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Benguet Electric Cooperative v Caleja thereof cannot form, assist or join a labor

organization for the purpose of collective bargaining.


Beneco Worker's Labor Union-Association of
Democratic Labor Organizations (hereinafter referred
to as BWLU- ADLO) filed a petition for direct
certification as the sole and exclusive bargaining Republic of the Philippines represented by SSS v AsiaPro
representative of all the rank and file employees of Cooperative
Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (hereinafter Respondent Asiapro Cooperative (Asiapro) is a
referred to as BENECO) multi-purpose cooperative created pursuant to
BENECO, on the other hand, filed a motion to Republic Act No. 69381[6] and duly registered with
dismiss the employees sought to be represented the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)
by BWLU-ADLO are not eligible to form, join or It is a cooperative which is composed of owners-
assist labor organizations of their own choosing members. Under its by-laws, owners-members are of
because they are members and joint owners of the two categories, to wit: (1) regular member, who is
cooperative. entitled to all the rights and privileges of
med-arbiter issued an order limited the election membership; and (2) associate member, who has no
among the rank and file employees of petitioner who right to vote and be voted upon and shall be entitled
are non-members thereof and without any only to such rights and privileges provided in its by-
involvement in the actual ownership of the laws.
cooperative.
ISSUE: whether an employer-employee relationship can
ISSUE: whether or not member-consumers who are exist between the cooperative and an owner-member
employees of BENECO could form, assist or join a labor
union HELD: Yes (Cooperative Rural Bank of Davao City, Inc.)

HELD: No, they cannot. A cooperative, therefore, is by its nature different


from an ordinary business concern, being run either
The right to collective bargaining is not available to by persons, partnerships, or corporations. Its owners
an employee of a cooperative who at the same time is and/or members are the ones who run and operate the
a member and co-owner thereof. With respect, business while the others are its employees
however, to employees who are neither members nor An employee therefore of such a cooperative who is a
co-owners of the cooperative they are entitled to member and co-owner thereof cannot invoke the right
exercise the rights to self-organization, collective to collective bargaining for certainly an owner cannot
bargaining and negotiation as mandated by the 1987 bargain with himself or his co-owners
Constitution and applicable statutes. It bears stressing, too, that a cooperative acquires
The fact that the members-employees of petitioner do
juridical personality upon its registration with the
not participate in the actual management of the
Cooperative Development Authority.2[38] It has its
cooperative does not make them eligible to form,
assist or join a labor organization for the purpose of Board of Directors, which directs and supervises its
collective bargaining with petitioner. business; meaning, its Board of Directors is the one in
based on the fact that as members of the cooperative charge in the conduct and management of its
they are co-owners thereof. As such, they cannot affairs.3[39] With that, a cooperative can be likened to
invoke the right to collective bargaining for "certainly a corporation with a personality separate and distinct
an owner cannot bargain with himself or his co- from its owners-members. Consequently, an owner-
owners." It is the fact of ownership of the member of a cooperative can be an employee of the
cooperative, and not involvement in the management latter and an employer-employee relationship can exist
thereof, which disqualifies a member from joining between them.
any labor organization within the cooperative. Thus,
irrespective of the degree of their participation in the
actual management of the cooperative, all members
Philips Industrial Development, Inc. (PIDI) domestic
corporation engaged in the manufacturing and
marketing of electronic products

In the first CBA (1971-1974), the supervisors


SIM v NLRC referred to in R.A. No. 875, confidential employees,
security guards, temporary employees and sales
Corazon Sim (petitioner) filed a case for illegal representatives were excluded from the bargaining
dismissal with the Labor Arbiter, alleging that she unit.
