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CBA; REFUSAL TO RENEGOTIATE ECONOMIC PROVISIONS OF THE CBA BY THE MANAGEMENT CONSTITUTES ULP

GENERAL MILLING CORPORATION VS. HON. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 146728. February 11, 2004
Facts: General Milling Corporation employed 190 workers. All the employees were members of a union which is a duly certified
bargaining agent. The GMC and the union entered into a collective bargaining agreement which included the issue of representation
that is effective for a term of three years which will expire on November 30, 1991. On November 29, 1991, a day before the expiration
of the CBA, the union sent GMC a proposed CBA, with a request that a counter proposal be submitted within ten days. on October
1991, GMC received collective and individual letters from the union members stating that they have withdrawn from their union
membership. On December 19, 1991, the union disclaimed any massive disaffiliation of its union members. On January 13, 1992,
GMC dismissed an employee who is a union member. The union protected the employee and requested GMC to submit to the
grievance procedure provided by the CBA, but GMC argued that there was no basis to negotiate with a union which is no longer
existing. The union then filed a case with the Labor Arbiter but the latter ruled that there must first be a certification election to
determine if the union still enjoys the support of the workers.
Issue: Whether or not GMC is guilty of unfair labor practice for violating its duty to bargain collectively and/or for interfering with the
right of its employees to self-organization.
Held: GMC is guilty of unfair labor practice when it refused to negotiate with the union upon its request for the renegotiation of the
economic terms of the CBA on November 29, 1991. the unions proposal was submitted within the prescribed 3-year period from the
date of effectivity of the CBA. It was obvious that GMC had no valid reason to refuse to negotiate in good faith with the union. The
refusal to send counter proposal to the union and to bargain anew on the economic terms of the CBA is tantamount to an unfair labor
practice under Article 248 of the Labor Code.
Under Article 252 of the Labor Code, both parties are required to perform their mutual obligation to meet and convene promptly and
expeditiously in good faith for the purpose of negotiating an agreement. The union lived up to this obligation when it presented
proposals for a new CBA to GMC within 3 years from the effectivity of the original CBA. But GMC failed in its duty under Article 252.
What it did was to devise a flimsy excuse, by questioning the existence of the union and the status of its membership to prevent any
negotiation. It bears stressing that the procedure in collective bargaining prescribed by the Code is mandatory because of the basic
interest of the state in ensuring lasting industrial peace.
The Court of Appeals found that the letters between February to June, 1993 by 13 union members signifying their resignation from
the union clearly indicated that GMC exerted pressure on the employees. We agree with the Court of Appeals conclusion that the illtimed letters of resignation from the union members indicate that GMC interfered with the right of its employee to self-organization.

G.R. No. L-54334 January 22, 1986


KIOK LOY, doing business under the name and style SWEDEN ICE CREAM PLANT, petitioner,
vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION (NLRC) and PAMBANSANG KILUSAN NG PAGGAWA (KILUSAN), respondents.
Petition for certiorari to annul the decision 1 of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) dated July 20, 1979 which found petitioner Sweden
Ice Cream guilty of unfair labor practice for unjustified refusal to bargain, in violation of par. (g) of Article 249 2 of the New Labor Code, 3 and declared
the draft proposal of the Union for a collective bargaining agreement as the governing collective bargaining agreement between the employees and
the management.
The pertinent background facts are as follows:
In a certification election held on October 3, 1978, the Pambansang Kilusang Paggawa (Union for short), a legitimate late labor federation, won and
was subsequently certified in a resolution dated November 29, 1978 by the Bureau of Labor Relations as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of
the rank-and-file employees of Sweden Ice Cream Plant (Company for short). The Company's motion for reconsideration of the said resolution was
denied on January 25, 1978.
Thereafter, and more specifically on December 7, 1978, the Union furnished 4 the Company with two copies of its proposed collective bargaining
agreement. At the same time, it requested the Company for its counter proposals. Eliciting no response to the aforesaid request, the Union again
wrote the Company reiterating its request for collective bargaining negotiations and for the Company to furnish them with its counter proposals. Both
requests were ignored and remained unacted upon by the Company.

