CBA Stipulations & Inclusion or Exclusion of Employees

Among other issues answered in the assailed order are the following findings of fact:

Regarding the second issue, we deem it necessary to examine the respective functions of the employees. It appears therefrom that they perform supervisory functions. Verily they make recommendation petitions as to what Managerial actions to take in disciplinary cases. However, that fact alone does not make them managerial employees already, It is more a question of how effective are those recommendations which aspect has not been clearly established in this case. As defined in the Labor Code, a "managerial employee is one who is vested with powers or prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies and/or to hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off, recall, discharge, assign or discipline employees, or to effectively recommend such managerial actions." Thus, employees who do not fall within this definition are considered rank-and-file employees. Lastly, we find that the third issue has been raised for the first time on appeal. It has been the policy of the Bureau to encourage the formation of an employer unit "unless circumstances otherwise require. The proliferation of unions in an employer unit is discouraged as a matter of policy unless there are compelling reasons which would deny a certain class of employees the right to self-organization for purposes of collective bargaining, This case does not fall squarely within the exception. It is undisputed that the monthlies who are rank-and-file have been historically excluded from the bargaining unit composed of daily-paid rank-and-filers that is, since 1963 when the existing rank- and- file union was recognized. In fact, the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which expired last 15 October 1985 provides as follows:

ARTICLE I
SCOPE

Section 1. Appropriate bargaining unit. — This Agreement covers all regular employees and workers employed by the company at its factory in Malabon, Metro Manila. The words "employee," "laborer" and "workers" when used in this Agreement shall be deemed to refer to those employees within the bargaining unit. Employees who occupy managerial, confidential or technical positions, supervisors, contract employees, monthly-paid employees, security as wen as office personnel are excluded from the appropriate bargaining unit (emphasis supplied).

In view of the above, the monthly-paid rank-and-file employees ran form a union of their own, separate and distinct from the existing rank-and-file union composed of daily-paid workers. (Rollo, pp. 1920)

Thus, it can be readily seen from the above findings of the Bureau of labor Relations that the members of private respondent are not managerial employees as claimed by petitioners but merely considered as rank-and-file employees who have every right to self-organization or to be heard through a duly certified collective bargaining union. The Supervisory power of the members of private respondent union consists merely in recommending as to what managerial actions to take in disciplinary cases. These members of private respondent union do not fit the definition of managerial employees which We laid down in the case of Bulletin Publishing Corporation v. Sanchez (144 SCRA 628). These members of private respondent union are therefore not prohibited from forming their own collective bargaining unit since it has not been shown by petitioner that "the responsibilities (of these monthly-paid-employees) inherently require the exercise of discretion and independent judgment as supervisors" or that "they possess the power and authority to lay down or exercise management policies." Similarly, he held in the same case that "Members of supervisory unions who do not fall within the definition of managerial employees shall become eligible to loin or assist the rank-and-file labor organization, and if none exists, to form or assist in the forming of such rank-and-file organizations.

Perhaps it is unusual for the petitioner to have to deal with two (2) collective bargaining unions but there is no one to blame except petitioner itself for creating the situation it is in. From the beginning of the existence in 1963 of a bargaining limit for the employees up to the present, petitioner had sought to indiscriminately suppress the members of the private respondent"s right to self-organization provided for by law. Petitioner, in justification of its action, maintained that the exclusion of the members of the private respondent from the bargaining union of the rank-and-file or from forming their own union was agreed upon by petitioner corporation with the previous bargaining representatives namely: the General "Rubber Workers Union PTGWO the General Workers Union — NAFLU and the General Rubber Workers Union (independent). Such posture has no leg to stand on. It has not been shown that private respondent was privy to this agreement. And even if it were so, it can never bind subsequent federations and unions particularly private respondent-union because it is a curtailment of the right to self-organization guaranteed by the labor laws. However, to prevent any difficulty. and to avoid confusion to all concerned and, more importantly, to fulfill the policy of the New Labor Code as well as to be consistent with Our ruling in the Bulletin case, supra, the monthly-paid rank-and-file employees should be allowed to join the union of the daily-paid-rank-and-file employees of petitioner so that they can also avail of the CBA benefits or to form their own rank-and-file union, without prejudice to the certification election that has been ordered. (General Rubber & Footwear Corp. v. BLR; G.R. No. 74262)

The University's arguments on the first issue fail to impress us. The Court agrees with the Solicitor General that the express exclusion of the computer operators and discipline officers from the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees in the 1986 collective bargaining agreement does not bar any re-negotiation for the future inclusion of the said employees in the bargaining unit. During the freedom period, the parties may not only renew the existing collective bargaining agreement but may also propose and discuss modifications or amendments thereto. With regard to the alleged confidential nature of the said employees functions, after a careful consideration of the pleadings filed before this Court, we rule that the said computer operators and discipline officers are not confidential employees. As carefully examined by the Solicitor General, the service record of a computer operator reveals that his duties are basically clerical and non-confidential in nature.[52] As to the discipline officers, we agree with the voluntary arbitrator that based on the nature of their duties, they are not confidential employees and should therefore be included in the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees. (DLSU v. DLSUEA; G.R. No. 109002)

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