Requirement to provide assistance to other employees NOT violative of labor laws

Petitioners call attention to the "mutual assistance" proviso of the collective bargaining agreement. As has been correctly pointed out by the POEA, however, the above provision, falling under the general item, "Working Hours," is primarily for properly computing extra compensation, and it is not intended to coerce, compel, or force the crew members to perform jobs other than what they have been contracted for. The Court, even then, shares POEA's observation that - "Respondent's CBA provision on "mutual assistance" should be applied with leniency. If respondent's defense will be given credence, then the job designations in the employment contract will be rendered inutile. All other members of the crew can be 'requested' to perform jobs other than what they are contracted for and if they refuse, they could be terminated for insubordination. Such defense, definitely, cannot be allowed for this is square defiance (of) the Constitutional mandate of protection to labor." Providing assistance to other members of the crew in their jobs on board a vessel when needed or required is violative neither of labor laws nor of the employment contract except when such assistance becomes regularly imposed. In his case, private respondent was made to perform various tasks other than his contractually assigned work from the very moment he boarded the vessel. [G.R. No. 105396. November 19, 1996]