Left with no other alternative in its attempt to bring the Company to the bargaining table, the Union, on February 14, 1979, filed a "Notice of Strike",
with the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) on ground of unresolved economic issues in collective bargaining. 5
Conciliation proceedings then followed during the thirty-day statutory cooling-off period. But all attempts towards an amicable settlement failed,
prompting the Bureau of Labor Relations to certify the case to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for compulsory arbitration pursuant
to Presidential Decree No. 823, as amended. The labor arbiter, Andres Fidelino, to whom the case was assigned, set the initial hearing for April 29,
1979. For failure however, of the parties to submit their respective position papers as required, the said hearing was cancelled and reset to another
date. Meanwhile, the Union submitted its position paper. The Company did not, and instead requested for a resetting which was granted. The
Company was directed anew to submit its financial statements for the years 1976, 1977, and 1978.
The case was further reset to May 11, 1979 due to the withdrawal of the Company's counsel of record, Atty. Rodolfo dela Cruz. On May 24, 1978, Atty.
Fortunato Panganiban formally entered his appearance as counsel for the Company only to request for another postponement allegedly for the
purpose of acquainting himself with the case. Meanwhile, the Company submitted its position paper on May 28, 1979.
When the case was called for hearing on June 4, 1979 as scheduled, the Company's representative, Mr. Ching, who was supposed to be examined,
failed to appear. Atty. Panganiban then requested for another postponement which the labor arbiter denied. He also ruled that the Company has
waived its right to present further evidence and, therefore, considered the case submitted for resolution.
On July 18, 1979, labor arbiter Andres Fidelino submitted its report to the National Labor Relations Commission. On July 20, 1979, the National Labor
Relations Commission rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, the respondent Sweden Ice Cream is hereby declared guilty of unjustified refusal to bargain, in violation of
Section (g) Article 248 (now Article 249), of P.D. 442, as amended. Further, the draft proposal for a collective bargaining
agreement (Exh. "E ") hereto attached and made an integral part of this decision, sent by the Union (Private respondent) to the
respondent (petitioner herein) and which is hereby found to be reasonable under the premises, is hereby declared to be the
collective agreement which should govern the relationship between the parties herein.
SO ORDERED. (Emphasis supplied)
Petitioner now comes before Us assailing the aforesaid decision contending that the National Labor Relations Commission acted without or in excess
of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in rendering the challenged decision. On August 4, 1980, this Court
dismissed the petition for lack of merit. Upon motion of the petitioner, however, the Resolution of dismissal was reconsidered and the petition was
given due course in a Resolution dated April 1, 1981.
Held:
Collective bargainingis a mutual responsibility and legal obligation of the employer and the Union. Under Article 249, par.(g) of the Labor Code, it is an
unfair labor practice for an employer to refuse "to meet and convene promptly and expeditiously in good faith for the purpose of negotiating an
agreement with respect to wages, hours of work, and all other terms and conditions of employment including proposals for adjusting any grievance or
question arising under such an agreement and executing a contract incorporating such agreement, if requested by either party.
2. The employer is not duty-bound to initiate contract negotiations. The collective bargaining process is set in motion only when the following
jurisdictional preconditions are present, namely,
(1) possession of the status of majority representation of the employees' representative thorugh any of the means of selection or designation provided
for by the Labor Code;
(2) proof of majority representation; and
(3) a demand to bargain under Article 251, par. (a) of the New Labor Code.
All these preconditions are present in the present case.
3. The totality of the conduct of the Company shows disregard of, and failure to live up to the duty to bargain in good faith. It is guilty of unfair labor
practice. Despite union being a a certified bargaining agent and having filed twice a request to bargain, the Company did not answer or act on such. ,
nor did the COmpany make any counter-proposal == all these indicate lack of a sincere desire to negotiate. The COmpany continued even during the
compulsory arbitration stage: it stalled negotitation with repeated postponements; non-appearance at the hearing conducted, and undue delay in
submitting its financial statements. All these show its unwillingness to negotiate and reach an agreement with the Union.
The actuations of the Company run counter ti the policy enshrined in the New Labor Code towards expediting settlement of economic disputes.
