THE LABOR CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 442,
A DECREE INSTITUTING A LABOR CODE THEREBY REVISING AND CONSOLIDATING
LABOR AND SOCIAL LAWS TO AFFORD PROTECTION TO LABOR, PROMOTE EMPLOYMENT AND
HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AND INSURE INDUSTRIAL PEACE BASED ON SOCIAL JUSTICE.
POLICY AND DEFINITIONS
ARTICLE 211. Declaration of Policy. – A. It is the policy of the State:
(a) To promote and emphasize the primacy of free collective bargaining and negotiations, including voluntary arbitration, mediation and conciliation, as modes of settling labor or industrial disputes;
(b) To promote free trade unionism as an instrument for the enhancement of democracy and the promotion of social justice and development;
(c) To foster the free and voluntary organization of a strong and united labor movement;
(d) To promote the enlightenment of workers concerning their rights and obligations as union members and as employees;
(e) To provide an adequate administrative machinery for the expeditious settlement of labor or industrial disputes;
(f) To ensure a stable but dynamic and just industrial peace; and
(g) To ensure the participation of workers in decision and policy-making processes affecting their rights, duties and welfare.
B. To encourage a truly democratic method of regulating the relations between the employers and employees by means of agreements freely entered into through collective bargaining, no court or administrative agency or official shall have the power to set or fix wages, rates of pay, hours of work or other terms and conditions of employment, except as otherwise provided under this Code. (As amended by Section 3, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 212. Definitions. – (a) “Commission” means the National Labor Relations Commission or any of its divisions, as the case may be, as provided under this Code.
(b) “Bureau” means the Bureau of Labor Relations and/or the Labor Relations Divisions in the regional offices established under Presidential Decree No. 1, in the Department of Labor.
(c) “Board” means the National Conciliation and Mediation Board established under Executive Order No. 126.
(d) “Council” means the Tripartite Voluntary Arbitration Advisory Council established under Executive Order No. 126, as amended.
(e) “Employer” includes any person acting in the interest of an employer, directly or indirectly. The term shall not include any labor organization or any of its officers or agents except when acting as employer.
(f) “Employee” includes any person in the employ of an employer. The term shall not be limited to the employees of a particular employer, unless the Code so explicitly states. It shall include any individual whose work has ceased as a result of or in connection with any current labor dispute or because of any unfair labor practice if he has not obtained any other substantially equivalent and regular employment.
(g) “Labor organization” means any union or association of employees which exists in whole or in part for the purpose of collective bargaining or of dealing with employers concerning terms and conditions of employment.
(h) “Legitimate labor organization” means any labor organization duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment, and includes any branch or local thereof.
(i) “Company union” means any labor organization whose formation, function or administration has been assisted by any act defined as unfair labor practice by this Code.
(j) “Bargaining representative” means a legitimate labor organization whether or not employed by the employer.
(k) “Unfair labor practice” means any unfair labor practice as expressly defined by the Code.
(l) “Labor dispute” includes any controversy or matter concerning terms and conditions of employment or the association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or arranging the terms and conditions of employment, regardless of whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee.
(m) “Managerial employee” is one who is vested with the powers or prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies and/or to hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off, recall, discharge, assign or discipline employees. Supervisory employees are those who, in the interest of the employer, effectively recommend such managerial actions if the exercise of such authority is not merely routinary or clerical in nature but requires the use of independent judgment. All employees not falling within any of the above definitions are considered rank-and-file employees for purposes of this Book.
(n) “Voluntary Arbitrator” means any person accredited by the Board as such or any person named or designated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement by the parties to act as their Voluntary Arbitrator, or one chosen with or without the assistance of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, pursuant to a selection procedure agreed upon in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, or any official that may be authorized by the Secretary of Labor and Employment to act as Voluntary Arbitrator upon the written request and agreement of the parties to a labor dispute.
(o) “Strike” means any temporary stoppage of work by the concerted action of employees as a result of an industrial or labor dispute.
(p) “Lockout” means any temporary refusal of an employer to furnish work as a result of an industrial or labor dispute.
(q) “Internal union dispute” includes all disputes or grievances arising from any violation of or disagreement over any provision of the constitution and by laws of a union, including any violation of the rights and conditions of union membership provided for in this Code.
(r) “Strike-breaker” means any person who obstructs, impedes, or interferes with by force, violence, coercion, threats, or intimidation any peaceful picketing affecting wages, hours or conditions of work or in the exercise of the right of self-organization or collective bargaining.
(s) “Strike area” means the establishment, warehouses, depots, plants or offices, including the sites or premises used as runaway shops, of the employer struck against, as well as the immediate vicinity actually used by picketing strikers in moving to and fro before all points of entrance to and exit from said establishment. (As amended by Section 4, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
CREATION AND COMPOSITION
ARTICLE 213. National Labor Relations Commission. – There shall be a National Labor Relations Commission which shall be attached to the Department of Labor and Employment for program and policy coordination only, composed of a Chairman and fourteen (14) Members.
Five (5) members each shall be chosen from among the nominees of the workers and employers organizations, respectively. The Chairman and the four (4) remaining members shall come from the public sector, with the latter to be chosen from among the recommendees of the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
Upon assumption into office, the members nominated by the workers and employers organizations shall divest themselves of any affiliation with or interest in the federation or association to which they belong.
The Commission may sit en banc or in five (5) divisions, each composed of three (3) members. Subject to the penultimate sentence of this paragraph, the Commission shall sit en banc only for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations governing the hearing and disposition of cases before any of its divisions and regional branches, and formulating policies affecting its administration and operations. The Commission shall exercise its adjudicatory and all other powers, functions, and duties through its divisions. Of the five (5) divisions, the first, second and third divisions shall handle cases coming from the National Capital Region and the parts of Luzon; and the fourth and fifth divisions, cases from the Visayas and Mindanao, respectively; Provided that the Commission sitting en banc may, on temporary or emergency basis, allow cases within the jurisdiction of any division to be heard and decided by any other division whose docket allows the additional workload and such transfer will not expose litigants to unnecessary additional expense. The divisions of the Commission shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over cases within their respective territorial jurisdictions. [As amended by Republic Act No. 7700].
The concurrence of two (2) Commissioners of a division shall be necessary for the pronouncement of judgment or resolution. Whenever the required membership in a division is not complete and the concurrence of two (2) commissioners to arrive at a judgment or resolution cannot be obtained, the Chairman shall designate such number of additional Commissioners from the other divisions as may be necessary.
The conclusions of a division on any case submitted to it for decision shall be reached in consultation before the case is assigned to a member for the writing of the opinion. It shall be mandatory for the division to meet for purposes of the consultation ordained herein. A certification to this effect signed by the Presiding Commissioner of the division shall be issued and a copy thereof attached to the record of the case and served upon the parties.
The Chairman shall be the Presiding Commissioner of the first division and the four (4) other members from the public sector shall be the Presiding Commissioners of the second, third, fourth and fifth divisions, respectively. In case of the effective absence or incapacity of the Chairman, the Presiding Commissioner of the second division shall be the Acting Chairman.
The Chairman, aided by the Executive Clerk of the Commission, shall have administrative supervision over the Commission and its regional branches and all its personnel, including the Executive Labor Arbiters and Labor Arbiters.
The Commission, when sitting en banc shall be assisted by the same Executive Clerk and, when acting thru its Divisions, by said Executive Clerks for the second, third, fourth and fifth Divisions, respectively, in the performance of such similar or equivalent functions and duties as are discharged by the Clerk of Court and Deputy Clerks of Court of the Court of Appeals. (As amended by Section 5, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 214. Headquarters, Branches and Provincial Extension Units. – The Commission and its First, Second and Third divisions shall have their main offices in Metropolitan Manila, and the Fourth and Fifth divisions in the Cities of Cebu and Cagayan de Oro, respectively. The Commission shall establish as many regional branches as there are regional offices of the Department of Labor and Employment, sub-regional branches or provincial extension units. There shall be as many Labor Arbiters as may be necessary for the effective and efficient operation of the Commission. Each regional branch shall be headed by an Executive Labor Arbiter. (As amended by Section 6, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 215. Appointment and Qualifications. – The Chairman and other Commissioners shall be members of the Philippine Bar and must have engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines for at least fifteen (15) years, with at least five (5) years experience or exposure in the field of labor-management relations, and shall preferably be residents of the region where they are to hold office. The Executive Labor Arbiters and Labor Arbiters shall likewise be members of the Philippine Bar and must have been engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines for at least seven (7) years, with at least three (3) years experience or exposure in the field of labor-management relations: Provided, However, that incumbent Executive Labor Arbiters and Labor Arbiters who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least five (5) years may be considered as already qualified for purposes of reappointment as such under this Act. The Chairman and the other Commissioners, the Executive Labor Arbiters and Labor Arbiters shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of sixty-five years, unless sooner removed for cause as provided by law or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office.