was initially employed by Equitable PCI-Bank In the second to the fifth CBAs (1975-1977; 1978-
(respondent) in 1990 as Italian Remittance Marketing 1980; 1981-1983; and 1984-1986), the sales force,
Consultant to the Frankfurt Representative Office. confidential employees and heads of small units,
together with the managerial employees, temporary
Eventually, she was promoted to Manager position, employees and security personnel, were specifically
until September 1999, when she received a letter excluded from the bargaining unit. 1
from Remegio David -- the Senior Officer, European The confidential employees are the division
Head of PCIBank, and Managing Director of PCIB- secretaries of light/telecom/data and consumer
Europe -- informing her that she was being dismissed electronics, marketing managers, secretaries of the
due to loss of trust and confidence based on alleged corporate planning and business manager, fiscal and
mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. financial system manager and audit and EDP
manager, and the staff of both the General
ISSUE: Whether petitioner is illegally dismissed Management and the Personnel Department. 2
HELD: No. SC in favor of respondent In the sixth CBA covering the years 1987 to 1989, it
was agreed upon, among others, that the subject of
Complainant, as General Manager is an employee inclusion or exclusion of service engineers, sales
whom the respondent company reposed its trust and personnel and confidential employees in the coverage
confidence. In other words, she held a position of of the bargaining unit would be submitted for
trust. It is well-settled doctrine that the basic premise arbitration.
for dismissal on the ground of loss of confidence is
ISSUE: Whether THE NLRC COMMITTED ERROR IN
that the employee concerned holds a position of trust
HOLDING THAT SERVICE ENGINEERS, SALES
and confidence.
REPRESENTATIVES AND CONFIDENTIAL
Petitioner does not deny having withdrawn the
EMPLOYEES OF PETITIONER ARE QUALIFIED TO
amount of P3,000,000.00 lire from the bank's
BE PART OF THE EXISTING BARGAINING UNIT
account. What petitioner submits is that she used said
amount for the Radio Pilipinas sa Roma radio HELD: Yes, they must be excluded
program of the company. Respondent, however,
countered that at the time she withdrew said amount, Petitioners contend: The rationale for such
the radio program was already off the air. Respondent exclusion is that these employees hold positions
is a managerial employee. Thus, loss of trust and which are highly sensitive, confidential and of a
confidence is a valid ground for her dismissal.14 The highly fiduciary nature; to include them in the
mere existence of a basis for believing that a bargaining unit may subject the company to breaches
managerial employee has breached the trust of the in security and the possible revelation of highly
employer would suffice for his/her dismissal sensitive and confidential matters. It would cripple
[w]hen an employee accepts a promotion to a the company's bargaining position and would give
managerial position or to an office requiring full trust undue advantage to the union.
all these employees, with the exception of the service
and confidence, she gives up some of the rigid
engineers and the sales force personnel, are
guaranties available to ordinary workers. Infractions
confidential employees.
which if committed by others would be overlooked or
By the very nature of their functions, they assist and
condoned or penalties mitigated may be visited with act in a confidential capacity to, or have access to
more severe disciplinary action. A company's resort confidential matters of, persons who exercise
to acts of self-defense would be more easily justified managerial functions in the field of labor relations. 12
As such, the rationale behind the ineligibility of
managerial employees to form, assist or join a labor
Philips Industrial Development v NLRC union equally applies to them.
Bulletin Publishing Co., Inc. vs. Hon Augusto
Sanchez- The rationale for this inhibition has been
stated to be, because if these managerial employees
would belong to or be affiliated with a Union, the
latter might not be assured of their loyalty, to the
Union in view of evident conflict of interests. The
Union can also become company-dominated with the
presence of managerial employees in Union
membership.

