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Electromat Manufacturing and Recording Corporation v. Lagunzad [G.R. No. 172699. July 27, 2011]

03 Sep

FACTS:

Private respondent applied for the registration with the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) with its supporting documents. BLR issued Certification of Creation of Local Chapter (equivalent to the certificate of registration of an independent union), pursuant to Department Order No. (D.O.) 40-03. The union has submitted: (1) copies of the ratified CBL; (2) the minutes of the CBL’s adoption and ratification; (3) the minutes of the organizational meetings; (4) the names and addresses of the union officers; (5) the list of union members; (6) the list of rank-and-file employees in the company; (7) a certification of non-existence of a CBA in the company; (8) the resolution of affiliation with WASTO and the latter’s acceptance; and (9) their Charter Certificate. These submissions were properly verified as required by the rules. In sum, the petitioner has no factual basis for questioning the union’s registration, as even the requirements for registration as an independent local have been substantially complied with. Petitioner filed a petition to cancel the union’s registration certificate for the union’s failure to comply with Article 234 of the Labor Code. DOLE-NCR dismissed the petition. In the appeal, the BLR affirmed the dismissed petition. Petitioner sought relief from the Court of Appeals through a petition for certiorari contending that BLR committed grave abuse of discretion in affirming the union’s registration. The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition as well as its motion for reconsideration.

ISSUES:

Political Law (Constitutional Law)

Whether or not D.O. 40-03 is unconstitutional for being violative of public policy on trade unionism.

Political Law (Administrative Law)

Whether or not D.O. 40-03 expanded or amended the Labor Code resulting in an invalid exercise of its delegated rule-making power.

Labor Law

Whether or not the respondents were validly registered in accordance with the Labor Code.

 

 

RULINGS:

Political Law (Constitutional Law)

No. D.O. 40-03 represents an expression of the government’s implementing policy on trade unionism. It builds upon the old rules by further simplifying the requirements for the establishment of locals or chapters. There is nothing contrary to the law or the Constitution in the adoption by the Secretary of Labor and Employment of D.O. 40-03 as this department order is consistent with the intent of the government to encourage the affiliation of a local union with a federation or national union to enhance the local’s bargaining power. The sole function of the courts is to apply or interpret the laws.  It does not formulate public policy, which is the province of the legislative and executive branches of government.  It is not for the courts to question change in policy, it being a well-established principle beyond question that it is not within its province to pass judgment upon the policy of legislative or executive action.  Notwithstanding the expanded judicial power under Sec. 1, Article VIII of the Constitution, an inquiry on the above-stated policy would delve into matters of wisdom not within the powers of this Court.

Political Law (Administrative Law)

Yes. The issuance of D.O. 40-03 is a valid exercise of delegated powers as it merely implemented the intent of the law – that in imposing lesser requirements in the case of a branch or local of a registered federation or national union is to encourage the affiliation of a local union with a federation or national union in order to increase the local union’s bargaining powers respecting terms and conditions of labor. D.O. 40-03 was made to recognize the distinctions made in the law itself between federations and their local chapters, and independent unions; local chapters seemingly have lesser requirements because they and their members are deemed to be direct members of the federation to which they are affiliated, which federations are the ones subject to the strict registration requirements of the law.

Labor Law

Yes. The local or chapter of a labor federation or national union becomes a legitimate labor organization upon compliance with Section 3, Rule II, Book V of the Rules Implementing the Labor Code, the only requirement being the submission of the charter certificate to the BLR. The local union in the present case has more than satisfied the requirements the petitioner complains about.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Case Digests, Labor Law, Political Law

 

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