapters. As in D.O. 9, we see nothing contrary to the law or the Constitution in the adoption by the Secretary of Labor and Employment of D.O. 40-03 as this department order is consistent with the intent of the government to encourage the affiliation of a local union with a federation or national union to enhance the local bargaining power. If changes were made at all, these were those made to recognize the distinctions made in the law itself between federations and their local chapters, and independent unions; local chapters seemingly have lesser requirements because they and their members are deemed to be direct members of the federation to which they are affiliated, which federations are the ones subject to the strict registration requirements of the law.

Progressive Development Corporation v. Secretary, Department of Labor and Employment, the Court held that the intent of the law in imposing lesser requirements in the case of a branch or local of a registered federation or national union is to encourage the affiliation of a local union with a federation or national union in order to increase the local union bargaining powers respecting terms and conditions of labor. DISMISSED.