The Chairman, the division Presiding Commissioners and other Commissioners shall be appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Appointment to any vacancy shall come from the nominees of the sector which nominated the predecessor. The Executive Labor Arbiters and Labor Arbiters shall also be appointed by the President, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Labor and Employment and shall be subject to the Civil Service Law, rules and regulations.
The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall, in consultation with the Chairman of the Commission, appoint the staff and employees of the Commission and its regional branches as the needs of the service may require, subject to the Civil Service Law, rules and regulations, and upgrade their current salaries, benefits and other emoluments in accordance with law. (As amended by Section 7, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 216. Salaries, benefits and other emoluments. – The Chairman and members of the Commission shall receive an annual salary at least equivalent to, and be entitled to the same allowances and benefits as those of the Presiding Justice and Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals, respectively. The Executive Labor Arbiters shall receive an annual salary at least equivalent to that of an Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment and shall be entitled to the same allowances and benefits as that of a Regional Director of said Department. The Labor Arbiters shall receive an annual salary at least equivalent to, and be entitled to the same allowances and benefits as that of an Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment. In no case, however, shall the provision of this Article result in the diminution of existing salaries, allowances and benefits of the aforementioned officials. (As amended by Section 8, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
POWERS AND DUTIES
ARTICLE 217. Jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiters and the Commission. – (a) Except as otherwise provided under this Code, the Labor Arbiters shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide, within thirty (30) calendar days after the submission of the case by the parties for decision without extension, even in the absence of stenographic notes, the following cases involving all workers, whether agricultural or non-agricultural:
1. Unfair labor practice cases;
2. Termination disputes;
3. If accompanied with a claim for reinstatement, those cases that workers may file involving wages, rates of pay, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment;
4. Claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages arising from the employer-employee relations;
5. Cases arising from any violation of Article 264 of this Code, including questions involving the legality of strikes and lockouts; and
6. Except claims for Employees Compensation, Social Security, Medicare and maternity benefits, all other claims arising from employer-employee relations, including those of persons in domestic or household service, involving an amount exceeding five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) regardless of whether accompanied with a claim for reinstatement.
(b) The Commission shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by Labor Arbiters.
(c) Cases arising from the interpretation or implementation of collective bargaining agreements and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies shall be disposed of by the Labor Arbiter by referring the same to the grievance machinery and voluntary arbitration as may be provided in said agreements. (As amended by Section 9, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 218. Powers of the Commission. – The Commission shall have the power and authority:
(a) To promulgate rules and regulations governing the hearing and disposition of cases before it and its regional branches, as well as those pertaining to its internal functions and such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Code; (As amended by Section 10, Republic Act No. March 21, 1989).
(b) To administer oaths, summon the parties to a controversy, issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the production of such books, papers, contracts, records, statement of accounts, agreements, and others as may be material to a just determination of the matter under investigation, and to testify in any investigation or hearing conducted in pursuance of this Code;
(c) To conduct investigation for the determination of a question, matter or controversy within its jurisdiction, proceed to hear and determine the disputes in the absence of any party thereto who has been summoned or served with notice to appear, conduct its proceedings or any part thereof in public or in private, adjourn its hearings to any time and place, refer technical matters or accounts to an expert and to accept his report as evidence after hearing of the parties upon due notice, direct parties to be joined in or excluded from the proceedings, correct, amend, or waive any error, defect or irregularity whether in substance or in form, give all such directions as it may deem necessary or expedient in the determination of the dispute before it, and dismiss any matter or refrain from further hearing or from determining the dispute or part thereof, where it is trivial or where further proceedings by the Commission are not necessary or desirable; and
(d) To hold any person in contempt directly or indirectly and impose appropriate penalties therefor in accordance with law.
A person guilty of misbehavior in the presence of or so near the Chairman or any member of the Commission or any Labor Arbiter as to obstruct or interrupt the proceedings before the same, including disrespect toward said officials, offensive personalities toward others, or refusal to be sworn, or to answer as a witness or to subscribe an affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so, may be summarily adjudged in direct contempt by said officials and punished by fine not exceeding five hundred pesos (P500) or imprisonment not exceeding five (5) days, or both, if it be the Commission, or a member thereof, or by a fine not exceeding one hundred pesos (P100) or imprisonment not exceeding one (1) day, or both, if it be a Labor Arbiter.
The person adjudged in direct contempt by a Labor Arbiter may appeal to the Commission and the execution of the judgment shall be suspended pending the resolution of the appeal upon the filing by such person of a bond on condition that he will abide by and perform the judgment of the Commission should the appeal be decided against him. Judgment of the Commission on direct contempt is immediately executory and unappealable. Indirect contempt shall be dealt with by the Commission or Labor Arbiter in the manner prescribed under Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court; and (As amended by Section 10, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
(e) To enjoin or restrain any actual or threatened commission of any or all prohibited or unlawful acts or to require the performance of a particular act in any labor dispute which, if not restrained or performed forthwith, may cause grave or irreparable damage to any party or render ineffectual any decision in favor of such party: Provided, That no temporary or permanent injunction in any case involving or growing out of a labor dispute as defined in this Code shall be issued except after hearing the testimony of witnesses, with opportunity for cross-examination, in support of the allegations of a complaint made under oath, and testimony in opposition thereto, if offered, and only after a finding of fact by the Commission, to the effect:
(1) That prohibited or unlawful acts have been threatened and will be committed and will be continued unless restrained, but no injunction or temporary restraining order shall be issued on account of any threat, prohibited or unlawful act, except against the person or persons, association or organization making the threat or committing the prohibited or unlawful act or actually authorizing or ratifying thesame after actual knowledge thereof;
(2) That substantial and irreparable injury to complainants property will follow;
(3) That as to each item of relief to be granted, greater injury will be inflicted upon complainant by the denial of relief than will be inflicted upon defendants by the granting of relief;
(4) That complainant has no adequate remedy at law; and
(5) That the public officers charged with the duty to protect complainants property are unable or unwilling to furnish adequate protection.
Such hearing shall be held after due and personal notice thereof has been served, in such manner as the Commission shall direct, to all known persons against whom relief is sought, and also to the Chief Executive and other public officials of the province or city within which the unlawful acts have been threatened or committed, charged with the duty to protect complainants property: Provided, however, that if a complainant shall also allege that, unless a temporary restraining order shall be issued without notice, a substantial and irreparable injury to complainants property will be unavoidable, such a temporary restraining order may be issued upon testimony under oath, sufficient, if sustained, to justify the Commission in issuing a temporary injunction upon hearing after notice. Such a temporary restraining order shall be effective for no longer than twenty (20) days and shall become void at the expiration of said twenty (20) days. No such temporary restraining order or temporary injunction shall be issued except on condition that complainant shall first file an undertaking with adequate security in an amount to be fixed by the Commission sufficient to recompense those enjoined for any loss, expense or damage caused by the improvident or erroneous issuance of such order or injunction, including all reasonable costs, together with a reasonable attorneys fee, and expense of defense against the order or against the granting of any injunctive relief sought in the same proceeding and subsequently denied by the Commission.
The undertaking herein mentioned shall be understood to constitute an agreement entered into by the complainant and the surety upon which an order may be rendered in the same suit or proceeding against said complainant and surety, upon a hearing to assess damages, of which hearing, complainant and surety shall have reasonable notice, the said complainant and surety submitting themselves to the jurisdiction of the Commission for that purpose. But nothing herein contained shall deprive any party having a claim or cause of action under or upon such undertaking from electing to pursue his ordinary remedy by suit at law or in equity: Provided, further, That the reception of evidence for the application of a writ of injunction may be delegated by the Commission to any of its Labor Arbiters who shall conduct such hearings in such places as he may determine to be accessible to the parties and their witnesses and shall submit thereafter his recommendation to the Commission. (As amended by Section 10, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 219. Ocular inspection. – The Chairman, any Commissioner, Labor Arbiter or their duly authorized representatives, may, at any time during working hours, conduct an ocular inspection on any establishment, building, ship or vessel, place or premises, including any work, material, implement, machinery, appliance or any object therein, and ask any employee, laborer, or any person, as the case may be, for any information or data concerning any matter or question relative to the object of the investigation.
ARTICLE 220. Compulsory arbitration. – The Commission or any Labor Arbiter shall have the power to ask the assistance of other government officials and qualified private citizens to act as compulsory arbitrators on cases referred to them and to fix and assess the fees of such compulsory arbitrators, taking into account the nature of the case, the time consumed in hearing the case, the professional standing of the arbitrators, the financial capacity of the parties, and the fees provided in the Rules of Court.] (Repealed by Section 16, Batas Pambansa Bilang 130, August 21, 1981).
