Case Digest: Employees of Bayer Phils, et al. v. Bayer Phils, et al.

G.R. No. 162943 : December 6, 2010




EUBP, headed by its president Juanito S. Facundo (Facundo), negotiated with Bayer for the signing of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). During the negotiations, EUBP rejected Bayers 9.9% wage-increase proposal resulting in a bargaining deadlock. Subsequently, EUBP staged a strike, prompting the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to assume jurisdiction over the dispute.

Pending the resolution of the dispute, respondent Avelina Remigio (Remigio) and 27 other union members, without any authority from their union leaders, accepted Bayers wage-increase proposal. EUBPs grievance committee questioned Remigios action and reprimanded Remigio and her allies. DOLE Secretary issued an arbitral award ordering EUBP and Bayer to execute a CBA.

A tug-of-war then ensued between the two rival groups, with both seeking recognition from Bayer and demanding remittance of the union dues collected from its rank-and-file members. Remigios splinter group wrote Facundo, FFW and Bayer informing them of the decision of the majority of the union members to disaffiliate from FFW. This was followed by another letter informing Facundo, FFW and Bayer that an interim set of REUBP executive officers and board of directors had been appointed, and demanding the remittance of all union dues to REUBP.

Bayer responded by deciding not to deal with either of the two groups, and by placing the union dues collected in a trust account until the conflict between the two groups is resolved.

EUBP filed a complaint for ULP against Bayer for non-remittance of union dues. (First ULP Complaint). While the first ULP case was still pending and despite EUBPs repeated request for a grievance conference, Bayer decided to turn over the collected union dues amounting to P254,857.15 to respondent Anastacia Villareal, Treasurer of REUBP.

Aggrieved by the said development, EUBP lodged a complaint against Remigios group before the Industrial Relations Division of the DOLE praying for their expulsion from EUBP for commission of "acts that threaten the life of the union."

Labor Arbiter Jovencio Ll. Mayor, Jr. dismissed the first ULP complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The Arbiter explained that the root cause for Bayers failure to remit the collected union dues can be traced to the intra-union conflict between EUBP and Remigios group and that the charges imputed against Bayer should have been submitted instead to voluntary arbitration.

Petitioners filed a second ULP complaint against herein respondents. Labor Arbiter Waldo Emerson R. Gan dismissed EUBPs second ULP complaint for lack of jurisdiction. Aggrieved by the Labor Arbiters decision to dismiss the second ULP complaint, petitioners appealed the said decision, but the NLRC denied the appeal. Thus, petitioners filed a Rule 65 petition but the same was denied. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the LA has jurisdiction over the 2nd ULP complaint



An intra-union dispute refers to any conflict between and among union members, including grievances arising from any violation of the rights and conditions of membership, violation of or disagreement over any provision of the unions constitution and by-laws, or disputes arising from chartering or disaffiliation of the union.

It is clear from the foregoing that the issues raised by petitioners do not fall under any of the aforementioned circumstances constituting an intra-union dispute. More importantly, the petitioners do not seek a determination of whether it is the Facundo group (EUBP) or the Remigio group (REUBP) which is the true set of union officers. Instead, the issue raised pertained only to the validity of the acts of management in light of the fact that it still has an existing CBA with EUBP. Thus as to Bayer, Lonishen and Amistoso the question was whether they were liable for unfair labor practice, which issue was within the jurisdiction of the NLRC. The dismissal of the second ULP complaint was therefore erroneous.

However, as to respondents Remigio and Villareal, we find that petitioners complaint was validly dismissed.

Petitioners ULP complaint cannot prosper as against respondents Remigio and Villareal because the issue, as against them, essentially involves an intra-union dispute based on Section 1 (n) of DOLE Department Order No. 40-03. To rule on the validity or illegality of their acts, the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC will necessarily touch on the issues respecting the propriety of their disaffiliation and the legality of the establishment of REUBP issues that are outside the scope of their jurisdiction. Accordingly, the dismissal of the complaint was validly made, but only with respect to these two respondents.

ISSUE: Whether or not Bayer, Lonishen and Amistoso liable for unfair labor practice



It is axiomatic in labor relations that a CBA entered into by a legitimate labor organization that has been duly certified as the exclusive bargaining representative and the employer becomes the law between them

It must be remembered that a CBA is entered into in order to foster stability and mutual cooperation between labor and capital. An employer should not be allowed to rescind unilaterally its CBA with the duly certified bargaining agent it had previously contracted with, and decide to bargain anew with a different group if there is no legitimate reason for doing so and without first following the proper procedure.

Respondents cannot claim good faith to justify their acts. They knew that Facundos group represented the duly-elected officers of EUBP. Moreover, they were cognizant of the fact that even the DOLE Secretary himself had recognized the legitimacy of EUBPs mandate by rendering an arbitral award ordering the signing of the 1997-2001 CBA between Bayer and EUBP. Respondents were likewise well-aware of the pendency of the intra-union dispute case, yet they still proceeded to turn over the collected union dues to REUBP and to effusively deal with Remigio. The totality of respondents conduct, therefore, reeks with anti-EUBP animus.