Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Umali vs. Lovina

Facts: On 25 November 1948, two hundred one (201) employees of the Jai Alai Corporation of the Philippines banded and organized themselves into an association or union adopting "Independent Employees Union" as the name of their guild. 

On 29 December, the union filed with the Department of Labor a copy of its constitution and by-laws. On 7 January 1949, the President of the Independent Employees Union wrote a letter to the Secretary of Labor requesting immediate and favorable action on the pending application for registration of their labor organization. On the same date, the Secretary of Labor wrote a letter to the President of the Jai Alaistas Union of Employees, a registered and licensed union, granting it an extension of time, or until the 15th of the month, to hold an election under the supervision of the Department of Labor, and warning the President of the union that should the election be not held within the time granted, he would be compelled to register and issue a permit to the Independent Employees Union. In answer to said letter, the President of the Jai Alaistas Union of Employees informed the Secretary of Labor that his union had advanced the date of the general meeting to 23 instead of 30 January and reiterated that if the by-laws be amended and the term of office of the board of directors be shortened, another election would immediately be held for the purpose of electing a new board of directors in accordance with the by-laws. 

On 15 January, the Secretary of Labor wrote a letter to the President of the Independent Employees Union, advising him that, in connection with the application for registration of the Independent Employees Union, he would not register it, because its registration would be contrary to his policy of allowing one union only in one company, especially if the unions be of the same nature, but that should the Jai Alaistas Union of Employees fail to hold an election on 23 January 1949, in accordance with the amended by-laws he would register the Independents Employees Union on the following day — 24 January. Despite the failure of the Jai Alaistas Union of Employees to hold a general election and the promise of the Secretary of Labor that should such an election be not held, he would register the Independent Employees Union the following day, the said secretary has refused and still refuses to register the application and to issue a permit to the Independent Employees Union to operate as a legitimate labor organization. 

Issue: Whether or not the said secretary erred in refusing to register the application and issue a permit to the Independent Employees Union to operate as a legitimate labor organization 

Held:  YES. There being no lawful reason for the respondent to refuse the registration of the application for the petitioner's union and permission to operate as a legitimate labor organization; it being the duty of the respondent to register the application and issue the permit upon payment of the required fee, as provided for in section 3 of Commonwealth Act No. 213, the investigation to be conducted by him, as required by law, having been conducted and completed, as may be inferred from his official statements in connection therewith, the conclusion in connection therewith, the conclusion is inescapable that he has neglected the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins him to perform as a duty resulting from his office, and that such neglect unlawfully excludes the petitioner's union from the use and enjoyment of a right to which it is entitled. It appearing further that there is no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, the writ prayed for should be, as is hereby, granted, without costs. 


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