ARTICLE 221. Technical rules not binding and prior resort to amicable settlement. – In any proceeding before the Commission or any of the Labor Arbiters, the rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity shall not be controlling and it is the spirit and intention of this Code that the Commission and its members and the Labor Arbiters shall use every and all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively and without regard to technicalities of law or procedure, all in the interest of due process. In any proceeding before the Commission or any Labor Arbiter, the parties may be represented by legal counsel but it shall be the duty of the Chairman, any Presiding Commissioner or Commissioner or any Labor Arbiter to exercise complete control of the proceedings at all stages.
Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the Labor Arbiter shall exert all efforts towards the amicable settlement of a labor dispute within his jurisdiction on or before the first hearing. The same rule shall apply to the Commission in the exercise of its original jurisdiction. (As amended by Section 11, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 222. Appearances and Fees. – (a) Non-lawyers may appear before the Commission or any Labor Arbiter only:
1. If they represent themselves; or
2. If they represent their organization or members thereof.
(b) No attorneys fees, negotiation fees or similar charges of any kind arising from any collective bargaining agreement shall be imposed on any individual member of the contracting union: Provided, However, that attorneys fees may be charged against union funds in an amount to be agreed upon by the parties. Any contract, agreement or arrangement of any sort to the contrary shall be null and void. (As amended by Presidential Decree No. 1691, May 1, 1980).
ARTICLE 223. Appeal. – Decisions, awards, or orders of the Labor Arbiter are final and executory unless appealed to the Commission by any or both parties within ten (10) calendar days from receipt of such decisions, awards, or orders. Such appeal may be entertained only on any of the following grounds:
(a) If there is prima facie evidence of abuse of discretion on the part of the Labor Arbiter;
(b) If the decision, order or award was secured through fraud or coercion, including graft and corruption;
(c) If made purely on questions of law; and
(d) If serious errors in the findings of facts are raised which would cause grave or irreparable damage or injury to the appellant.
In case of a judgment involving a monetary award, an appeal by the employer may be perfected only upon the posting of a cash or surety bond issued by a reputable bonding company duly accredited by the Commission in the amount equivalent to the monetary award in the judgment appealed from.
In any event, the decision of the Labor Arbiter reinstating a dismissed or separated employee, insofar as the reinstatement aspect is concerned, shall immediately be executory, even pending appeal. The employee shall either be admitted back to work under the same terms and conditions prevailing prior to his dismissal or separation or, at the option of the employer, merely reinstated in the payroll. The posting of a bond by the employer shall not stay the execution for reinstatement provided herein.
To discourage frivolous or dilatory appeals, the Commission or the Labor Arbiter shall impose reasonable penalty, including fines or censures, upon the erring parties.
In all cases, the appellant shall furnish a copy of the memorandum of appeal to the other party who shall file an answer not later than ten (10) calendar days from receipt thereof.
The Commission shall decide all cases within twenty (20) calendar days from receipt of the answer of the appellee. The decision of the Commission shall be final and executory after ten (10) calendar days from receipt thereof by the parties.
Any law enforcement agency may be deputized by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or the Commission in the enforcement of decisions, awards or orders. (As amended by Section 12, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 224. Execution of decisions, orders or awards. – (a) The Secretary of Labor and Employment or any Regional Director, the Commission or any Labor Arbiter, or Med-Arbiter or Voluntary Arbitrator may, motu proprio or on motion of any interested party, issue a writ of execution on a judgment within five (5) years from the date it becomes final and executory, requiring a sheriff or a duly deputized officer to execute or enforce final decisions, orders or awards of the Secretary of Labor and Employment or regional director, the Commission, the Labor Arbiter or med-arbiter, or voluntary arbitrators. In any case, it shall be the duty of the responsible officer to separately furnish immediately the counsels of record and the parties with copies of said decisions, orders or awards. Failure to comply with the duty prescribed herein shall subject such responsible officer to appropriate administrative sanctions.
(b) The Secretary of Labor and Employment, and the Chairman of the Commission may designate special sheriffs and take any measure under existing laws to ensure compliance with their decisions, orders or awards and those of the Labor Arbiters and voluntary arbitrators, including the imposition of administrative fines which shall not be less than P500.00 nor more than P10,000.00. (As amended by Section 13, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 225. Contempt powers of the Secretary of Labor. – In the exercise of his powers under this Code, the Secretary of Labor may hold any person in direct or indirect contempt and impose the appropriate penalties therefor.
BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS
ARTICLE 226. Bureau of Labor Relations. – The Bureau of Labor Relations and the Labor Relations Divisions in the regional offices of the Department of Labor, shall have original and exclusive authority to act, at their own initiative or upon request of either or both parties, on all inter-union and intra-union conflicts, and all disputes, grievances or problems arising from or affecting labor-management relations in all workplaces, whether agricultural or non-agricultural, except those arising from the implementation or interpretation of collective bargaining agreements which shall be the subject of grievance procedure and/or voluntary arbitration.
The Bureau shall have fifteen (15) working days to act on labor cases before it, subject to extension by agreement of the parties. (As amended by Section 14, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 227. Compromise agreements. – Any compromise settlement, including those involving labor standard laws, voluntarily agreed upon by the parties with the assistance of the Bureau or the regional office of the Department of Labor, shall be final and binding upon the parties. The National Labor Relations Commission or any court, shall not assume jurisdiction over issues involved therein except in case of non-compliance thereof or if there is prima facie evidence that the settlement was obtained through fraud, misrepresentation, or coercion.
ARTICLE. 228. Indorsement of cases to Labor Arbiters. – (a) Except as provided in paragraph(b) of this Article, the Labor Arbiter shall entertain only cases endorsed to him for compulsory arbitration by the Bureau or by the Regional Director with a written notice of such indorsement or non-indorsement. The indorsement or non-indorsement of the Regional Director may be appealed to the Bureau within ten (10) working days from receipt of the notice.
(b) The parties may, at any time, by mutual agreement, withdraw a case from the Conciliation Section and jointly submit it to a Labor Arbiter, except deadlocks in collective bargaining.] (Repealed by Section 16, Batas Pambansa Bilang 130, August 21, 1981).
ARTICLE 229. Issuance of subpoenas. – The Bureau shall have the power to require the appearance of any person or the production of any paper, document or matter relevant to a labor dispute under its jurisdiction, either at the request of any interested party or at its own initiative.
ARTICLE 230. Appointment of bureau personnel. – The Secretary of Labor and Employment may appoint, in addition to the present personnel of the Bureau and the Industrial Relations Divisions, such number of examiners and other assistants as may be necessary to carry out the purpose of the Code. [As amended by Section 15, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989].
ARTICLE 231. Registry of unions and file of collective bargaining agreements. – The Bureau shall keep a registry of legitimate labor organizations. The Bureau shall also maintain a file of all collective bargaining agreements and other related agreements and records of settlement of labor disputes and copies of orders and decisions of voluntary arbitrators. The file shall be open and accessible to interested parties under conditions prescribed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, provided that no specific information submitted in confidence shall be disclosed unless authorized by the Secretary, or when it is at issue in any judicial litigation, or when public interest or national security so requires.
Within thirty (30) days from the execution of a Collective Bargaining Agreement, the parties shall submit copies of the same directly to the Bureau or the Regional Offices of the Department of Labor and Employment for registration, accompanied with verified proofs of its posting in two conspicuous places in the place of work and ratification by the majority of all the workers in the bargaining unit. The Bureau or Regional Offices shall act upon the application for registration of such Collective Bargaining Agreement within five (5) calendar days from receipt thereof. The Regional Offices shall furnish the Bureau with a copy of the Collective Bargaining Agreement within five (5) days from its submission.
The Bureau or Regional Office shall assess the employer for every Collective Bargaining Agreement a registration fee of not less than one thousand pesos (P1,000.00) or in any other amount as may be deemed appropriate and necessary by the Secretary of Labor and Employment for the effective and efficient administration of the Voluntary Arbitration Program. Any amount collected under this provision shall accrue to the Special Voluntary Arbitration Fund.
The Bureau shall also maintain a file and shall undertake or assist in the publication of all final decisions, orders and awards of the Secretary of Labor and Employment, Regional Directors and the Commission. (As amended by Section 15, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 232. Prohibition on certification election. – The Bureau shall not entertain any petition for certification election or any other action which may disturb the administration of duly registered existing collective bargaining agreements affecting the parties except under Articles 253, 253-A and 256 of this Code. (As amended by Section 15, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 233. Privileged communication. – Information and statements made at conciliation proceedings shall be treated as privileged communication and shall not be used as evidence in the Commission. Conciliators and similar officials shall not testify in any court or body regarding any matters taken up at conciliation proceedings conducted by them.
REGISTRATION AND CANCELLATION
ARTICLE 234. Requirements of registration. – Any applicant labor organization, association or group of unions or workers shall acquire legal personality and shall be entitled to the rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor organizations upon issuance of the certificate of registration based on the following requirements.
