4 Factors to Determine the Constitution of Appropriate Bargaining Unit

The following are four (4) factors that determine whether an appropriate bargaining unit has been constituted or now.

[1] Will of the Employees (Globe Doctrine)
[2] Affinity and unity of employees’ interest (Substantial Mutual Interests Rule)
[3] Prior collective bargaining history
[4] Employment status Among these 4 factors, the Supreme Court has identified [2] which has emerged as the standard in determining the proper constituency of a collective bargaining unit. Other factors to be considered are [5] geography and location and [6] policy of avoiding fragmentation of the bargaining unit.
While it may be true that a collective bareaining agreement has for sometime existed between the petitioning union and respondent company and the same has served the purpose for whleh it has been concluded, it does not follow that the same situation should continue even if there are supervening factors tha t press for a different treatment or other cogent reasons that would justify a different course in the determination of the appropriate collections bargaining agency. While the existence of a bargaining history is a factor that may bo reckoned with in determining the appropriate bargaining unit, the same is not decisive nor conclusive. There are other factors that aisy be considered depending upon the circumstances of each case. One of them is the fact that since the conclusion of said collective bargaining agreement there have arisen several other labor unions composed of employees and laborers of the same company whose relations have become so diverse and conflicting that a re-evaluation of the labor relations has become imperative in order that they may not be jeopardized. This moment has come when the petitioning union brought the matter to court for oefctifieation election and the situation with which the court was confronted was: there wore four labor unions composed of employees and laborers working in the same company with diverse and conflicting interest and there was no collective bargaining agency to represent them. Hence the need for certification election. And the crucial issue is how to determine the proper collective bargaining unit and what unit would be appropriate to be the collective bargaining agency. This is now the crux in the present ease. This issue is novel in this jurisdiction. No other case has arisen before involving a similar issue and which may serve as a guide for the detersiination of the controversy. However, American precedents on the matter abound and to them we should resort considering that our present Magna Carta has been patterned after the American law on the subject. Under these precedents, there are various factors which must be satisfied and considered in determining the proper constituency of bargaining unit. No one particular factor is itself decisive of the determination. The weight accorded to any particular factor varies in accordance with the particular question or questions that may arise in a given case. What are these factors? Rothenberg mentions a good number, but the most pertinent to our caae are: (1) will of employees (Globe Doctrine); (2) affinity and unity of employees' interest, such as substantial similarity of work and duties, or similarity of compensation and working conditions; (3) prior collective bargaining history; and (4) employment status, such as temporary, seasonal and probationary employees (Rothenberg on labor Relations, pp. 488-510). A brief discussion of the nature of each of these factors becomes necessary. (Democratic Labor Association v. Cebu Stevedoring Co. Inc, G.R. No. L-10321; UP v Ferrer-Calleja)


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