Golden Farms v Sec of Labor


Sugbuanon Rural Bank v NLRC
Petitioner Golden Farms, Inc., is a corporation
engaged in the production and marketing of bananas Petitioner Sugbuanon Rural Bank, Inc.,
for export. On February 27, 1992, private respondent Private respondent SRBI Association of
Progressive Federation of Labor (PFL) filed a Professional, Supervisory, Office, and Technical
petition before the Med-Arbiter praying for the Employees Union (APSOTEU) is a legitimate labor
holding of a certification election among the monthly organization affiliated with the Trade Unions
paid office and technical rank-and-file employees of Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).
petitioner Golden Farms. SRBI filed a motion to dismiss the unions petition. It
sought to prevent the holding of a certification
HELD: No. Petitioners election on two grounds: First, that the members of
APSOTEU-TUCP were in fact managerial or
The monthly paid office and technical rank-and-file confidential employees.
employees of petitioner Golden Farms enjoy the
constitutional right to self-organization and collective ISSUE: Whether or not the members of the respondent
bargaining. 4 A "bargaining unit" has been defined as union are highly-placed confidential employees, hence
a group of employees of a given employer, comprised prohibited by law from joining labor organizations and
of all or less than all of the entire body of employees, engaging in union activities?
which the collective interest of all the employees,
consistent with equity to the employer, indicate to be HELD:
the best suited to serve the reciprocal rights and
duties of the parties under the collective bargaining
Confidential employees are those who (1) assist or
provisions of the law. 5 The community or mutuality
act in a confidential capacity, in regard (2) to persons
of interest is therefore the essential criterion in the
who formulate, determine, and effectuate
grouping. "
management policies [specifically in the field of
'the basic test of an asserted bargaining unit's
labor relations].
acceptability is whether or not it is fundamentally the
The two criteria are cumulative, and both must be
combination which will best assure to all employees
met if an employee is to be considered a confidential
the exercise of their collective bargaining rights.'
employee that is, the confidential relationship
In the case at bench, the evidence established that the
must exist between the employee and his superior
monthly paid rank-and-file employees of petitioner
officer; and that officer must handle the prescribed
primarily perform administrative or clerical work. In
responsibilities relating to labor relations.
contradistinction, the petitioner's daily paid rank-and-
Article 245 of the Labor Code does not directly
file employees mainly work in the cultivation of
prohibit confidential employees from engaging in
bananas in the fields. It is crystal clear the monthly
union activities. However, under the doctrine of
paid rank-and-file employees of petitioner have very
necessary implication, the disqualification of
little in common with its daily paid rank-and-file
managerial employees equally applies to confidential
employees in terms of duties and obligations,
employees.
working conditions, salary rates, and skills. To be
sure, the said monthly paid rank-and-file employees The confidential-employee rule justifies exclusion of
have even been excluded from the bargaining unit of confidential employees because in the normal course
the daily paid rank-and-file employees. of their duties, they become aware of management
policies relating to labor relations. It must be
This dissimilarity of interests warrants the formation
stressed, however, that when the employee does not
of a separate and distinct bargaining unit for the
have access to confidential labor relations
monthly paid rank-and-file employees of the
information, there is no legal prohibition against
petitioner. To rule otherwise would deny this distinct
confidential employees from forming, assisting, or
class of employees the right to self-organization for
joining a union
purposes of collective bargaining. Without the shield
of an organization, it will also expose them to the
exploitations of management.
Philips Industrial Development, Inc. v. NLRC: this
Court held that petitioners division secretaries, all
Staff of General Management, Personnel and
Industrial Relations Department, Secretaries of Audit,
EDP and Financial Systems are confidential
employees not included within the rank-and-file
bargaining unit
Pier 8 Arrastre & Stevedoring Services, Inc. v.
Tunay na Pagkakaisa ng manggagawa sa Asia Roldan-Confesor: we declared that legal secretaries
Brewery v Asia Brewery who are tasked with, among others, the typing of
legal documents, memoranda and correspondence,
the keeping of records and files, the giving of and
Asia Brewery Inc. entered into a CBA, effective for
receiving notices, and such other duties as required
five (5) years from August 1, 1997 to July 31, 2002,
by the legal personnel of the corporation, fall under
with Bisig at Lakas ng mga Manggagawa sa Asia-
the category of confidential employees and hence
Independent (BLMA-INDEPENDENT), the
excluded from the bargaining unit composed of rank-
exclusive bargaining representative of ABIs rank-
and-file employees.
and-file employees.