(a) Fifty pesos (P50.00) registration fee;
(b) The names of its officers, their addresses, the principal address of the labor organization, the minutes of the organizational meetings and the list of the workers who participated in such meetings;
(c) The names of all its members comprising at least twenty percent (20%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate; (As amended by Executive Order No. 111, December 24, 1986).
(d) If the applicant union has been in existence for one or more years, copies of its annual financial reports; and
(e) Four (4) copies of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant union, minutes of its adoption or ratification, and the list of the members who participated in it. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 130, August 21, 1981).
ARTICLE 235. Action on application. – The Bureau shall act on all applications for registration within thirty (30) days from filing. All requisite documents and papers shall be certified under oath by the secretary or the treasurer of the organization, as the case may be, and attested to by its president.
ARTICLE 236. Denial of registration; appeal. – The decision of the Labor Relations Division in the regional office denying registration may be appealed by the applicant union to the Bureau within ten (10) days from receipt of notice thereof.
ARTICLE 237. Additional requirements for federations or national unions. – Subject to Article 238, if the applicant for registration is a federation or a national union, it shall, in addition to the requirements of the preceding Articles, submit the following:
(a) Proof of the affiliation of at least ten (10) locals or chapters, each of which must be a duly recognized collective bargaining agent in the establishment or industry in which it operates, supporting the registration of such applicant federation or national union; and
(b) The names and addresses of the companies where the locals or chapters operate and the list of all the members in each company involved.
ARTICLE 238. Conditions for registration of federations or national unions. – No federation or national union shall be registered to engage in any organization activity in more than one industry in any area or region, and no federation or national union shall be registered to engage in any organizational activity in more than one industry all over the country.
The federation or national union which meets the requirements and conditions herein prescribed may organize and affiliate locals and chapters without registering such locals or chapters with the Bureau.
Locals or chapters shall have the same rights and privileges as if they were registered in the Bureau, provided that such federation or national union organizes such locals or chapters within its assigned organizational field of activity as may be prescribed by the Secretary of Labor.
The Bureau shall see to it that federations and national unions shall only organize locals and chapters within a specific industry or union.] (Repealed by Executive Order No. 111, December 24, 1986).
ARTICLE 238. Cancellation of registration; appeal. – The certificate of registration of any legitimate labor organization, whether national or local, shall be cancelled by the Bureau if it has reason to believe, after due hearing, that the said labor organization no longer meets one or more of the requirements herein prescribed.
The Bureau upon approval of this Code shall immediately institute cancellation proceedings and take such other steps as may be necessary to restructure all existing registered labor organizations in accordance with the objective envisioned above.] (Repealed by Executive Order No. 111, December 24, 1986).
ARTICLE 239. Grounds for cancellation of union registration. – The following shall constitute grounds for cancellation of union registration:
(a) Misrepresentation, false statement or fraud in connection with the adoption or ratification of the constitution and by-laws or amendments thereto, the minutes of ratification and the list of members who took part in the ratification;
(b) Failure to submit the documents mentioned in the preceding paragraph within thirty (30) days from adoption or ratification of the constitution and by-laws or amendments thereto;
(c) Misrepresentation, false statements or fraud in connection with the election of officers, minutes of the election of officers, the list of voters, or failure to submit these documents together with the list of the newly elected/appointed officers and their postal addresses within thirty (30) days from election;
(d) Failure to submit the annual financial report to the Bureau within thirty (30) days after the closing of every fiscal year and misrepresentation, false entries or fraud in the preparation of the financial report itself;
(e) Acting as a labor contractor or engaging in the “cabo” system, or otherwise engaging in any activity prohibited by law;
(f) Entering into collective bargaining agreements which provide terms and conditions of employment below minimum standards established by law;
(g) Asking for or accepting attorneys fees or negotiation fees from employers;
(h) Other than for mandatory activities under this Code, checking off special assessments or any other fees without duly signed individual written authorizations of the members;
(i) Failure to submit list of individual members to the Bureau once a year or whenever required by the Bureau; and
(j) Failure to comply with requirements under Articles 237 and 238.
ARTICLE 240. Equity of the incumbent. – All existing federations and national unions which meet the qualifications of a legitimate labor organization and none of the grounds for cancellation shall continue to maintain their existing affiliates regardless of the nature of the industry and the location of the affiliates.
RIGHTS AND CONDITIONS OF MEMBERSHIP
ARTICLE 241. Rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization. – The following are the rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization:
(a) No arbitrary or excessive initiation fees shall be required of the members of a legitimate labor organization nor shall arbitrary, excessive or oppressive fine and forfeiture be imposed;
(b) The members shall be entitled to full and detailed reports from their officers and representatives of all financial transactions as provided for in the constitution and by-laws of the organization;
(c) The members shall directly elect their officers, including those of the national union or federation, to which they or their union is affiliated, by secret ballot at intervals of five (5) years. No qualification requirements for candidacy to any position shall be imposed other than membership in good standing in subject labor organization. The secretary or any other responsible union officer shall furnish the Secretary of Labor and Employment with a list of the newly-elected officers, together with the appointive officers or agents who are entrusted with the handling of funds, within thirty (30) calendar days after the election of officers or from the occurrence of any change in the list of officers of the labor organization; (As amended by Section 16, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
(d) The members shall determine by secret ballot, after due deliberation, any question of major policy affecting the entire membership of the organization, unless the nature of the organization or force majeure renders such secret ballot impractical, in which case, the board of directors of the organization may make the decision in behalf of the general membership;
(e) No labor organization shall knowingly admit as members or continue in membership any individual who belongs to a subversive organization or who is engaged directly or indirectly in any subversive activity;
(f) No person who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude shall be eligible for election as a union officer or for appointment to any position in the union;
(g) No officer, agent or member of a labor organization shall collect any fees, dues, or other contributions in its behalf or make any disbursement of its money or funds unless he is duly authorized pursuant to its constitution and by-laws;
(h) Every payment of fees, dues or other contributions by a member shall be evidenced by a receipt signed by the officer or agent making the collection and entered into the record of the organization to be kept and maintained for the purpose;
(i) The funds of the organization shall not be applied for any purpose or object other than those expressly provided by its constitution and by-laws or those expressly authorized by written resolution adopted by the majority of the members at a general meeting duly called for the purpose;
(j) Every income or revenue of the organization shall be evidenced by a record showing its source, and every expenditure of its funds shall be evidenced by a receipt from the person to whom the payment is made, which shall state the date, place and purpose of such payment. Such record or receipt shall form part of the financial records of the organization.
Any action involving the funds of the organization shall prescribe after three (3) years from the date of submission of the annual financial report to the Department of Labor and Employment or from the date the same should have been submitted as required by law, whichever comes earlier: Provided, That this provision shall apply only to a legitimate labor organization which has submitted the financial report requirements under this Code: Provided, further, that failure of any labor organization to comply with the periodic financial reports required by law and such rules and regulations promulgated there under six (6) months after the effectivity of this Act shall automatically result in the cancellation of union registration of such labor organization; (As amended by Section 16, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
(k) The officers of any labor organization shall not be paid any compensation other than the salaries and expenses due to their positions as specifically provided for in its constitution and by-laws, or in a written resolution duly authorized by a majority of all the members at a general membership meeting duly called for the purpose. The minutes of the meeting and the list of participants and ballots cast shall be subject to inspection by the Secretary of Labor or his duly authorized representatives. Any irregularities in the approval of the resolutions shall be a ground for impeachment or expulsion from the organization;
(l) The treasurer of any labor organization and every officer thereof who is responsible for the account of such organization or for the collection, management, disbursement, custody or control of the funds, moneys and other properties of the organization, shall render to the organization and to its members a true and correct account of all moneys received and paid by him since he assumed office or since the last day on which he rendered such account, and of all bonds, securities and other properties of the organization entrusted to his custody or under his control. The rendering of such account shall be made:
(1) At least once a year within thirty (30) days after the close of its fiscal year;
(2) At such other times as may be required by a resolution of the majority of the members of the organization; and
(3) Upon vacating his office.
The account shall be duly audited and verified by affidavit and a copy thereof shall be furnished the Secretary of Labor.
(m) The books of accounts and other records of the financial activities of any labor organization shall be open to inspection by any officer or member thereof during office hours;
(n) No special assessment or other extraordinary fees may be levied upon the members of a labor organization unless authorized by a written resolution of a majority of all the members in a general membership meeting duly called for the purpose. The secretary of the organization shall record the minutes of the meeting including the list of all members present, the votes cast, the purpose of the special assessment or fees and the recipient of such assessment or fees. The record shall be attested to by the president.
