Entitlement to CBA benefits

Employees falling within the coverage of the collective bargaining unit (CBU) are entitled to benefits under the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The Labor Arbiter (LA) should make a factual determination on this matter. (G.R. No. 183810)

In G.R. No. 183810, the Supreme Court held that, as regular employees, the petitioners fall within the coverage of the bargaining unit and are therefore entitled to CBA benefits as a matter of law and contract. In the root decision (the labor arbiter's decision of January 17, 2002) that the NLRC and CA affirmed, the labor arbiter declared:

WHEREFORE, IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, taking into account the factual scenario and the evidence adduced by both parties, it is declared that complainants in these cases are REGULAR EMPLOYEES of respondent ABS-CBN and not INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS and thus henceforth they are entitled to the benefits and privileges attached to regular status of their employment.

This declaration unequivocally settled the petitioners' employment status: they are ABS-CBN's regular employees entitled to the benefits and privileges of regular employees. These benefits and privileges arise from entitlements under the law (specifically, the Labor Code and its related laws), and from their employment contract as regular ABS-CBN employees, part of which is the CBA if they fall within the coverage of this agreement. Thus, what only needs to be resolved as an issue for purposes of implementation of the decision is whether the petitioners fall within CBA coverage.