Sunday, February 26, 2012

Elisco-Elirol Labor Union (NAFLU) vs Noriel

Facts: Elisco-Elirol Labor Union (NAFLU) negotiated and executed a CBA with Elizalde Steel Consolidated Inc. However, Elisco-Elirol then was not yet a registered union. In order to be able to execute the CBA, they had the union registered, which was granted. They likewise moved to disaffiliate themselves with NAFLU. Elizalde, however, refused to recognized them as the SEBA and it dismissed the officers of the union because of the union security clause in the CBA. Elisco-Elirol filed a complaint for unfair labor practice with the BLR. The BLR dismissed. 

Issue: Whether or not Elisco-Elirol is the SEBA 

Held: YES. The error of BLR is not perceiving that the employees and members of the local union did not form a new union but merely registered the local union as was their right. Petitioner Elisco-Elirol Labor Union-NAFLU, consisting of employees and members of the local union was the principal party to the agreement. NAFLU as the mother union" in participating in the execution of the bargaining agreement with respondent company acted merely as agent of the local union, which remained the basic unit of the association existing principally and freely to serve the common interest of all its members, including the freedom to disaffiliate when the circumstances so warranted as in the present case. 

"(T)he locals are separate and distinct units primarily designed to secure and maintain an equality of bargaining power between the employer and their employee-members in the economic struggle for the fruits of the joint productive effort of labor and capital; and the association of the locals into the national union (as PAFLU) was in furtherance of the same end. These associations are consensual entities capable of entering into such legal relations with their members. The essential purpose was the affiliation of the local unions into a common enterprise to increase by collective action the common bargaining power in respect of the terms and conditions of labor. Yet the locals remained the basic units of association, free to serve their own and the common interest of all, subject to the restraints imposed by the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association, and free also to renounce the affiliation for mutual welfare upon the terms laid down in the agreement which brought it into existence." (Liberty Cotton Mills Workers Union vs. Liberty Cotton Mills Inc.) 

Such maintenance of the membership clause could not be so distorted.. What is paramount is the security of tenure of the workers and not the security of the union. 

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