(o) Other than for mandatory activities under the Code, no special assessments, attorneys fees, negotiation fees or any other extraordinary fees may be checked off from any amount due to an employee without an individual written authorization duly signed by the employee. The authorization should specifically state the amount, purpose and beneficiary of the deduction; and
(p) It shall be the duty of any labor organization and its officers to inform its members on the provisions of its constitution and by-laws, collective bargaining agreement, the prevailing labor relations system and all their rights and obligations under existing labor laws.
For this purpose, registered labor organizations may assess reasonable dues to finance labor relations seminars and other labor education activities.
Any violation of the above rights and conditions of membership shall be a ground for cancellation of union registration or expulsion of officers from office, whichever is appropriate. At least thirty percent (30%) of the members of a union or any member or members specially concerned may report such violation to the Bureau. The Bureau shall have the power to hear and decide any reported violation to mete the appropriate penalty.
Criminal and civil liabilities arising from violations of above rights and conditions of membership shall continue to be under the jurisdiction of ordinary courts.
RIGHTS OF LEGITIMATE LABOR ORGANIZATIONS
ARTICLE 242. Rights of legitimate labor organizations. – A legitimate labor organization shall have the right:
(a) To act as the representative of its members for the purpose of collective bargaining;
(b) To be certified as the exclusive representative of all the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit for purposes of collective bargaining;
(c) To be furnished by the employer, upon written request, with its annual audited financial statements, including the balance sheet and the profit and loss statement, within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of receipt of the request, after the union has been duly recognized by the employer or certified as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of the employees in the bargaining unit, or within sixty (60) calendar days before the expiration of the existing collective bargaining agreement, or during the collective bargaining negotiation;
(d) To own property, real or personal, for the use and benefit of the labor organization and its members;
(e) To sue and be sued in its registered name; and
(f) To undertake all other activities designed to benefit the organization and its members, including cooperative, housing, welfare and other projects not contrary to law.
Notwithstanding any provision of a general or special law to the contrary, the income and the properties of legitimate labor organizations, including grants, endowments, gifts, donations and contributions they may receive from fraternal and similar organizations, local or foreign, which are actually, directly and exclusively used for their lawful purposes, shall be free from taxes, duties and other assessments. The exemptions provided herein may be withdrawn only by a special law expressly repealing this provision. (As amended by Section 17, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 243. Coverage and employees right to self-organization. – All persons employed in commercial, industrial and agricultural enterprises and in religious, charitable, medical, or educational institutions, whether operating for profit or not, shall have the right to self-organization and to form, join, or assist labor organizations of their own choosing for purposes of collective bargaining. Ambulant, intermittent and itinerant workers, self-employed people, rural workers and those without any definite employers may form labor organizations for their mutual aid and protection. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 70, May 1, 1980).
ARTICLE 244. Right of employees in the public service. – Employees of government corporations established under the Corporation Code shall have the right to organize and to bargain collectively with their respective employers. All other employees in the civil service shall have the right to form associations for purposes not contrary to law. (As amended by Executive Order No. 111, December 24, 1986).
ARTICLE 245. Ineligibility of managerial employees to join any labor organization; right of supervisory employees. – Managerial employees are not eligible to join, assist or form any labor organization. Supervisory employees shall not be eligible for membership in a labor organization of the rank-and-file employees but may join, assist or form separate labor organizations of their own. (As amended by Section 18, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 246. Non-abridgment of right to self-organization. – It shall be unlawful for any person to restrain, coerce, discriminate against or unduly interfere with employees and workers in their exercise of the right to self-organization. Such right shall include the right to form, join, or assist labor organizations for the purpose of collective bargaining through representatives of their own choosing and to engage in lawful concerted activities for the same purpose for their mutual aid and protection, subject to the provisions of Article 264 of this Code. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 70, May 1, 1980).
UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES
ARTICLE 247. Concept of unfair labor practice and procedure for prosecution thereof. – Unfair labor practices violate the constitutional right of workers and employees to self-organization, are inimical to the legitimate interests of both labor and management, including their right to bargain collectively and otherwise deal with each other in an atmosphere of freedom and mutual respect, disrupt industrial peace and hinder the promotion of healthy and stable labor-management relations.
Consequently, unfair labor practices are not only violations of the civil rights of both labor and management but are also criminal offenses against the State which shall be subject to prosecution and punishment as herein provided.
Subject to the exercise by the President or by the Secretary of Labor and Employment of the powers vested in them by Articles 263 and 264 of this Code, the civil aspects of all cases involving unfair labor practices, which may include claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages, attorneys fees and other affirmative relief, shall be under the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiters. The Labor Arbiters shall give utmost priority to the hearing and resolution of all cases involving unfair labor practices. They shall resolve such cases within thirty (30) calendar days from the time they are submitted for decision.
Recovery of civil liability in the administrative proceedings shall bar recovery under the Civil Code.
No criminal prosecution under this Title may be instituted without a final judgment finding that an unfair labor practice was committed, having been first obtained in the preceding paragraph. During the pendency of such administrative proceeding, the running of the period of prescription of the criminal offense herein penalized shall be considered interrupted: Provided, however, that the final judgment in the administrative proceedings shall not be binding in the criminal case nor be considered as evidence of guilt but merely as proof of compliance of the requirements therein set forth. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 70, May 1, 1980 and later further amended by Section 19, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES OF EMPLOYERS
ARTICLE 248. Unfair labor practices of employers. – It shall be unlawful for an employer to commit any of the following unfair labor practice:
(a) To interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization;
(b) To require as a condition of employment that a person or an employee shall not join a labor organization or shall withdraw from one to which he belongs;
(c) To contract out services or functions being performed by union members when such will interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights to self-organization;
(d) To initiate, dominate, assist or otherwise interfere with the formation or administration of any labor organization, including the giving of financial or other support to it or its organizers or supporters;
(e) To discriminate in regard to wages, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment in order to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization. Nothing in this Code or in any other law shall stop the parties from requiring membership in a recognized collective bargaining agent as a condition for employment, except those employees who are already members of another union at the time of the signing of the collective bargaining agreement. Employees of an appropriate bargaining unit who are not members of the recognized collective bargaining agent may be assessed a reasonable fee equivalent to the dues and other fees paid by members of the recognized collective bargaining agent, if such non-union members accept the benefits under the collective bargaining agreement: Provided, that the individual authorization required under Article 242, paragraph (o) of this Code shall not apply to the non-members of the recognized collective bargaining agent;
(f) To dismiss, discharge or otherwise prejudice or discriminate against an employee for having given or being about to give testimony under this Code;
(g) To violate the duty to bargain collectively as prescribed by this Code;
(h) To pay negotiation or attorneys fees to the union or its officers or agents as part of the settlement of any issue in collective bargaining or any other dispute; or
(i) To violate a collective bargaining agreement.
The provisions of the preceding paragraph notwithstanding, only the officers and agents of corporations, associations or partnerships who have actually participated in, authorized or ratified unfair labor practices shall be held criminally liable. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 130, August 21, 1981).
UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS
ARTICLE 249. Unfair labor practices of labor organizations. – It shall be unfair labor practice for a labor organization, its officers, agents or representatives:
(a) To restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization. However, a labor organization shall have the right to prescribe its own rules with respect to the acquisition or retention of membership;
(b) To cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an employee, including discrimination against an employee with respect to whom membership in such organization has been denied or to terminate an employee on any ground other than the usual terms and conditions under which membership or continuation of membership is made available to other members;
(c) To violate the duty, or refuse to bargain collectively with the employer, provided it is the representative of the employees;
(d) To cause or attempt to cause an employer to pay or deliver or agree to pay or deliver any money or other things of value, in the nature of an exaction, for services which are not performed or not to be performed, including the demand for fee for union negotiations;
(e) To ask for or accept negotiation or attorneys fees from employers as part of the settlement of any issue in collective bargaining or any other dispute; or
(f) To violate a collective bargaining agreement. The provisions of the preceding paragraph notwithstanding, only the officers, members of governing boards, representatives or agents or members of labor associations or organizations who have actually participated in, authorized or ratified unfair labor practices shall be held criminally liable. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 130, August 21, 1981).
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND ADMINISTRATION OF AGREEMENTS
ARTICLE 250. Procedure in collective bargaining. – The following procedures shall be observed in collective bargaining:
(a) When a party desires to negotiate an agreement, it shall serve a written notice upon the other party with a statement of its proposals. The other party shall make a reply thereto not later than ten (10) calendar days from receipt of such notice;
(b) Should differences arise on the basis of such notice and reply, either party may request for a conference which shall begin not later than ten (10) calendar days from the date of request.