On its claim that the Collective Bargaining Agreement approved and adopted by the NLRC is a total nullity for lack of the company's consent, and itr
argument that once the Collective Bargaining Agreement is implemented, the Company will face the prospect of closing down because the amount of
economic benefits it has to pay the Union will equal or exceed its capital: it should have presented its stand before the Labor Arbiter .

Neither party is compelled to accept or agree to the proposals of the other. But an erring party cannot be allowed the impunity feign negotiations by
going through empty gestures. The case was certififed to the NLRC after conciliation efforts failed. This Court must accord deference to its findings of
reasonableness of any Collective Bargaining Agreement by the employees and management .

G.R. No. 75321 June 20, 1988


ASSOCIATED TRADE UNIONS (ATU), petitioner,
vs.
HON. CRESENCIO B. TRAJANO, in his capacity as Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, MOLE, BALIWAG TRANSIT, INC. and TRADE
UNIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES AND ALLIED SERVICES (TUPAS)-WFTU, respondents.
Facts: This case arose when on March 25, 1986, the private respondent union (TUPAS) filed with the Malolos labor office of the MOLE a petition for
certification election at the Baliwag Transit, Inc. among its rank-and-file workers. 1 Despite opposition from the herein petitioner, Associated Trade
Unions (ATU), the petition was granted by the med-arbiter on May 14, 1986, and a certification election was ordered "to determine the exclusive
bargaining agent (of the workers) for purposes of collective bargaining with respect to (their) terms and conditions of employment." 2 On appeal, this
order was sustained by the respondent Director of Labor Relations in his order dated June 20, 1986, which he affirmed in his order of July 17, 1986,
denying the motion for reconsideration. 3 ATU then came to this Court claiming that the said orders are tainted with grave abuse of discretion and so
should be reversed. On August 20, 1986, we issued a temporary restraining order that has maintained the status quo among the parties. 4
In support of its petition, ATU claims that the private respondent's petition for certification election is defective because (1) at the time it was filed, it did
not contain the signatures of 30% of the workers, to signify their consent to the certification election; and (2) it was not allowed under the contract-bar
rule because a new collective bargaining agreement had been entered into by ATU with the company on April 1, 1986. 5
TUPAS for its part, supported by the Solicitor General, contends that the 30% consent requirement has been substantially complied with, the workers'
signatures having been subsequently submitted and admitted. As for the contract-bar rule, its position is that the collective bargaining agreement,
besides being vitiated by certain procedural defects, was concluded by ATU with the management only on April 1, 1986 after the filing of the petition
for certification election on March 25, 1986. 6
This initial sparring was followed by a spirited exchange of views among the parties which insofar as the first issue is concerned has become at best
only academic now. The reason is that the 30% consent required under then Section 258 of the Labor Code is no longer in force owing to the
amendment of this section by Executive Order No. 111, which became effective on March 4, 1987.
As revised by the said executive order, the pertinent articles of the Labor Code now read as follows:
Art. 256. Representation issue in organized establishments. In organized establishments, when a petition questioning the majority status of the
incumbent bargaining agent is filed before the Ministry within the sixty-day period before the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, the
Med-Arbiter shall automatically order an election by secret ballot to ascertain the will of the employees in the appropriate bargaining unit. To have a
valid election, at least a majority of all eligible voters in the unit must have cast their votes. The labor union receiving the majority of the valid votes
cast shall be certified as the exclusive bargaining agent of all the workers in the unit. When an election which provides for three or more choices
results in no choice receiving a majority of the valid votes cast, a runoff election shall be conducted between the choices receiving the two highest
number of votes.
Art. 257. Petitions in unorganized establishments. In any establishment where there is no certified bargaining agent, the petition for certification
election filed by a legitimate labor organization shall be supported by the written consent of at least twenty (20%) percent of all the employees in the
bargaining unit. Upon receipt and verification of such petition, the Med-Arbiter shall automatically order the conduct of a certification election.
