Employees Union of Bayer v. Bayer Philippines

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




Petitioner Employees Union of Bayer Philippines (EUBP) is the exclusive bargaining agent of all rank-and-file employees of Bayer Philippines. During the negotiations, EUBP rejected Bayers proposal resulting in a bargaining deadlock. Subsequently, EUBP staged a strike, prompting the Secretary of the DOLE to assume jurisdiction over the dispute.

Pending the resolution of the dispute, respondent Avelina Remigio and 27 other union members, without any authority from their union leaders, accepted Bayers wage-increase proposal. The DOLE Secretary issued an arbitral award ordering EUBP and Bayer to execute a CBA.

Meanwhile, the rift between Facundos leadership and Remigios group broadened.Six months from the signing of the new CBA, Remigio solicited signatures from union members in support of a resolution containing the decision of the signatories to: (1) disaffiliate from FFW, (2) rename the union as Reformed Employees Union of Bayer Philippines (REUBP), (3) adopt a new constitution and by-laws for the union, (4) abolish all existing officer positions in the union and elect a new set of interim officers, and (5) authorize REUBP to administer the CBA between EUBP and Bayer. The said resolution was signed by 147 of the 257 local union members.

Both groups sought recognition from Bayer and demanded remittance of the union dues collected from its rank-and-file members. 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 unfair labor practice (first ULP complaint) against Bayer for non-remittance of union dues.While the ULP case was still pending and despite EUBPs repeated request for a grievance conference, Bayer decided to turn over the collected union dues to 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 dismissed thefirstULP complaint for lack of jurisdiction.

Petitioners filed asecondULP complaint against herein respondents. Petitioners complained that Bayer refused to remit the collected union dues to EUBP despite several demands sent to the management and that the latter opted to negotiate instead with Remigios group.

REUBP and Bayer agreed to sign a new CBA. In response, petitioners immediately filed an urgent motion for the issuance of a restraining order/injunction before the NLRC and the Labor Arbiter against respondents.

Labor Arbiter 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. The CA sustained both the Labor Arbiter and the NLRCs rulings.

ISSUE: Whether or not the act of the management of Bayer in dealing and negotiating with Remigios splinter group despite its validly existing CBA with EUBP can be considered unfair labor practice.

HELD: The petition is partly meritorious.


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. If such behavior would be tolerated, bargaining and negotiations between the employer and the union will never be truthful and meaningful, and no CBA forged after arduous negotiations will ever be honored or be relied upon.

This is the reason why 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. Additionally, in the Certificate of Registration issued by the DOLE, it is specified that the registered CBA serves as the covenant between the parties and has the force and effect of law between them during the period of its duration. Compliance with the terms and conditions of the CBA is mandated by express policy of the law primarily to afford protection to labor and to promote industrial peace. Thus, when a valid and binding CBA had been entered into by the workers and the employer, the latter is behooved to observe the terms and conditions thereof bearing on union dues and representation. If the employer grossly violates its CBA with the duly recognized union, the former may be held administratively and criminally liable for unfair labor practice.

However, as to respondents Remigio and Villareal, the court finds that petitioners complaint was validly dismissed. The ULP complaint cannot prosper as against them because the issue, essentially involves an intra-union dispute.

Popular Posts