(c) If the dispute is not settled, the Board shall intervene upon request of either or both parties or at its own initiative and immediately call the parties to conciliation meetings. The Board shall have the power to issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of the parties to such meetings. It shall be the duty of the parties to participate fully and promptly in the conciliation meetings the Board may call;
(d) During the conciliation proceedings in the Board, the parties are prohibited from doing any act which may disrupt or impede the early settlement of the disputes; and
(e) The Board shall exert all efforts to settle disputes amicably and encourage the parties to submit their case to a voluntary arbitrator. (As amended by Section 20, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 251. Duty to bargain collectively in the absence of collective bargaining agreements. – In the absence of an agreement or other voluntary arrangement providing for a more expeditious manner of collective bargaining, it shall be the duty of employer and the representatives of the employees to bargain collectively in accordance with the provisions of this Code.
ARTICLE 252. Meaning of duty to bargain collectively. – The duty to bargain collectively means the performance of a mutual obligation to meet and convene promptly and expeditiously in good faith for the purpose of negotiating an agreement with respect to wages, hours of work and all other terms and conditions of employment including proposals for adjusting any grievances or questions arising under such agreement and executing a contract incorporating such agreements if requested by either party but such duty does not compel any party to agree to a proposal or to make any concession.
ARTICLE 253. Duty to bargain collectively when there exists a collective bargaining agreement. – When there is a collective bargaining agreement, the duty to bargain collectively shall also mean that neither party shall terminate nor modify such agreement during its lifetime. However, either party can serve a written notice to terminate or modify the agreement at least sixty (60) days prior to its expiration date. It shall be the duty of both parties to keep the status quo and to continue in full force and effect the terms and conditions of the existing agreement during the 60-day period and/or until a new agreement is reached by the parties.
ARTICLE 253-A. Terms of a collective bargaining agreement. – Any Collective Bargaining Agreement that the parties may enter into shall, insofar as the representation aspect is concerned, be for a term of five (5) years. No petition questioning the majority status of the incumbent bargaining agent shall be entertained and no certification election shall be conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment outside of the sixty-day period immediately before the date of expiry of such five-year term of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. All other provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement shall be renegotiated not later than three (3) years after its execution. Any agreement on such other provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement entered into within six (6) months from the date of expiry of the term of such other provisions as fixed in such Collective Bargaining Agreement, shall retroact to the day immediately following such date. If any such agreement is entered into beyond six months, the parties shall agree on the duration of retroactivity thereof. In case of a deadlock in the renegotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the parties may exercise their rights under this Code. (As amended by Section 21, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 254. Injunction prohibited. – No temporary or permanent injunction or restraining order in any case involving or growing out of labor disputes shall be issued by any court or other entity, except as otherwise provided in Articles 218 and 264 of this Code. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 227, June 1, 1982).
ARTICLE 255. Exclusive bargaining representation and workers participation in policy and decision-making. – The labor organization designated or selected by the majority of the employees in an appropriate collective bargaining unit shall be the exclusive representative of the employees in such unit for the purpose of collective bargaining. However, an individual employee or group of employees shall have the right at any time to present grievances to their employer.
Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, workers shall have the right, subject to such rules and regulations as the Secretary of Labor and Employment may promulgate, to participate in policy and decision-making processes of the establishment where they are employed insofar as said processes will directly affect their rights, benefits and welfare. For this purpose, workers and employers may form labor-management councils: Provided, That the representatives of the workers in such labor-management councils shall be elected by at least the majority of all employees in said establishment. (As amended by Section 22, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 256. Representation issue in organized establishments. – In organized establishments, when a verified petition questioning the majority status of the incumbent bargaining agent is filed before the Department of Labor and Employment within the sixty-day period before the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, the Med-Arbiter shall automatically order an election by secret ballot when the verified petition is supported by the written consent of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit to ascertain the will of the employees in the appropriate bargaining unit. To have a valid election, at least a majority of all eligible voters in the unit must have cast their votes. The labor union receiving the majority of the valid votes cast shall be certified as the exclusive bargaining agent of all the workers in the unit. When an election which provides for three or more choices results in no choice receiving a majority of the valid votes cast, a run-off election shall be conducted between the labor unions receiving the two highest number of votes: Provided, that the total number of votes for all contending unions is at least fifty percent (50%) of the number of votes cast.
At the expiration of the freedom period, the employer shall continue to recognize the majority status of the incumbent bargaining agent where no petition for certification election is filed. (As amended by Section 23, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 257. Petitions in unorganized establishments. – In any establishment where there is no certified bargaining agent, a certification election shall automatically be conducted by the Med-Arbiter upon the filing of a petition by a legitimate labor organization. (As amended by Section 24, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 258. When an employer may file petition. – When requested to bargain collectively, an employer may petition the Bureau for an election. If there is no existing certified collective bargaining agreement in the unit, the Bureau shall, after hearing, order a certification election.
All certification cases shall be decided within twenty (20) working days.
The Bureau shall conduct a certification election within twenty (20) days in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Labor.
ARTICLE 259. Appeal from certification election orders. – Any party to an election may appeal the order or results of the election as determined by the Med-Arbiter directly to the Secretary of Labor and Employment on the ground that the rules and regulations or parts thereof established by the Secretary of Labor and Employment for the conduct of the election have been violated. Such appeal shall be decided within fifteen (15) calendar days. (As amended by Section 25, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
GRIEVANCE MACHINERY AND VOLUNTARY ARBITRATION
ARTICLE 260. Grievance machinery and voluntary arbitration. – The parties to a Collective Bargaining Agreement shall include therein provisions that will ensure the mutual observance of its terms and conditions. They shall establish a machinery for the adjustment and resolution of grievances arising from the interpretation or implementation of their Collective Bargaining Agreement and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies.
All grievances submitted to the grievance machinery which are not settled within seven (7) calendar days from the date of its submission shall automatically be referred to voluntary arbitration prescribed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
For this purpose, parties to a Collective Bargaining Agreement shall name and designate in advance a Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators, or include in the agreement a procedure for the selection of such Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators, preferably from the listing of qualified Voluntary Arbitrators duly accredited by the Board. In case the parties fail to select a Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators, the Board shall designate the Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators, as may be necessary, pursuant to the selection procedure agreed upon in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which shall act with the same force and effect as if the Arbitrator or panel of Arbitrators has been selected by the parties as described above.
ARTICLE 261. Jurisdiction of Voluntary Arbitrators or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators. – The Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide all unresolved grievances arising from the interpretation or implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies referred to in the immediately preceding article. Accordingly, violations of a Collective Bargaining Agreement, except those which are gross in character, shall no longer be treated as unfair labor practice and shall be resolved as grievances under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. For purposes of this article, gross violations of Collective Bargaining Agreement shall mean flagrant and/or malicious refusal to comply with the economic provisions of such agreement.
The Commission, its Regional Offices and the Regional Directors of the Department of Labor and Employment shall not entertain disputes, grievances or matters under the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators and shall immediately dispose and refer the same to the Grievance Machinery or Voluntary Arbitration provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
ARTICLE 262. Jurisdiction over other labor disputes. – The Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators, upon agreement of the parties, shall also hear and decide all other labor disputes including unfair labor practices and bargaining deadlocks.
ARTICLE 262-A. Procedures. – The Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators shall have the power to hold hearings, receive evidences and take whatever action is necessary to resolve the issue or issues subject of the dispute, including efforts to effect a voluntary settlement between parties.
All parties to the dispute shall be entitled to attend the arbitration proceedings. The attendance of any third party or the exclusion of any witness from the proceedings shall be determined by the Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators. Hearing may be adjourned for cause or upon agreement by the parties.
Unless the parties agree otherwise, it shall be mandatory for the Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators to render an award or decision within twenty (20) calendar days from the date of submission of the dispute to voluntary arbitration.
The award or decision of the Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators shall contain the facts and the law on which it is based. It shall be final and executory after ten (10) calendar days from receipt of the copy of the award or decision by the parties.
Upon motion of any interested party, the Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators or the Labor Arbiter in the region where the movant resides, in case of the absence or incapacity of the Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators, for any reason, may issue a writ of execution requiring either the sheriff of the Commission or regular courts or any public official whom the parties may designate in the submission agreement to execute the final decision, order or award.
ARTICLE 262-B. Cost of voluntary arbitration and Voluntary Arbitrators fee. – The parties to a Collective Bargaining Agreement shall provide therein a proportionate sharing scheme on the cost of voluntary arbitration including the Voluntary Arbitrators fee. The fixing of fee of Voluntary Arbitrators, whether shouldered wholly by the parties or subsidized by the Special Voluntary Arbitration Fund, shall take into account the following factors:
(a) Nature of the case;
(b) Time consumed in hearing the case;
(c) Professional standing of the Voluntary Arbitrator;
(d) Capacity to pay of the parties; and
(e) Fees provided for in the Revised Rules of Court.
STRIKES AND LOCKOUTS AND FOREIGN INVOLVEMENT IN TRADE UNION ACTIVITIES
STRIKES AND LOCKOUTS
ARTICLE 263. Strikes, picketing and lockouts. – (a) It is the policy of the State to encourage free trade unionism and free collective bargaining.
