Thursday, February 23, 2012

Coastal Subic Bay vs. DOLE

Facts: Petitioner’s rank and file union and supervisors union both filed for certification elections with the Med Arbiter. 

RnF union insists it is registered by ALU and the Supervisor union states it is registered with Associated Professional, Supervisory, Office and Technical Union (APSOTEU). 

Petitioner alleges both are not legitimate and proposed bargaining units were not organized. 

Med Arbiter dismissed both petitions and stated both organizations belonged to the same federation. 

Secretary reversed stating both have separate legal personalities and separate certificates of registration from DOLE, and different sets of locals, and after having submitted the requirements to BLR, granted the separate certification elections. 

CA affirmed Secretary. 

(1) Whether or not BLR is the only entity that may issue registrations. NO 

(2) Whether or not supervisory and RnF may file separate certification elections. YES 

(3) Whether or not respondents engaged in commingling. NO. 

Petitioner alleges only BLR may issue registration. However Art. 235 states the BLR and/or the Regional Offices may do such. Even after the amendment the Regional Offices were not divested of their power, but only that the BLR will act on such registration made to the Regional Offices. 

Section 5. Effect of registration – The labor organization or workers’ association shall be deemed registered and vested with legal personality on the date of issuance of its certificate of registration. Such legal personality cannot thereafter be subject to collateral attack, but maybe questioned only in an independent petition for cancellation in accordance with these Rules. 

APSOTEU is a legitimate organization and may validly issue a charter to its affiliates, and this stays in effect until cancelled or revoked, and until then, possess a separate legal personality from each other., even with the commonalities. 

A local union does not owe its existence to the federation with which it is affiliated. It is a separate and distinct voluntary association owing its creation to the will of its members. Mere affiliation does not divest the local union of its own personality, neither does it give the mother federation the license to act independently of the local union. Hence, local unions are considered principals while the federation is deemed to be merely their agent. As such principals, the unions are entitled to exercise the rights and privileges of a legitimate labor organization.

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