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#15

Ferrer vs. NLRC


ALEX FERRER, RAFAEL FERRER HENRY DIAZ, DOMINGO BANCOLITA, GIL DE
GUZMAN, an FEDERATION OF DEMOCRATIC LABOR UNION!,
"FEDLU#, petitioners,
vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATION! COMMI!!ION "!ECOND DI$I!ION#, HUI %AM
CHANG "In &'s (a)a('*+ as Genera, Mana-er ./ O(('en*a, F.0nr+ C.r).ra*'.n#,
OCCIDENTAL FOUNDRY COR1ORATION, MACEDONIO !. $ELA!CO "In &'s
(a)a('*+ as re)resen*a*'ve ./ *&e Feera*'.n ./ Free 2.r3ers#, GENARO CA1ITLE,
4E!U! TUMAGAN, ERNE!TO BARROGA, 1EDRO LLENA, GODOFREDO
1ACHECO, MARCELINO CA!TILLO, GEORGE IGNA!, 1IO DOMINGO, an 4AIME
BAYNADO, respondents.
Fa(*s5
Petitioners were regular and permanent employees of the Occidental Foundry
Corporation (OFC). They had been in the employ of OFC for about ten (!) years at the time of
their dismissal in "#" as piece wor$ers. The %amahang &anggagawa ng Occidental Foundry
Corporation'Federation of Free (or$ers (%)&)*)+) and the OFC entered into a collective
bargaining agreement (C,)). The agreement provides that a union member who fails to retain a
membership of good standing may be dismissed by the employer upon written re-uest by the
union.
Pursuant to this provision, herein petitioners were dismissed from employment on the ground of
failure to retain membership in good standing. .t was later on found out that the dismissal was
due to an intra'union s-uabble arising out of the attempt by the petitioners to oust the elected
union officials.
/pon $nowledge of their dismissal, petitioners volunteered to be admitted as members of the
Federation of 0emocratic 1abor /nions (F201/) who represented them before the 0O12 in the
complaint for illegal dismissal against the company, %)&)*)+ and FF(.
Iss0e5
(hether or not petitioners failed to maintain membership in good standing by
committing acts of disloyalty against %)&)*)+
He,5
+o. Petitioners sought the help of the F201/ only after they had learned of the
termination of their employment. Their alleged application with federations other than the FF(
can hardly be considered as disloyalty to the %)&)*)+, nor may the filing of such applications
denote that petitioners failed to maintain in good standing their membership in the %)&)*)+.
The %)&)*)+ is a different entity from FF(, the federation to which it belonged. +either
may it be inferred that petitioners sought disaffiliation from the FF( for petitioners had not
formed a union distinct from that of the %)&)*)+. Parenthetically, the right of a local union to
disaffiliate from a federation in the absence of any provision in the
federation3s constitution preventing disaffiliation of a local union is legal. %uch right is consistent
with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of association.
*ence, while petitioners3 act of holding a special election to oust Capitle, et al. may be
considered as an act of sowing disunity among the %)&)*)+ members, and, perhaps,
disloyalty to the union officials, which could have been dealt with by the union as a disciplinary
matter, it certainly cannot be considered as constituting disloyalty to the union. Faced with a
%)&)*)+ leadership which they had tried to remove as officials, it was but a natural act of
self'preservation that petitioners fled to the arms of the F201/ after the union and the OFC had
tried to terminate their employment. Petitioners should not be made accountable for such an act.
(ith the passage of 4epublic )ct +o. 567 which too$ effect on &arch 8, "#", )rticle 86" of
the 1abor Code was amended to read as follows9
%ecurity of Tenure. : .n cases of regular employment, the employer shall not terminate
the services of an employee e;cept for a <ust cause or when authori=ed by this Title. )n
employee who is un<ustly dismissed from wor$ shall be entitled to reinstatement without
loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to his full bac$wages, inclusive of
allowances, and to his other benefits or their monetary e-uivalent computed from the
time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement.
and as implemented by %ection >, 4ule # of the ""! +ew 4ules of Procedure of the +ational
1abor 4elations Commission, it would seem that the &ercury 0rug 4ule (&ercury 0rug Co.,
.nc. vs. Court of .ndustrial 4elations, 75 %C4) 5"? @"6?A) which limited the award of bac$
wages of illegally dismissed wor$ers to three (>) years Bwithout deduction or -ualificationB to
obviate the need for further proceedings in the course of e;ecution, is no longer applicable.
)s to the propriety of the dismissal, the court said that while it is true that the C,) between OFC
and the %)&)*)+ provided for the dismissal of employees who have not maintained their
membership in the union, the manner in which the dismissal was enforced left much to be
desired in terms of respect for the right of petitioners to procedural due process. %)&)*)+ did
not conduct any investigation and hearing where petitioners could have defended themselves.
&oreover, the company summarily dismissed petitioners upon re-uest of the union officers
without conducting their own investigation.