(b) Workers shall have the right to engage in concerted activities for purposes of collective bargaining or for their mutual benefit and protection. The right of legitimate labor organizations to strike and picket and of employers to lockout, consistent with the national interest, shall continue to be recognized and respected. However, no labor union may strike and no employer may declare a lockout on grounds involving inter-union and intra-union disputes.
(c) In case of bargaining deadlocks, the duly certified or recognized bargaining agent may file a notice of strike or the employer may file a notice of lockout with the Ministry at least 30 day before the intended date thereof. In cases of unfair labor practice, the period of notice shall be 15 days and in the absence of a duly certified or recognized bargaining agent, the notice of strike may be filed by any legitimate labor organization in behalf of its members. However, in case of dismissal from employment of union officers duly elected in accordance with the union constitution and by-laws, which may constitute union busting, where the existence of the union is threatened, the 15-day cooling-off period shall not apply and the union may take action immediately. (As amended by Executive Order No. 111, December 24, 1986).
(d) The notice must be in accordance with such implementing rules and regulations as the Minister of Labor and Employment may promulgate.
(e) During the cooling-off period, it shall be the duty of the Ministry to exert all efforts at mediation and conciliation to effect a voluntary settlement. Should the dispute remain unsettled until the lapse of the requisite number of days from the mandatory filing of the notice, the labor union may strike or the employer may declare a lockout.
(f) A decision to declare a strike must be approved by a majority of the total union membership in the bargaining unit concerned, obtained by secret ballot in meetings or referenda called for that purpose. A decision to declare a lockout must be approved by a majority of the board of directors of the corporation or association or of the partners in a partnership, obtained by secret ballot in a meeting called for that purpose. The decision shall be valid for the duration of the dispute based on substantially the same grounds considered when the strike or lockout vote was taken. The Ministry may, at its own initiative or upon the request of any affected party, supervise the conduct of the secret balloting. In every case, the union or the employer shall furnish the Ministry the results of the voting at least seven days before the intended strike or lockout, subject to the cooling-off period herein provided. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 130, August 21, 1981 and further amended by Executive Order No. 111, December 24, 1986).
(g) When, in his opinion, there exists a labor dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the national interest, the Secretary of Labor and Employment may assume jurisdiction over the dispute and decide it or certify the same to the Commission for compulsory arbitration. Such assumption or certification shall have the effect of automatically enjoining the intended or impending strike or lockout as specified in the assumption or certification order. If one has already taken place at the time of assumption or certification, all striking or locked out employees shall immediately return-to-work and the employer shall immediately resume operations and readmit all workers under the same terms and conditions prevailing before the strike or lockout. The Secretary of Labor and Employment or the Commission may seek the assistance of law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with this provision as well as with such orders as he may issue to enforce the same.
In line with the national concern for and the highest respect accorded to the right of patients to life and health, strikes and lockouts in hospitals, clinics and similar medical institutions shall, to every extent possible, be avoided, and all serious efforts, not only by labor and management but government as well, be exhausted to substantially minimize, if not prevent, their adverse effects on such life and health, through the exercise, however legitimate, by labor of its right to strike and by management to lockout. In labor disputes adversely affecting the continued operation of such hospitals, clinics or medical institutions, it shall be the duty of the striking union or locking-out employer to provide and maintain an effective skeletal workforce of medical and other health personnel, whose movement and services shall be unhampered and unrestricted, as are necessary to insure the proper and adequate protection of the life and health of its patients, most especially emergency cases, for the duration of the strike or lockout. In such cases, therefore, the Secretary of Labor and Employment may immediately assume, within twenty four (24) hours from knowledge of the occurrence of such a strike or lockout, jurisdiction over the same or certify it to the Commission for compulsory arbitration. For this purpose, the contending parties are strictly enjoined to comply with such orders, prohibitions and/or injunctions as are issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or the Commission, under pain of immediate disciplinary action, including dismissal or loss of employment status or payment by the locking-out employer of backwages, damages and other affirmative relief, even criminal prosecution against either or both of them.
The foregoing notwithstanding, the President of the Philippines shall not be precluded from determining the industries that, in his opinion, are indispensable to the national interest, and from intervening at any time and assuming jurisdiction over any such labor dispute in order to settle or terminate the same.
(h) Before or at any stage of the compulsory arbitration process, the parties may opt to submit their dispute to voluntary arbitration.
(i) The Secretary of Labor and Employment, the Commission or the voluntary arbitrator shall decide or resolve the dispute, as the case may be. The decision of the President, the Secretary of Labor and Employment, the Commission or the voluntary arbitrator shall be final and executory ten (10) calendar days after receipt thereof by the parties. (As amended by Section 27, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 264. Prohibited activities. – (a) No labor organization or employer shall declare a strike or lockout without first having bargained collectively in accordance with Title VII of this Book or without first having filed the notice required in the preceding Article or without the necessary strike or lockout vote first having been obtained and reported to the Ministry.
No strike or lockout shall be declared after assumption of jurisdiction by the President or the Minister or after certification or submission of the dispute to compulsory or voluntary arbitration or during the pendency of cases involving the same grounds for the strike or lockout.
Any worker whose employment has been terminated as a consequence of any unlawful lockout shall be entitled to reinstatement with full backwages. 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.
(b) No person shall obstruct, impede, or interfere with, by force, violence, coercion, threats or intimidation, any peaceful picketing by employees during any labor controversy or in the exercise of the right to self-organization or collective bargaining, or shall aid or abet such obstruction or interference.
(c) No employer shall use or employ any strike-breaker, nor shall any person be employed as a strike-breaker.
(d) No public official or employee, including officers and personnel of the New Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Integrated National Police, or armed person, shall bring in, introduce or escort in any manner, any individual who seeks to replace strikers in entering or leaving the premises of a strike area, or work in place of the strikers. The police force shall keep out of the picket lines unless actual violence or other criminal acts occur therein: Provided, That nothing herein shall be interpreted to prevent any public officer from taking any measure necessary to maintain peace and order, protect life and property, and/or enforce the law and legal order. (As amended by Executive Order No. 111, December 24, 1986).
(e) No person engaged in picketing shall commit any act of violence, coercion or intimidation or obstruct the free ingress to or egress from the employers premises for lawful purposes, or obstruct public thoroughfares. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 227, June 1, 1982).
ARTICLE 265. Improved offer balloting. – In an effort to settle a strike, the Department of Labor and Employment shall conduct a referendum by secret ballot on the improved offer of the employer on or before the 30th day of the strike. When at least a majority of the union members vote to accept the improved offer the striking workers shall immediately return to work and the employer shall thereupon readmit them upon the signing of the agreement.
In case of a lockout, the Department of Labor and Employment shall also conduct a referendum by secret balloting on the reduced offer of the union on or before the 30th day of the lockout. When at least a majority of the board of directors or trustees or the partners holding the controlling interest in the case of a partnership vote to accept the reduced offer, the workers shall immediately return to work and the employer shall thereupon readmit them upon the signing of the agreement. (Incorporated by Section 28, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 266. Requirement for arrest and detention. – Except on grounds of national security and public peace or in case of commission of a crime, no union members or union organizers may be arrested or detained for union activities without previous consultations with the Secretary of Labor.
ASSISTANCE TO LABOR ORGANIZATIONS
ARTICLE 267. Assistance by the Department of Labor. – The Department of Labor, at the initiative of the Secretary of Labor, shall extend special assistance to the organization, for purposes of collective bargaining, of the most underprivileged workers who, for reasons of occupation, organizational structure or insufficient incomes, are not normally covered by major labor organizations or federations.
ARTICLE 268. Assistance by the Institute of Labor and Manpower Studies. – The Institute of Labor and Manpower Studies shall render technical and other forms of assistance to labor organizations and employer organizations in the field of labor education, especially pertaining to collective bargaining, arbitration, labor standards and the Labor Code of the Philippines in general.
ARTICLE 269. Prohibition against aliens; exceptions. – All aliens, natural or juridical, as well as foreign organizations are strictly prohibited from engaging directly or indirectly in all forms of trade union activities without prejudice to normal contacts between Philippine labor unions and recognized international labor centers: Provided, however, That aliens working in the country with valid permits issued by the Department of Labor and Employment, may exercise the right to self-organization and join or assist labor organizations of their own choosing for purposes of collective bargaining: Provided, further, That said aliens are nationals of a country which grants the same or similar rights to Filipino workers. (As amended by Section 29, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 270. Regulation of foreign assistance. – (a) No foreign individual, organization or entity may give any donations, grants or other forms of assistance, in cash or in kind, directly or indirectly, to any labor organization, group of workers or any auxiliary thereof, such as cooperatives, credit unions and institutions engaged in research, education or communication, in relation to trade union activities, without prior permission by the Secretary of Labor.
