Security Guards & Right to Self-Organize

The security guards and other personnel employed by the security service contractor shall have the right: [1] to form, join, or assist in the formation of a labor organization of their own choosing for purposes of collective bargaining; and [2] to engage in concerned activities which are not contrary to law including the right to strike. [D.O. No. 14 Series of 2001 Guidelines Governing the Employment and Working Conditions of Security Guards and Similar Personnel in the Private Security Industry)

While therefore under the old rules, security guards were barred from joining a labor organization of the rank and file, under RA 6715, they may now freely join a labor organization of the rank and file or that of the supervisory union, depending on their rank. By accommodating supervisory employees, the Secretary of Labor must likewise apply the provisions of RA 6715 to security guards by favorably allowing them free access to a labor organization, whether rank and file or supervisory, in recognition of their constitutional right to self-organization.

We are aware however of possible consequences in the implementation of the law in allowing security personnel to join labor unions within the company they serve. The law is apt to produce divided loyalties in the faithful performance of their duties. Economic reasons would present the employees concerned with the temptation to subordinate their duties to the allegiance they owe the union of which they are members, aware as they are that it is usually union action that obtains for them increased pecuniary benefits. On Dec. 1986, President C. Aquino issued EO No. 111 which eliminated the provision which made security guards ineligible to join any labor organizations. In 1989, Congress passed RA 6715 which also did not impose limitations on the ability of security guards to join labor organizations. Thus, security guards “may now freely join a labor organization with the rank-and-file or the supervisory union, depending on their rank.” (Manila Electric Co. v. SOLE; G.R. No. 91902)