Labor Organization as Employer

There is nothing in the records which support the Deputy minister's conclusion that the petitioner is not an employee of respondent ALU. The mere fact that the respondent is a labor union does not mean that it cannot be considered an employer of the persons who work for it. Much less should it be exempted from the very labor laws which it espouses as labor organization. In case of es v. Brotherhood Labor Unity Movement in the Phillipines Zamora, ,(147 SCRA 49, 54), the Supreme Court outlined the factors in ascertaining an employer-employee realtionship:

In determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship, the elements that are generally considered are the following : (a) the selection and engagement of the employee; (b) the payment of wages; (c) the power of dismissal; and (d) the employer's power to control the employee with respect to the means and methods by which the work is to be accomplished. It is the so-called 'control test' that is the most important element (Investment Planning Corp. of the Phils. v. The Social Security System, 21 SCRA 492; Mafinco Trading Corp. v. Ople, supra, and Rosario Brothers, Inc. v. Ople, 131 SCRA 72)
In the case at bar, the Regional director correctly found that the petitioner was an employee of the respondent union as reflected in the latter's individual payroll sheets and shown by the petitioner's membership with the Social Security System (SSS) and the respondent union's share of remittances in the petitioner's favor. Even more significant, is the respondent union's act of filing a clearance application with the MOL to terminate the petitioner's services. Bautista was selected and hired by the Union. He was paid wages by the Union. ALU had the power to dismiss him as indeed it dismissed him. And definitely, the Union tightly controlled the work of Bautista as one of its organizers. There is absolutely no factual or legal basis got deputy Minister Inciong's decision.

The Supreme Court is, thus, constrained to reverse the findings of the respondent Deputy Minister. However, the records show that antipathy and antagonism between the petitioner and the respondent union militate against the former's reinstatement. ALU would not want to have a union organizer whom it does not trust and who could sabotage its efforts to unionize commercial and industrial establishments. Severance pay, therefore, is more proper in order. As the Supreme Court has ruled in the case of Asiaworld Publishing House, Inc. v. Hon. Blas Ople, et al., (G.R. No. 56398, July 23, 1987) quoting the cast of Balaquezon EWTU v. Zamora, (97 SCRA 5,8): It should be underscored that the backwages are being awarded on the basis of equity or in the nature of severance pay. This means that a monetary award is to be paid to the employees as an alternative to reinstatement which can no longer be effected in view of the long passage of time or because of the realities of the situation. (Emphasis supplied) (G.R. No. L-52824; March 16, 1988)