“Trade union activities” shall mean:
(1) organization, formation and administration of labor organization;
(2) negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements;
(3) all forms of concerted union action;
(4) organizing, managing, or assisting union conventions, meetings, rallies, referenda, teach-ins, seminars, conferences and institutes;
(5) any form of participation or involvement in representation proceedings, representation elections, consent elections, union elections; and
(6) other activities or actions analogous to the foregoing.
(b) This prohibition shall equally apply to foreign donations, grants or other forms of assistance, in cash or in kind, given directly or indirectly to any employer or employers organization to support any activity or activities affecting trade unions.
(c) The Secretary of Labor shall promulgate rules and regulations to regulate and control the giving and receiving of such donations, grants, or other forms of assistance, including the mandatory reporting of the amounts of the donations or grants, the specific recipients thereof, the projects or activities proposed to be supported, and their duration.
ARTICLE 271. Applicability to farm tenants and rural workers. – The provisions of this Title pertaining to foreign organizations and activities shall be deemed applicable likewise to all organizations of farm tenants, rural workers, and the like: Provided, That in appropriate cases, the Secretary of Agrarian Reform shall exercise the powers and responsibilities vested by this Title in the Secretary of Labor.
PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION
ARTICLE 272. Penalties. – (a) Any person violating any of the provisions of Article 264 of this Code shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand pesos (P1,000.00) nor more than ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) and/or imprisonment for not less than three months nor more than three (3) years, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court. Prosecution under this provision shall preclude prosecution for the same act under the Revised Penal Code, and vice versa.
(b) Upon the recommendation of the Minister of Labor and Employment and the Minister of National Defense, foreigners who violate the provisions of this Title shall be subject to immediate and summary deportation by the Commission on Immigration and Deportation and shall be permanently barred from re-entering the country without the special permission of the President of the Philippines. (As amended by Section 16, Batas Pambansa Bilang 130 and Section 7, Batas Pambansa Bilang 227).
ARTICLE 273. Study of labor-management relations. – The Secretary of Labor shall have the power and it shall be his duty to inquire into:
(a) the existing relations between employers and employees in the Philippines;
(b) the growth of associations of employees and the effect of such associations upon employer-employee relations;
(c) the extent and results of the methods of collective bargaining in the determination of terms and conditions of employment;
(d) the methods which have been tried by employers and associations of employees for maintaining mutually satisfactory relations;
(e) desirable industrial practices which have been developed through collective bargaining and other voluntary arrangements;
(f) the possible ways of increasing the usefulness and efficiency of collective bargaining for settling differences;
(g) the possibilities for the adoption of practical and effective methods of labor-management cooperation;
(h) any other aspects of employer-employee relations concerning the promotion of harmony and understanding between the parties; and
(i) the relevance of labor laws and labor relations to national development.
The Secretary of Labor shall also inquire into the causes of industrial unrest and take all the necessary steps within his power as may be prescribed by law to alleviate the same, and shall from time to time recommend the enactment of such remedial legislation as in his judgment may be desirable for the maintenance and promotion of industrial peace.
ART. 274. Visitorial power. – The Secretary of Labor and Employment or his duly authorized representative is hereby empowered to inquire into the financial activities of legitimate labor organizations upon the filing of a complaint under oath and duly supported by the written consent of at least twenty percent (20%) of the total membership of the labor organization concerned and to examine their books of accounts and other records to determine compliance or non-compliance with the law and to prosecute any violations of the law and the union constitution and by-laws: Provided, That such inquiry or examination shall not be conducted during the sixty (60)-day freedom period nor within the thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date of election of union officials. (As amended by Section 31, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 275. Tripartism and tripartite conferences. – (a) Tripartism in labor relations is hereby declared a State policy. Towards this end, workers and employers shall, as far as practicable, be represented in decision and policy-making bodies of the government.
(b) The Secretary of Labor and Employment or his duly authorized representatives may, from time to time, call a national, regional, or industrial tripartite conference of representatives of government, workers and employers for the consideration and adoption of voluntary codes of principles designed to promote industrial peace based on social justice or to align labor movement relations with established priorities in economic and social development. In calling such conference, the Secretary of Labor and Employment may consult with accredited representatives of workers and employers. (As amended by Section 32, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
ARTICLE 276. Government employees. – The terms and conditions of employment of all government employees, including employees of government-owned and controlled corporations, shall be governed by the Civil Service Law, rules and regulations. Their salaries shall be standardized by the National Assembly as provided for in the New Constitution. However, there shall be no reduction of existing wages, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment being enjoyed by them at the time of the adoption of this Code.
ARTICLE 277. Miscellaneous provisions. – (a) All unions are authorized to collect reasonable membership fees, union dues, assessments and fines and other contributions for labor education and research, mutual death and hospitalization benefits, welfare fund, strike fund and credit and cooperative undertakings. (As amended by Section 33, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
(b) Subject to the constitutional right of workers to security of tenure and their right to be protected against dismissal except for a just and authorized cause and without prejudice to the requirement of notice under Article 283 of this Code, the employer shall furnish the worker whose employment is sought to be terminated a written notice containing a statement of the causes for termination and shall afford the latter ample opportunity to be heard and to defend himself with the assistance of his representative if he so desires in accordance with company rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to guidelines set by the Department of Labor and Employment. Any decision taken by the employer shall be without prejudice to the right of the worker to contest the validity or legality of his dismissal by filing a complaint with the regional branch of the National Labor Relations Commission. The burden of proving that the termination was for a valid or authorized cause shall rest on the employer. The Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment may suspend the effects of the termination pending resolution of the dispute in the event of a prima facie finding by the appropriate official of the Department of Labor and Employment before whom such dispute is pending that the termination may cause a serious labor dispute or is in implementation of a mass lay-off. (As amended by Section 33, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
(c) Any employee, whether employed for a definite period or not, shall, beginning on his first day of service, be considered as an employee for purposes of membership in any labor union. (As amended by Section 33, Republic Act No. 6715).
(d) No docket fee shall be assessed in labor standards disputes. In all other disputes, docket fees may be assessed against the filing party, provided that in bargaining deadlock, such fees shall be shared equally by the negotiating parties.
(e) The Minister of Labor and Employment and the Minister of the Budget shall cause to be created or reclassified in accordance with law such positions as may be necessary to carry out the objectives of this Code and cause the upgrading of the salaries of the personnel involved in the Labor Relations System of the Ministry. Funds needed for this purpose shall be provided out of the Special Activities Fund appropriated by Batas Pambansa Blg. 80 and from annual appropriations thereafter. (Incorporated by Batas Pambansa Bilang 130, August 21, 1981).
(f) A special Voluntary Arbitration Fund is hereby established in the Board to subsidize the cost of voluntary arbitration in cases involving the interpretation and implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, including the Arbitrators fees, and for such other related purposes to promote and develop voluntary arbitration. The Board shall administer the Special Voluntary Arbitration Fund in accordance with the guidelines it may adopt upon the recommendation of the Council, which guidelines shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of Labor and Employment. Continuing funds needed for this purpose in the initial yearly amount of fifteen million pesos (P15,000,000.00) shall be provided in the 1989 annual general appropriations acts.
The amount of subsidy in appropriate cases shall be determined by the Board in accordance with established guidelines issued by it upon the recommendation of the Council.
The Fund shall also be utilized for the operation of the Council, the training and education of Voluntary Arbitrators, and the Voluntary Arbitration Program. (As amended by Section 33, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
(g) The Ministry shall help promote and gradually develop, with the agreement of labor organizations and employers, labor-management cooperation programs at appropriate levels of the enterprise based on the shared responsibility and mutual respect in order to ensure industrial peace and improvement in productivity, working conditions and the quality of working life. (Incorporated by Batas Pambansa Bilang 130, August 21, 1981).
(h) In establishments where no legitimate labor organization exists, labor-management committees may be formed voluntarily by workers and employers for the purpose of promoting industrial peace. The Department of Labor and Employment shall endeavor to enlighten and educate the workers and employers on their rights and responsibilities through labor education with emphasis on the policy thrusts of this Code. (As amended by Section 33, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).
(i) To ensure speedy labor justice, the periods provided in this Code within which decisions or resolutions of labor relations cases or matters should be rendered shall be mandatory. For this purpose, a case or matter shall be deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself, or the Labor Arbiter, or the Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations or Med-Arbiter, or the Regional Director.
Upon expiration of the corresponding period, a certification stating why a decision or resolution has not been rendered within the said period shall be issued forthwith by the Chairman of the Commission, the Executive Labor Arbiter, or the Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations or Med-Arbiter, or the Regional Director, as the case may be, and a copy thereof served upon the parties.
Despite the expiration of the applicable mandatory period, the aforesaid officials shall, without prejudice to any liability which may have been incurred as a consequence thereof, see to it that the case or matter shall be decided or resolved without any further delay. (Incorporated by Section 33, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989).