However, perusal of the job descriptions of these
CBA: The UNION shall not represent or accept for
secretaries/clerks reveals that their assigned duties
membership employees outside the scope of the
and responsibilities involve routine activities of
bargaining unit herein defined. //// Bargaining Unit
recording and monitoring, and other paper works for
excludes Confidential and Executive Secretaries
their respective departments while secretarial tasks
Subsequently, a dispute arose when ABIs
such as receiving telephone calls and filing of office
management stopped deducting union dues from
correspondence appear to have been commonly
eighty-one (81) employees, believing that their
imposed as additional duties. Respondent failed to
membership in BLMA-INDEPENDENT violated the
indicate who among these numerous
CBA.
secretaries/clerks have access to confidential data
relating to management policies that could give rise
ISSUE: THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN RULING to potential conflict of interest with their Union
THAT THE 81 EMPLOYEES ARE EXCLUDED FROM membership.
AND ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR INCLUSION IN THE no evidence was presented by the respondent to
BARGAINING UNIT AS DEFINED IN SECTION 2, prove that these daily-paid checkers actually form
ARTICLE 1 OF THE CBA part of the companys Quality Control Staff who as
such were exposed to sensitive, vital and confidential
HELD: information about [companys] products.
Consequently, we hold that the twenty (20) checkers
Although Article 245 of the Labor Code limits the may not be considered confidential employees
ineligibility to join, form and assist any labor Not being confidential employees, the
organization to managerial employees, jurisprudence secretaries/clerks and checkers are not disqualified
has extended this prohibition to confidential from membership in the Union of respondents rank-
employees or those who by reason of their positions and-file employees
or nature of work are required to assist or act in a
fiduciary manner to managerial employees and
hence, are likewise privy to sensitive and highly
confidential records
Confidential employees are thus excluded from the
rank-and-file bargaining unit. The rationale for their
De la sale Univ vs DLSU-Employees Assn
separate category and disqualification to join any
labor organization is similar to the inhibition for
managerial employees because if allowed to be Dela Salle University (hereinafter referred to as
affiliated with a Union, the latter might not be UNIVERSITY) and Dela Salle University Employees
assured of their loyalty in view of evident conflict of Association - National Federation of Teachers and
interests and the Union can also become company- Employees Union (DLSUEA-NAFTEU), which is
denominated with the presence of managerial composed of regular non-academic rank and file
employees in the Union membership employees, (hereinafter referred to as UNION)
Having access to confidential information, entered into a collective bargaining agreement with a
confidential employees may also become the source life span of three (3) years
of undue advantage. Said employees may act as a spy 60 days before the expiration of the said collective
or spies of either party to a collective bargaining bargaining agreement, the Union initiated
agreement. negotiations with the University for a new collective
bargaining agreement- Unsuccessful Notice of sufficient evidence was shown to justify the piercing
Strike of the veil of corporate fiction.
voluntary arbitrator: ruled that "the Computer
Operators assigned at the CSC [Computer Services
Center], just like any other Computer Operators in
other units, [should be] included as members of the
bargaining unit," after finding that "[e]vidently, the
Computer Operators are presently doing clerical and
routinary work and had nothing to do with [the]
setting of management policies for the University, as San Miguel Cor Supervisory and Exempt Employees
[may be] gleaned from the duties and responsibilities Union v Laguesma
attached to the position and embodied in the CSC
[Computer Services Center] brochure. They may
Petitioner union filed before the Department of Labor
have, as argued by the University, access to vital
and Employment (DOLE) a Petition for District
information regarding the Universitys operations but
Certification or Certification Election among the
they are not necessarily confidential."
supervisors and exempt employees of the SMC
Magnolia Poultry Products Plants of Cabuyao, San
ISSUE: Whether the computer operators assigned at the Fernando and Otis.
