CASE DIGEST: General Milling Corp-ILU v. General Milling Corp

G.R. No. 183122: June 15, 2011




On 28 April 1989, GMC and the Union entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which provided, among other terms, the latter's representation of the collective bargaining unit for a three-year term made to retroact to 1 December 1988.On 29 November 1991 or one day before the expiration of the subject CBA, the Union sent a draft CBA proposal to GMC, with a request for counter-proposals from the latter, for the purpose of renegotiating the existing CBA between the parties.In view of GMCs failure to comply with said request, the Union commenced the complaint for unfair labor practice which, under docket of RAB Case No. VII-06-0475-92, was dismissed for lack of merit in a decision dated 21 December 1993 issued by the Regional Arbitration Branch-VII (RAB-VII) of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).On appeal, however, said dismissal was reversed and set aside in the 30 January 1998 decision rendered by the Fourth Division of the NLRC in NLRC Case No. V-0112-94,

With the reconsideration and setting aside of the foregoing decision in the NLRCs resolution dated 6 October 1998, the Union filed the petitions for certiorari docketed before the CA as CA-G.R. SP Nos. 50383 and 51763.In a decision dated 19 July 2000, the then Fourteenth Division of the CA reversed and set aside the NLRC's 6 October 1998 resolution and reinstated the aforesaid 30 January 1998 decision, except with respect to the undetermined award of attorney's fees which was deleted for lack of statement of the basis therefor in the assailed decision. Aggrieved by the CAs 26 October 2000 resolution denying its motion for reconsideration, GMC elevated the case to this Court via the petition for review on certiorari docketed before this Court as G.R. No. 146728.In a decision dated 11 February 2004 rendered by the Courts then Second Division, the CAs 30 January 1998 decision and 26 October 2000 resolution were affirmed

With the ensuing finality of the foregoing decision, the Union filed a motion for issuance of a writ of execution dated 21 March 2005, to enforce the claims of the covered employees which it computed in the sum ofP433,786,786.36 and to require GMC to produce said employees time cards for the purpose of computing their overtime pay, night shift differentials and labor standard benefits for work rendered on rest days, legal holidays and special holidays. On 18 April 2005, however, GMC opposed said motion on the ground, among other matters, that the bargaining unit no longer exist in view of the resignation, retrenchment, retirement and separation from service of workers who have additionally executed waivers and quitclaims acknowledging full settlement of their claims; that the covered employees have already received salary increases and benefits for the period 1991 to 1993; and, that aside from the aforesaid supervening events which precluded the enforcement thereof, the decision rendered in the case simply called for the execution of a CBA incorporating the Unions proposal, not the outright computation of benefits thereunder.

In a "Submission" dated 27 May 2005, GMC further manifested that the Union membership in the bargaining unit did not exceed 286 and that following employees should be excluded from the coverage of the decision sought to be enforced: (a) 47 employees who were hired after 1992; (b) 234 employees who had been separated from the service; (c) 37 employees who, as daily paid rank and file employees, were represented by another union and covered by a different CBA; and, (d) 41 workers holding managerial/supervisory/confidential positions.

ISSUE: Whether the aforementioned employees should be excluded from the award


LABOR LAW: Labor Relations

Article II of the imposed CBA, relatedly, provides that "(t)he employees covered by this Agreement are those employed as regular monthly paid employees at the [GMC] offices in Cebu City and Lapulapu City, including cadet engineers, salesmen, veterinarians, field and laboratory workers, with the exception of managerial employees, supervisory employees, executive and confidential secretaries, probationary employees and the employees covered by a separate Collective Bargaining Agreement at the Company's Mill in Lapulapu City."Gauged from the express language of the foregoing provision, we find that Executive Labor Arbiter Violeta Ortiz-Bantug correctly excluded the following employees from the list of 436 employees submitted by the Union and the computation of the benefits for the period 1 December 1991 to 30 November 1993, to wit: (a) 77 employees who were hired or regularized after 30 November 1993; (b)36 daily paid rank and file employees who were covered by a separate CBA; (c) 41 managerial/supervisory employees; and, (d) 1 employee for whom no salary-rate information was submitted in the premises. However, we find that the 234 employees who had already been separated from GMCs employ by the time of the rendition of the 11 February 2004 decision in G.R. No. 146728 should further be added to these excluded employees.

The record shows that said 234 employees were union members whose employment with GMC ceased as a consequence of death, termination due to redundancy, termination due to closure of plant, termination for cause, voluntary resignation, separation or dismissal from service as well as retirement.Upon compliance with GMCs clearance requirements and in consideration of sums ranging from P38,980.12 to P631,898.72, due payment and receipt of which were duly acknowledged, it appears that said employees executed deeds of waiver, release and quitclaim