REPUBLIC FLOUR MILLS WORKERS ASSOCIATION vs. THE HONORABLE JUDGE ANDRES REYES

Posted: May 1, 2015 in case digests, labor relations
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G.R. No. L-21378           November 28, 1966

REPUBLIC FLOUR MILLS WORKERS ASSOCIATION &  PAFLU vs. THE HONORABLE JUDGE ANDRES REYES and AIA FEED MILLS, INC.

 

FACTS:

Respondent AIA Feed Mills, Inc. filed a petition for injunction before the CFI of Rizal, alleging, among others, that petitioner unions declared a strike against their employer, RFM and picket lines were formed around the premises of the company preventing the peaceful passing of other persons not connected with said employer.

Respondent is a lessee occupying a parcel of land owned by RFM.

It claimed that it is a completely different corporation from RFM with a different set of officers and employees; and there was no employer-employee relation between the striking employees and respondent; and that due to the picket lines formed by the striking unions the employees of herein respondent could not enter and leave its premises “thereby causing the same to stop its operation which constitute an invasion of its property rights and therefore causing irreparable and substantial damages.

Petitioners, Republic Flour Mills Workers Association and PAFLU, filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the injunction prayed for by herein respondent is a “labor injunction” and because the petition for injunction failed to allege the jurisdictional requisites provided for in Section 9 (b) of Republic Act 875 it is fatally defective and, therefore, should be dismissed.

The respondent Judge found that AIA Feed Mills, Inc. is a distinct and separate entity from the RFM., that it has a distinct personnel of its own, that it was engaged in a different business, and that petitioner unions’ picketing had no connection whatsoever with herein respondent. Based on said findings, the respondent Judge issued the writ of preliminary injunction.

Petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari with the SC, with preliminary injunction, seeking to set aside the order of the respondent Judge Andres Reyes of the Court of First Instance of in issuing a writ of preliminary injunction “ordering and commanding the defendants to desist from preventing the petitioner’s employees from entering its premises.

Petitioners contend that the respondent AIA Feed Mills, Inc. is a subsidiary corporation of RFM; that it is located at the very site and compound of the latter, the entrance to, and the walls of, the compound being common to both entities; that the operations of the former and of the latter were intermingled and complementary, including an interchange of employees; thus the picketing of one necessarily is extended to both.

AIA Feed Mills, Inc. alleged that it is a business entity distinct and separate RFM, Inc., that there is no employer-employee relation between it and the striking members of the petitioner labor unions and no labor dispute exist between it and the striking and picketing employees; that the picketing was not a peaceful one because the picketing members of petitioners unions were employing violence against the employees of respondent.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the respondent Judge of the Court of First Instance of Rizal had jurisdiction to issue the writ of preliminary injunction in question, or whether or not it had acted with abuse of discretion in issuing said injunction.

HELD:

No. Respondent AIA Feed Mills, Inc. is a distinct and separate entity from, the Republic Flour Mills, Inc., with distinct personality of its own from the latter corporation, including the business in which it is engaged, and the picketing by the petitioner unions has no connection whatsoever with respondent AIA Feed Mills, Inc.

There is no labor dispute between the petitioners and respondent AIA Feed Mills, Inc., and neither is there an employer-employee relation between them.

The Court declared that the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the respondent Judge is not a labor injunction that is provided for in Section 9, paragraph (d) of Republic Act 875. The court may issue an injunction, whether temporary or permanent, as provided in said section of Republic Act 875, only in a case involving or growing out of a labor dispute.

No labor dispute existed between the petitioner unions and the respondent AIA Feed Mills, Inc. The preliminary injunction issued by the respondent Judge was, therefore, one that was within its jurisdiction to issue pursuant to the provisions of Rule 60 of the Rules of Court (now Rule 58 of the Revised Rules of Court.)

The writ of preliminary injunction issued by the respondent Judge did not in any way curtail the right of petitioner unions to picket, because the writ simply and clearly ordered and commanded the petitioner unions “to desist from preventing AIA Feed Mills;  employees from entering its premises.

The writ did not prevent petitioner unions from picketing against their employer, the Republic Flour Mills, Inc. The record shows that the respondent Judge issued the writ of preliminary injunction after a hearing. The respondent Judge, therefore, had not acted in a manner that was in violation of the law or with grave abuse of discretion when he issued the writ of preliminary injunction in question.

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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