REPUBLIC SAVINGS BANK (now REPUBLIC BANK) vs. COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

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

REPUBLIC SAVINGS BANK (now REPUBLIC BANK)
vs.
COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, ROSENDO T. RESUELLO, BENJAMIN JARA, FLORENCIO ALLASAS, DOMINGO B. JOLA, DIOSDADO S. MENDIOLA, TEODORO DE LA CRUZ, NARCISO MACARAEG and MAURO A. ROVILLOS.

G.R. No. L-20303             September 27, 1967

Facts:

Herein private respondents are employees of the bank who were discharged for having written and published “a patently libelous letter tending to cause the dishonor, discredit or contempt not only of officers and employees of the bank, but also of the bank itself. The letter referred to was a letter-charge which the respondents had written to the bank president, demanding his resignation on the grounds of immorality, nepotism in the appointment and favoritism as well as discrimination in the promotion of bank employees. In several instances, according to respondents, the President instead of resolving several anomalous activities committed by its employees who also happen to be his relatives, the President promoted these employees resulting to demoralization of other deserving employees and that the President have some illicit relationship with one of the bank employees among others. Upon dismissal respondents filed a complaint in the CIR alleging that the Bank’s conduct violated section 4(a) (5) of the Industrial Peace Act which makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer “to dismiss, discharge or otherwise prejudice or discriminate against an employee for having filed charges or for having given or being about to give testimony under this Act.”

The Bank moved for the dismissal of the complaint, contending that respondents were discharged not for union activities but for having written and published a libelous letter against the bank president. The Bank argues that the court should have dismissed the complaint because the discharge of the respondents had nothing to do with their union activities as the latter in fact admitted at the hearing that the writing of the letter-charge was not a “union action” but merely their “individual” act.

ISSUE: 

Whether or not the dismissal of the eight (8) respondent employees by the petitioner Republic Bank (hereinafter referred to as the Bank) constituted an unfair labor practice within the meaning and intendment of the Industrial Peace Act (Republic Act 875).

HELD:

Yes, the bank is guilty of ULP.

Assuming that the latter acted in their individual capacities when they wrote the letter-charge they were nonetheless protected for they were engaged in concerted activity, in the exercise of their right of self-organization that includes concerted activity for mutual aid and protection, interference with which constitutes an unfair labor practice under section 4(a)(1). For, as has been aptly stated, the joining in protests or demands, even by a small group of employees, if in furtherance of their interests as such, is a concerted activity protected by the Industrial Peace Act. It is not necessary that union activity be involved or that collective bargaining be contemplated.

Indeed, when the respondents complained against nepotism, favoritism and other management practices, they were acting within an area marked out by the Act as a proper sphere of collective bargaining. Even the reference to immorality was not irrelevant as it was made to support the respondents’ other charge that the bank president had failed to provide wholesome working conditions, let alone a good moral example, for the employees by practicing discrimination and favoritism in the appointment and promotion of certain employees on the basis of illicit relations or blood relationship with them.

DIPOSITIVE:

The decision and resolution of the Court of Industrial Relations are affirmed, at petitioner’s cost.

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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