Great Pacific Life Employees Union (Union) vs. Great Pacific Life (GREPALIFE)

Posted: May 1, 2015 in case digests, labor relations
Tags: , ,

Great Pacific Life Employees Union (Union) vs. Great Pacific Life (GREPALIFE)

(By Yul on 28 February 2015)

Facts: 

  • Prior to the expiration of the CBA, the Parties submitted their respective proposals for its projected renewal. However, it ended to a deadlock. Thus, the Union proceeded to stage a strike employing some violence and blocking all points of ingress and egress of the Company’s premises.
  • In view thereof, the GREPALIFE directed the Union to explain why no disciplinary action, including possible dismissal from employment, should be taken against them for committing illegal acts against the company in the course of the strike. In response, the Union asserted that they were just exercising their right to strike, while the other striking employees ignored the same.
  • The GREPALIFE found Union’s explanations unacceptable, thus terminating its officers and employees.
  • Eventually, the Parties entered into a MOA, where GREPALIFE requested, among others, for the voluntary resignation of President and Vice-President of the Union, Mr. Domingo and Mr. Dela Rosa, respectively, in exchange for the reinstatement of all other strikers. Thus, prompting Mr. Dela Rosa to file a complaint against GREPALIFE for illegal dismissal and ULP. The Labor Arbiter sided for the Union’s Officers, while the NLRC reversed the former’s decision, contending that a just cause for dismissal had been sufficiently established.  However, it agreed that GREPALIFE failed to comply strictly with the requirements of due process prior to termination, thus awarding the Union‘s Officers its monetary benefits. Hence, Mr. Dela Rosa’s Petition.

Issue: Whether the NLRC erred in its decision.

Held: No. The NLRC did not err and GREPALIFE is not guilty of the acts charged.

Ratio: The Supreme Court holds that the NLRC did not commit grave abuse of discretion.  The right to strike, while constitutionally recognized, is not without legal constrictions. The Labor Code is emphatic against the use of violence, coercion and intimidation during a strike and to this end prohibits the obstruction of free passage to and from the employer’s premises for lawful purposes.  The sanction provided in par. (a) of Art. 264 thereof is so severe that  “any worker or union officer who knowingly participates in the commission of illegal acts during a strike may be declared to have lost his employment status.

GREPALIFE submitted before the Labor Arbiter several affidavits of its employees which de la Rosa did not refute.  With these documents, two (2) specifically described the incidents that transpired during the strike that the Union’s Officers and Employees had participated and employed such illegal acts. Thus, declaring the staged strike illegal and from that will not constitute ULP.

Fallo: The petition is DISMISSED.  The decision of respondent National Labor Relations Commission dated 14 May 1996 (a) finding that petitioner Rodel P. de la Rosa was legally dismissed, and, (b) ordering respondent Great Pacific Life Assurance Corporation to pay petitioner his one (1) month salary for its failure to comply strictly with due process prior to the latter’s termination and his one (1) month salary per year of service based on the new CBA rates as separation pay, as well as its Resolution dated 16 August 1996 denying reconsideration, is  AFFIRMED.

LABREL CASE DIGEST POOL / ATTORNEY JHONELLE ESTRADA / MONDAYS / 5:30 PM TO 8:30 PM / NEW ERA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW

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