Inclusion of confidential employees in supervisors' association
Petitioner's argument that the express provisions of section 3 of our Industrial Peace Act must give way to the intendment of the Taft-Hartley Act which exempts employers from the legal obligation to recognize and negotiate with supervisors is tenuous and groundless. The language of our own statute is plain and unambiguous and admits of no other interpretation. The other principal ground of petitioner's appeal questioning the confidential employees' inclusion in the supevisors' bargaining unit is equally untenable. Respondent court correctly held that since the confidential employee are very few in number and are by practice and tradition identified with the supervisors in their role as representives of management vis-a-vis the rank and file employee such identity of interest has allowed their inclusion in the bargaining unit of supervisors-managers for purposes of collective bargaining in turn as employees in relation to the company as their employer.
No arbitrariness or grave abuse of discretion can be attributed against respondent court's allowing the inclusion of the confidential employees in the supervisors' association for as admitted by petitioner itself, supra, the supervisors and confidential employees enjoy its trust and confidence. This identity of interest logically calls for their inclusion in the same bargaining unit and at the same time fulfills the law's objective of insuring to them the full benefit of their right to self-organization and to collective bargaining, which could hardly be accomplished if the respondent association's membership were to be broken up into five separate ineffective tiny units, as urged by petitioner.
Respondent court's action not being vulnerable to challenge as being arbitrary or capricious is therefore sustained, in line with the Court's consistent rulings that the industrial court "enjoys a wide discretion in determining the procedure necessary to insure the fair and free choice of bargaining representations by employees," and that its action "in deciding upon an appropriate unit for collective bargaining purposes is discretionary ... and (that) its judgment in this respect is entitled to almost complete finality, unless its action is arbitrary or capricious" and that absent any grave abuse of discretion as to justify the Court's intervention, "this Court has repeatedly upheld the exercise of the Court of Industrial Relations in matters concerning the representation of employee groups." (Filoil Refinery Corp. v. Filoil Supervisory and Confidential Employees Union; G.R. No. L26736)