CASE 2016-0080: ERROL RAMIREZ, JULITO APAS, RICKY ROSELO AND ESTEBAN MISSION, JR. VS. POLYSON INDUSTRIES, INC. AND WILSON S. YU (GR NO. 207898, 19 OCTOBER 2016, PERALTA, J.) (ILLEGAL STRIKE) (BRIEF TITLE: RAMIREZ ET AL VS POLYSON INDUSTRIES ET AL)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals, dated January 23, 2013 and June 17, 2013, respectively, in CA-G.R. SP No. 125091 are AFFIRMED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

“The Court is not persuaded by petitioners’ contention that they are not guilty of “illegal concerted activity” as they claim that this term contemplates a “careful planning of a considerable number of participants to insure that the desired result is attained.” Nothing in the law requires that a slowdown be carefully planned and that it be participated in by a large number of workers. The essence of this kind of strike is that the workers do not quit their work but simply reduce the rate of work in order to restrict the output or delay the production of the employer. It has been held that while a cessation of work by the concerted action of a large number of employees may more easily accomplish the object of the work stoppage than if it is by one person, there is, in fact no fundamental difference in the principle involved as far as the number of persons involved is concerned, and thus, if the act is the same, and the purpose to be accomplished is the same, there is a strike, whether one or more than one have ceased to work. 35 Furthermore, it is not necessary that any fixed number of employees should quit their work in order to constitute the stoppage a strike, and the number of persons necessary depends in each case on the peculiar facts in the case and no definite rule can be laid down. 36 As discussed above, petitioners engaged in slowdown when they induced two of their co-workers to quit their scheduled overtime work and they accomplished their purpose when the slowdown resulted in the delay and restriction in the output of Polyson on June 8, 2011.

 

With respect to procedural due process, it is settled that in termination proceedings of employees, procedural due process consists of the twin requirements of notice and hearing.37 The employer must furnish the employee with two written notices before the termination of employment can be effected: (1) the first apprises the employee of the particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought; and (2) the second informs the employee of the employer’s decision to dismiss him.38 The requirement of a hearing is complied with as long as there was an opportunity to be heard, and not necessarily that an actual hearing was conducted. 39 In the present case, Polyson was able to establish that these requirements were sufficiently complied with.

 

As to petitioners’ liability, the second paragraph of Article 264(a) of the Labor Code provides:


x x x Any union officer who knowingly participates in an illegal strike and any worker or union officer who knowingly participates in the commission of illegal acts during a strike may be declared to have lost his employment status: Provided, That mere participation of a worker in a lawful strike shall not constitute sufficient ground for termination of his employment, even if a replacement had been hired by the employer during such lawful strike.40

 

Finally, it cannot be overemphasized that strike, as the most preeminent economic weapon of the workers to force management to agree to an equitable sharing of the joint product of labor and capital, exert some disquieting effects not only on the relationship between labor and management, but also on the general peace and progress of society and economic well-being of the State.41 This weapon is so critical that the law imposes the supreme penalty of dismissal on union officers who irresponsibly participate in an illegal strike and union members who commit unlawful acts during a strike.42 The responsibility of the union officers, as main players in an illegal strike, is greater than that of the members as the union officers have the duty to guide their members to respect the law. 43 The policy of the State is not to tolerate actions directed at the destabilization of the social order, where the relationship between labor and management has been endangered by abuse of one party’s bargaining prerogative, to the extent of disregarding not only the direct order of the government to maintain the status quo, but the welfare of the entire workforce though they may not be involved in the dispute. 44 The grave penalty of dismissal imposed on the guilty parties is a natural consequence, considering the interest of public welfare.”

 

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scd-2016-0080-errol-ramirez-et-al-vs-polyson-industries-inc-and-wilson-s-yu

 

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