The applicable provision in the case at bar is Article 256 because Baliwag transit, Inc. is an organized establishment. Under this provision, the petition
for certification election need no longer carry the signatures of the 30% of the workers consenting to such petition as originally required under Article
258. The present rule provides that as long as the petition contains the matters 7 required in Section 2, Rule 5, Book V of the Implementing Rules and
Regulations, as amended by Section 6, Implementing Rules of E.O. No. 111, the med-arbiter "shall automatically order" an election by secret ballot "to
ascertain the will of the employees in the appropriate bargaining unit." The consent requirement is now applied only to unorganized establishments
under Article 257, and at that, significantly, has been reduced to only 20%.
The petition must also fail on the second issue which is based on the contract-bar rule under Section 3, Rule 5, Book V of the Implementing Rules and
Regulations. This rule simply provides that a petition for certification election or a motion for intervention can only be entertained within sixty days prior
to the expiry date of an existing collective bargaining agreement. Otherwise put, the rule prohibits the filing of a petition for certification election during
the existence of a collective bargaining agreement except within the freedom period, as it is called, when the said agreement is about to expire. The
purpose, obviously, is to ensure stability in the relationships of the workers and the management by preventing frequent modifications of any collective
bargaining agreement earlier entered into by them in good faith and for the stipulated original period.

ATU insists that its collective bargaining agreement concluded by it with Baliwag Transit, Inc, on April 1, 1986, should bar the certification election
sought by TUPAS as this would disturb the said new agreement. Moreover, the agreement had been ratified on April 3, 1986, by a majority of the
workers and is plainly beneficial to them because of the many generous concessions made by the management. 8
Besides pointing out that its petition for certification election was filed within the freedom period and five days before the new collective bargaining
agreement was concluded by ATU with Baliwag Transit, Inc. TUPAS contends that the said agreement suffers from certain fatal procedural flaws.
Specifically, the CBA was not posted for at least five days in two conspicuous places in the establishment before ratification, to enable the workers to
clearly inform themselves of its provisions. Moreover, the CBA submitted to the MOLE did not carry the sworn statement of the union secretary,
attested by the union president, that the CBA had been duly posted and ratified, as required by Section 1, Rule 9, Book V of the Implementing Rules
and Regulations. These requirements being mandatory, non-compliance therewith rendered the said CBA ineffective. 9
The Court will not rule on the merits and/or defects of the new CBA and shall only consider the fact that it was entered into at a time when the petition
for certification election had already been filed by TUPAS and was then pending resolution. The said CBA cannot be deemed permanent, precluding
the commencement of negotiations by another union with the management. In the meantime however, so as not to deprive the workers of the benefits
of the said agreement, it shall be recognized and given effect on a temporary basis, subject to the results of the certification election. The agreement
may be continued in force if ATU is certified as the exclusive bargaining representative of the workers or may be rejected and replaced in the event
that TUPAS emerges as the winner.
This ruling is consistent with our earlier decisions on interim arrangements of this kind where we declared:
... we are not unmindful that the supplemental collective bargaining contract, entered into in the meanwhile between management and respondent
Union contains provisions beneficial to labor. So as not to prejudice the workers involved, it must be made clear that until the conclusion of a new
collective bargaining contract entered into by it and whatever labor organization may be chosen after the certification election, the existing labor
contract as thus supplemented should be left undisturbed. Its terms call for strict compliance. This mode of assuring that the cause of labor suffers no
injury from the struggle between contending labor organization follows the doctrine announced in the recent case of Vassar Industries Employees v.
Estrella (L-46562, March 31, 1978). To quote from the opinion. "In the meanwhile, if as contended by private respondent labor union the interim
collective bargaining agreement which it engineered and entered into on September 26, 1977 has, much more favorable terms for the workers of
private respondent Vassar Industries, then it should continue in full force and effect until the appropriate bargaining representative is chosen and
negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement thereafter concluded." 10
It remains for the Court to reiterate that the certification election is the most democratic forum for the articulation by the workers of their choice of the
union that shall act on their behalf in the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement with their employer. Exercising their suffrage through the
medium of the secret ballot, they can select the exclusive bargaining representative that, emboldened by their confidence and strengthened by their
support shall fight for their rights at the conference table. That is how union solidarity is achieved and union power is increased in the free society.
