Workers' participation in decision, policy-making processes affecting their rights

It was only on March 2, 1989, with the approval of Republic Act No. 6715, amending Article 211 of the Labor Code, that the law explicitly considered it a State policy "(t)o ensure the participation of workers in decision and policy-making processes affecting their rights, duties and welfare." However, even in the absence of said clear provision of law, the exercise of management prerogatives was never considered boundless. Thus, in Cruz vs. Medina (G.R. No. 73053, September 15, 1989), it was held that management's prerogatives must be without abuse of discretion.
Indeed, industrial peace cannot be achieved if the employees are denied their just participation in the discussion of matters affecting their rights. Thus, even before Article 211 of the labor Code (P.D. 442) was amended by Republic Act No. 6715, it was already declared a policy of the State, "(d) To promote the enlightenment of workers concerning their rights and obligations . . . as employees." This was, of course, amplified by Republic Act No 6715 when it decreed the "participation of workers in decision and policy making processes affecting their rights, duties and welfare." PAL's position that it cannot be saddled with the "obligation" of sharing management prerogatives as during the formulation of the Code, Republic Act No. 6715 had not yet been enacted (Petitioner's Memorandum, p. 44; Rollo, p. 212), cannot thus be sustained. While such "obligation" was not yet founded in law when the Code was formulated, the attainment of a harmonious labor-management relationship and the then already existing state policy of enlightening workers concerning their rights as employees demand no less than the observance of transparency in managerial moves affecting employees' rights.
Petitioner's assertion that it needed the implementation of a new Code of Discipline considering the nature of its business cannot be overemphasized. In fact, its being a local monopoly in the business demands the most stringent of measures to attain safe travel for its patrons. Nonetheless, whatever disciplinary measures are adopted cannot be properly implemented in the absence of full cooperation of the employees. Such cooperation cannot be attained if the employees are restive on account, of their being left out in the determination of cardinal and fundamental matters affecting their employment. (G.R. No. 85985, August 13, 1993)

Popular Posts