Universitys Computer Services Center and the Universitys Med-Arbiter Danilo L. Reynante issued an Order
discipline officers may be considered as confidential ordering the conduct of certification among the
employees and should therefore be excluded from the
supervisors and exempt employees of the SMC
bargaining unit which is composed of rank and file Magnolia Poultry Products Plants of Cabuyao, San
employees of the University, and whether the employees of Fernando and Otis as one bargaining unit.
the College of St. Benilde should also be included in the same
respondent San Miguel Corporation filed a Notice of
bargaining unit
Appeal with Memorandum on Appeal, pointing out,
among others, the Med-Arbiters error in grouping
HELD: together all three (3) separate plants, Otis, Cabuyao
and San Fernando, into one bargaining unit, and in
The Court agrees with the Solicitor General that the including supervisory levels 3 and above whose
express exclusion of the computer operators and positions are confidential in nature.
discipline officers from the bargaining unit of rank-
and-file employees in the 1986 collective bargaining ISSUES: (1) Whether Supervisory employees 3 and 4 and the
agreement does not bar any re-negotiation for the exempt employees of the company are considered
future inclusion of the said employees in the confidential employees, hence ineligible from joining a
bargaining unit. During the freedom period, the union. (2) If they are not confidential employees, do the
parties may not only renew the existing collective employees of the three plants constitute an appropriate single
bargaining agreement but may also propose and bargaining unit.
discuss modifications or amendments thereto.
With regard to the alleged confidential nature of the HELD:
said employees functions, after a careful
consideration of the pleadings filed before this Court,
we rule that the said computer operators and Said employees do not fall within the term
discipline officers are not confidential employees. As confidential employees who may be prohibited from
carefully examined by the Solicitor General, the joining a union.
service record of a computer operator reveals that his Confidential employees are those who (1) assist or
duties are basically clerical and non-confidential in act in a confidential capacity, (2) to persons who
nature. formulate, determine, and effectuate management
As to the discipline officers, we agree with the policies in the field of labor relations. The two
voluntary arbitrator that based on the nature of their criteria are cumulative, and both must be met if an
duties, they are not confidential employees and employee is to be considered a confidential employee
should therefore be included in the bargaining unit of that is, the confidential relationship must exist
rank-and-file employees. between the employees and his supervisor, and the
supervisor must handle the prescribed responsibilities
The Court also affirms the findings of the voluntary
relating to labor relations.
arbitrator that the employees of the College of St.
Benilde should be excluded from the bargaining unit The broad rationale behind this rule is that
of the rank-and-file employees of Dela Salle employees should not be placed in a position
University, because the two educational institutions involving a potential conflict of interests
have their own separate juridical personality and no An important element of the confidential employee
rule is the employees need to use labor relations
information. Thus, in determining the confidentiality can be gleaned that the confidential information said
of certain employees, a key questions frequently employees have access to concern the employers
considered is the employees necessary access to internal business operations. As held in
confidential labor relations information Westinghouse Electric Corporation v. National Labor
Granting arguendo that an employee has access to Relations Board,ii[21] an employee may not be
confidential labor relations information but such is excluded from appropriate bargaining unit merely
merely incidental to his duties and knowledge thereof because he has access to confidential information
is not necessary in the performance of such duties, concerning employers internal business operations
said access does not render the employee a and which is not related to the field of labor relations.
confidential employee. If access to confidential labor
relations information is to be a factor in the
determination of an employees confidential status,
such information must relate to the employers labor German Agency for Technical Cooperation v CA
relations policies. Access to information which is
regarded by the employer to be confidential from the governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and
business standpoint, such as financial the Republic of the Philippines ratified an Agreement
informationi[18] or technical trade secrets, will not concerning Technical Co-operation (Agreement)
render an employee a confidential employee.
It is evident that whatever confidential data the
questioned employees may handle will have to relate
to their functions. From the foregoing functions, it