Hence, rather than being inhibited and delayed, the certification election should be given every encouragement under the law, that the will of the
workers may be discovered and, through their freely chosen representatives, pursued and realized.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The temporary restraining order of August 20, 1986, is LIFTED. Cost against the petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-77282 May 5, 1989
ASSOCIATED LABOR UNIONS (ALU) petitioner,
vs.
HON. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, as Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, Ministry of Labor and Employment; PHILIPPINE SOCIAL
SECURITY LABOR UNION (PSSLU); SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES FEDERATION OF LABOR (SPFL) and GAW TRADING, INC., respondents.
Petitioner Associated Labor Unions (ALU, for brevity) instituted this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition to overturn the decision of the
respondent direcstor 1 dated December 10, 1986, which ordered the holding of a certification election among the rank-and-file workers of the private
respondent GAW Trading, Inc. The averments in the petition therefor, which succinctly but sufficiently detail the relevant factual antecedents of this
proceedings, justify their being quoted in full, thus:
1. The associated Labor Unions (ALU) thru its regional Vice-Presidents Teofanio C. Nuez, in a letter dated May 7, 1986 (ANNEX
C) informed GAW Trading, Inc. that majority of the latter's employees have authorized ALU to be their sole and exclusive
bargaining representative, and requested GAW Trading Inc., in the same Letter for a conference for the execution of an initial
Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA);
2. GAW Trading Inc. received the Letter of ALU aforesaid on the same day of May 7, 1986 as acknowledged thereunder and
responded (sic) ALU in a letter dated May 12, 1986 (Annex D) indicating its recognition of ALU as the sole and exclusive

bargaining agent for the majority of its employees and for which it set the time for conference and/or negotiation at 4:00 P.M. on
May 12, 1986 at the Pillsbury Office, Aboitiz Building Juan Luna Street, Cebu City;
3. On the following day of May13, 1986, ALU in behalf of the majority of the employees of GAW Trading Inc. signed and excuted
the Collective Bargaining (ANNEX F) ...
4. On May 15, 1986, ALU in behalf of the majority of the employees of GAW Trading Inc. and GAW Trading Inc. signed and
executed the Collective Bargaining Agreements (ANNEX F) . . . .
5. In the meantime, at about 1:00 P.M. of May 9, 1986, the Southern Philippines Federation of Labor (SPFL) together with
Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa GAW (NAMGAW) undertook a ... Strike ... after it failed to get the management of GAW Trading Inc.
to sit for a conference respecting its demands presented at 11: A.M. on the same day in an effort to pressure GAW Trading Inc. to
make a turnabout of its standign recognition of ALU as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of its employees, as to
which strike GAW Trading Inc. filed a petition for Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction, dfated June 1, 1986 (Annex H) and
which strike Labor Arbiter Bonifacio B. Tumamak held as illegal in a decision dated August 5, 1986 (ANNEX I);
6. On May 19, 1986, GAW Lumad Labor Union (GALLU-PSSLU) Federation ... filed a Certification Election petition (ANNEX J),
but as found by Med-Arbiter Candido M. Cumba in its (sic) Order dated Ju ne 11, 1986 (ANNEX K), without having complied (sic)
the subscription requirement for which it was merely considered an intervenor until compliance thereof in the other petition for
direct recogbnition as bargaining agent filed on MAy 28, 1986 by southern Philippines Federation of Labor (SPFL) as found in the
same order (ANNEX K);
7. Int he meantime, the Collective Bargaining Agreement executed by ALU and GAW Trading Inc. (ANNEX F) was duly filed May
27, 1986 with the Ministry of Labor and Employment in Region VII, Cebu city;
8. Nevertheless, Med-Arbiter Candido M. Cumba in his order of June 11, 1986 (Annex K) ruled for the holding of a ceritfication
election in all branches of GAW Trading Inc. in Cebu City, as to which ALU filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated June 19, 1986
(ANNEX L) which was treated as an appeal on that questioned Order for which reason the entire record of subject certification
case was forwarded for the Director, Bureau of LAbor Relations, Ministry of Labor and Employment, Manila (ANNEX M);
9. Bureau of Labor Relations Director Cresencio B. Trajano, rendered a Decision on August 13, 1986 (Annex B) granting ALU's
appeal (Motion for Reconsideration) and set aside the questioned Med-Arbiter Order of June 11, 1986 (Annex K), on the ground
that the CBA has been effective and valid and the contract bar rule applicable;
10. But the same Decision of Director Crecensio B. Trajano was sought for reconsideratrion both by Southern Philippines
Federation of Labor (SPFL) on August 26, 1986 (ANNEX N), supplemented by the 'SUBMISSION OD ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE'
dated September 29, 1986 (ANNEX O), and the Philppine Social Security Labor Union (PSSLU) on October 2, 1986 (ANNEX P),
which were opposed by both GAW Trading, Inc. on September 2, 1986 (ANNEX Q) and ALU on September 12, 1986 (ANNEX R);
2

The aforesaid decision of then Director Trajano was thereafter reversed by respondent director in her aforecited decision which is now assailed in this
action. A motion for reconsideration of ALU 3 appears to have been disregarded, hence, its present resort grounded on grave abuse of discretion by
public respondent.
