Exclusive Bargaining Representation & Workers' Participation in Policy and Decision Making Process


The Labor Code imposes upon the employer and the representative of the employees the duty to bargain collectively. Since the question of right of representation as between competing labor organizations in a bargaining unit is imbued with public interest, the law governs the choice of a collective bargaining representative which shall be the duly certified agent of the employees concerned. An official certification becomes necessary where the bargaining agent fails to present adequate and reasonable proof of its majority authorization and where the employer demands it, or when the employer honestly doubts the majority representation of several contending bargaining groups. In fact, Article 255 of the Labor Code allows the majority of the employees in an appropriate collective bargaining unit to designate or select the labor organization which shall be their exclusive representative for the purpose of collective bargaining.
The designation or selection of the bargaining representative without, however, going through the process set out by law for the conduct of a certification election applies only when representation is not in issue. There is no problem if a union is unanimously chosen by a majority of the employees as their bargaining representative, but a question of representation arising from the presence of more than one union in a bargaining unit aspiring to be the employees' representative, can only be resolved by holding a certification election under the supervision of the proper government authority. (G.R. Nos. 116751 & 116779, August 28, 1998)

The right of any employee or group of employees to, at any time, present grievances to the employer does not imply the right to submit the same to voluntary arbitration. (G.R. No. 183335, December 23, 2009)

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