Globe doctrine

"The desires of the employees" is one of the factors in determining the appropriate bargaining unit. This is called the "Globe doctrine."

In the case of Democratic Labor vs. Cebu Stevedoring (G.R. No. L-10321, 1958), the Supreme Court said that, due to the modern complexity of the relation between both employer and the union structure, it becomes difficult to determine from evidence alone which of the several claimant groups forms a proper bargaining unit. It becomes necessary to give consideration to the express will or desire of the employees. This practice is called the "Globe doctrine" which sanctions the holding of a series of elections, not for the purpose of allowing the group receiving an over all majority of votes to represent all employees, but for the specific purpose of permitting the employees in each of the several categories to select the group which each chooses as a bargaining unit.

The factors which may be considered and weighed in fixing appropriate units are: the history, extent and type of organization of employees; the history of their collective bargaining; the history, extent and type of organization of employees in other plants of the same employer, or other employers in the same industry; the skill, wages, work and working conditions of the employees; the desires of the employees; the eligibility of the employees for membership in the union or unions involved; and, the relationship between the unit or units proposed and the employer's organization, management and operation.

The test in determining the appropriate bargaining unit is that a unit must effect a grouping of employees who have substantial, mutual interests in wages, hours, working conditions and other subjects of collective bargaining. (G.R. No. L-16292. 109 Phil. 1143)

The reason behind the Globe doctrine is that employees with skills different from others or those in unique situations may form their own bargaining unit because they may gain more bargaining power against the employer if they do so. The University of the Philippines Bar Reviewer (2016) in labor law gave the following explanation. "Highly skilled or specialized technical workers may choose to form their own bargaining unit because they may be in better position to bargain with the employer considering the market value of their skills."