Public respondent ordered the holding of a certification election ruling that the "contract bar rule" relied upon by her predecessor does not apply in the
present controversy. According to the decision of said respondent, the collective bargaining agreement involved herein is defective because it "was
not duly submitted in accordance with Section I, Rule IX, Book V of the Implementing Rules of Batas Pambansa Blg. 130." It was further observed that
"(t)here is no proof tending to show that the CBA has been posted in at least two conspicuous places in the 1 establishment at least five days before
its ratification and that it has been ratified by the majority of the employees in the bargaining unit."
We find no reversible error in the challenged decision of respondent director. A careful consideration of the facts culled from the records of this case,
especially the allegations of petitioner itself as hereinabove quoted, yields the conclusion that the collective bargaining agreement in question is
indeed defective hence unproductive of the legal effects attributed to it by the former director in his decision which was subsequently and properly
reversed.
We have previously held that the mechanics of collective bargaining are set in motion only when the following jurisdictional preconditions are present,
namely, (1) possession of the status of majority representation by the employees' representative in accordance with any of the means of selection
and/or designation provided for by the Labor Code; (2) proof of majority representation; and (3) a demand to bargain under Article 251, paragraph (a),
of the New Labor Code. 4 In the present case, the standing of petitioner as an exclusive bargaining representative is dubious, to say the least. It may
be recalled that respondent company, in a letter dated May 12, 1986 and addressed to petitioner, merely indicated that it was "not against the desire
of (its) workers" and required petitioner to present proof that it was supported by the majority thereof in a meeting to be held on the same date. 5 The

only express recognition of petitioner as said employees' bargaining representative that We see in the records is in the collective bargaining
agreement entered into two days thereafter. 6 Evidently, there was precipitate haste on the part of respondent company in recognizing petitioner union,
which recognition appears to have been based on the self-serving claim of the latter that it had the support of the majority of the employees in the
bargaining unit. Furthermore, at the time of the supposed recognition, the employer was obviously aware that there were other unions existing in the
unit. As earlier stated, respondent company's letter is dated May 12, 1986 while the two other unions, Southern Philippine Federation of Labor
(hereafter, SPFL and Philippine Social Security Labor Union (PSSLU, for short), went on strike earlier on May 9, 1986. The unusual promptitude in the
recognition of petitioner union by respondent company as the exclusive bargaining representative of the workers in GAW Trading, Inc. under the fluid
and amorphous circumstances then obtaining, was decidedly unwarranted and improvident.
It bears mention that even in cases where it was the then Minister of Labor himself who directly certified the union as the bargaining representative,
this Court voided such certification where there was a failure to properly determine with legal certainty whether the union enjoyed a majority
representation. In such a case, the holding of a certification election at a proper time would not necessarily be a mere formality as there was a
compelling reason not to directly and unilaterally certify a union. 7
An additional infirmity of the collective bargaining agreement involved was the failure to post the same in at least two (2) conspicuous places in the
establishment at least five days before its ratification. 8 Petitioners rationalization was that "(b)ecause of the real existence of the illegal strike staged
by SPFL in all the stores of GAW Trading, Inc. it had become impossible to comply with the posting requirement in so far as the realization of tits
purpose is concerned as there were no impartial members of the unit who could be appraised of the CBA's contents. " 9 This justification is puerile and
unacceptable.
