Geography, location of a bargaining unit

Geography and location only play a significant role regarding a bargaining unit in the following circumstances:

[1] The separation between the camps and the different kinds of work in each all militate in favor of the system of separate bargaining units; and

[2] When the problems and interests of the workers are peculiar in each camp or department;[3] The system of having one collective bargaining unit in each camp has operated satisfactorily in the past. (Benguet Consolidated Inc. and Balatok Mining Co. v. Bobok Lumberjack Association; G.R. No. L-11029)

In concluding that the system of having one collective bargain unit for each camp (as decided in 1953 in cases Nos. 3-MC and 9-MC) should be maintained and continued, the industrial court found as follows: that such system had operated satisfactorily; that the prime and decisive element in determining whether a given group of employees constitutes a proper bargaining unit is whether it will, without inequity to the employer, best serve all employees in the exercise of their bargaining rights; that in the present case,the separation between the camps (which extends to 60 kms. between the Antamok and Acupan camps) and the different kind of work in each (except Acupan and Antamok) all militate in favor of the present system of separate bargaining units, since the problems and interest of the workers are peculiar in each camp or department.

The court also found that "As the union officials will undoubtedly come from each unit, they will be in a much better position to know what is best for their members than those who would come from other units, if the employer unit were to be held appropriate." The findings and reasoning of the Court of Industrial Relation appear cogent and warrant the conclusion it has arrived at. There is no ground for altering a system that takes into account the different nature of the work in the various camps, as well as the necessity of the laborers' representatives being familiar with the peculiar problems of each camp, specially since such a system has hitherto worked satisfactorily.