WISE AND CO. VS. WISE CO., INC. EMPLOYEES UNION

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

G.R. No. L-87672     October 13, 1989

WISE AND CO., INC., petitioner,

vs.

WISE & CO., INC. EMPLOYEES UNION-NATU AND HONORABLE BIENVENIDO G. LAGUESMA, in his capacity as voluntary Arbitrator, respondents.

By:Wea Matriz

FACTS: The management issued a memorandum circular introducing a profit sharing scheme for its managers and supervisors the initial distribution. The respondent union wrote petitioner asking for participation in this scheme but it was denied by petitioner on the ground that it had to adhere strictly to the CBA.  Petitioner distributed the profit sharing benefit not only to managers and supervisors but also to all other rank and file employees not covered by the CBA. This caused the respondent union to file a notice of strike alleging that petitioner was guilty of ULP because the union members were discriminated against in the grant of the profit sharing benefits. Management refused to proceed with the CBA negotiations unless the last notice of strike was first resolved. The union agreed to postpone discussions on the profit sharing demand until a new CBA was concluded. After a series of conciliation conferences, the parties agreed to settle the dispute through voluntary arbitration. The voluntary arbitrator issued an award ordering petitioner to likewise extend the benefits of the 1987 profit sharing scheme to the members of respondent union. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether the grant by management of profit sharing benefits to its non-union member employees is discriminatory against its workers who are union members.

HELD: NO. Under the CBA between the parties, there is a clause where the employees are classified into those who are members of the union and those who are not. The grant by petitioner of profit sharing benefits to the employees outside the “bargaining unit” falls under the ambit of its managerial prerogative. It appears to have been done in good faith and without ulterior motive. In the case of the union members, they derive their benefits from the terms and conditions of the CBA contract which constitute the law between the contracting parties. Both the employer and the union members are bound by such agreement. There can be no discrimination committed by petitioner thereby as the situation of the union employees are different and distinct from the non-union employees.  Indeed, discrimination per se is not unlawful. There can be no discrimination where the employees concerned are not similarly situated.

DISPOSITIVE: Petition is GRANTED reversed the decision of voluntary arbitrator.

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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