In the first place, the posting of copies of the collective bargaining agreement is the responsibility of the employer which can easily comply with the
requirement through a mere mechanical act. The fact that there were "no impartial members of the unit" is immaterial. The purpose of the requirement
is precisely to inform the employees in the bargaining unit of the contents of said agreement so that they could intelligently decide whether to accept
the same or not. The assembly of the members of ALU wherein the agreement in question was allegedly explained does not cure the defect. The
contract is intended for all employees and not only for the members of the purpoted representative alone. It may even be said the the need to inform
the non-members of the terms thereof is more exigent and compelling since, in all likehood, their contact with the persons who are supposed to
represent them is limited. Moreover, to repeat, there was an apparent and suspicious hurry in the formulation and finalization of said collective
bargaining accord. In the sforementioned letter where respondent company required petitioner union to present proof of its support by the employees,
the company already suggested that petitioner ALU at the same time submit the proposals that it intended to embody in the projected agreement. This
was on May 12, 1986, and prompltly on thre following day the negoltiation panel; furnish respondent company final copies of the desired agreement
whcih, with equal dispatch, was signed on May 15, 1986.
Another potent reason for annulling the disputed collective bargaining is the finding of respondent director that one hundred eighty-one( 181) of the
two hundred eighty-one (281) workers who "ratified" the same now " strongly and vehemently deny and/or repudiate the alleged negotiations and
ratification of the CBA. " 10 Although petitioner claims that only sev en (7) of the repudiating group of workers belong to the total number who allegedly
ratified the agreement, nevertheless such substantiated contention weighed against the factujal that the controverted contract will not promote
industrial stability . The Court has long since declared that:
... Basic to the contract bar rule is the proposition that the delay of the right to select represen tatives can be justified only where
stability is deemed paramount. Excepted from the contract which do not foster industrial stability, such as contracts where the
identity of the representative is in doubt. Any stability derived from such contracts must be subordinated to the employees'
freedom of choice because it does nto establish the type of industrial peace contemplated by the law. 11
At this juncture, petitioner should be reminded that the technical rules of rpocedure do not strictly apply in the adjudication of labor disputes. 12
Consequently, its objection that the evidence with respect to the aforesaid repudiiation of the supposed collective bargaining agreement cannot be
considered for the first time on appeal on the Bureau of Labor Relations should be disregarded, especially considering the weighty significance
thereof.
Both petitioner and private respondent GAW Trading, Inc. allege that the employees of the latter are now enjoying the benefits of the collective
bargaining agreement that both parties had forged. However, We cannot find sufficient evidence of record to support this contention. The only
evidence cited by petitioner is supposed payment of union fees by said employees, a premise too tenuous to sustain the desired conclusion. Even the
actual number of workers in the respondent company is not clear from the records. Said private respondent claims that it is two hundred eighty-one
(281) 13 but petitioner suggests that it is more than that number. The said parties should be aware that this Court is not an adjudicator of facts. Worse,
to borrow a trite but apt phrase, they would heap the Ossa of confusion upon the Pelion of uncertainty and still expect a definitive ruling on the matter
thus confounded.
Additionally, the inapplicability of the contract bar rule is further underscored by the fact that when the disputed agreement was filed before the Labor
Regional Office on May 27, 1986, a petition for certification election had already been filed on May 19, 1986. Although the petition was not supported
by the signatures of thirty percent (30%) of the workers in the bargaining unit, the same was enough to initiate said certification election.
WHEREFORE, the order of the public respondent for the conduct of a certification election among the rank-and-file workers of respondent GAW
Trading Inc. is AFFIRMED. The temporary restraining order issued in this case pursuant to the Resolution of March 25, 1987 is hereby lifted.