Case Digest: Tunay na Pagkakaisa v. Asia Brewery

CASE DIGEST: Tunay na Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Asia Brewery v. Asia Brewery, Inc. | G.R. No. 162025, August 3, 2010 | Villarama, Jr.

Facts: Asia Brewery entered into a Collective Bargaining Agreement with BLMA, the exclusive bargaining representative of Asia Brewery rank-and-file employees. Those employees explicitly excluded in the CBA are, among others, confidential and executive secretaries and purchasing and quality control staff.A dispute arose when Asia Brewery management stopped deducting union dues from 81 employees, believing that their membership in the union violated the CBA. These employees were Sampling Inspectors, Machine Gauge Technician, both part of the Quality Control Staff, checkers assigned to different departments, and secretaries and clerks directly under the respective division managers.

During the pendency of the case, Tunay na Pagkakaisa won in a certification election.

Issue: Whether or not the 81 employees may be validly excluded from the bargaining unit.

Held: No. Confidential employees are defined as those who (1) assist or act in a confidential capacity, (2) to persons who formulate, determine, and effectuate management policies in the field of labor relations. The two (2) criteria are cumulative, and both must be met if an employee is to be considered a confidential employee that is, the confidential relationship must exist between the employee and his supervisor, and the supervisor must handle the prescribed responsibilities relating to labor relations. The exclusion from bargaining units of employees who, in the normal course of their duties, become aware of management policies relating to labor relations is a principal objective sought to be accomplished by the "confidential employee rule."

There is no showing in this case that the secretaries/clerks and checkers assisted or acted in a confidential capacity to managerial employees and obtained confidential information relating to labor relations policies. And even assuming that they had exposure to internal business operations of the company, respondent claimed, this is not per se ground for their exclusion in the bargaining unit of the daily-paid rank-and-file employees.

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