Diatagon Labor Fed vs Ople (101 SCRA 534)

Diatagon Labor Federation Local 110 Of The ULGWP vs Ople
101 SCRA 534 [GR No. L-44493-94 December 3, 1980]

Facts: Lianga Bay Logging Co. Inc. is a domestic corporation which was organized in 1954. It has offices in Diatagon, Lianga Surigao del Sur and Filipinas Bldg., Ayala Avenue, Makati, Metro Manila. It is engaged in logging and manufacturing plywood. Georgia Pacific International Corporation is a Delaware Corporation licensed to do business in the Philippines on March 31, 1967. It has an office at Lianga. It employs around 400 workers. The Diatagon Labor Federation Local 110 of ULGWP had a collective bargaining agreement with the Lianga Bay logging Co. Inc. which was due to expire on March 31, 1975. On February 3, 1975, or before the expiration of that CBA, a rival union, the Mindanao Association of Trade Unions, filed with the Bureau of Labor Relations a petition for the holding of a certification of election at Lianga Bay Logging Co. Inc. BLR Case no. 0399. The union assumed that Lianga Bay Logging Co. Inc. had approximately 900 employees. At this juncture, it should be stressed that the said CBA included 236 employees working at the venue plant and electrical department of Georgia Pacific International Corporation in Lianga. Those 236 employees were formerly employees of Lianga Bay Logging Co. Inc. After July, 1974, they were transferred to Georgia Pacific International Corporation and became employees of the latter. The 236 employees continued to use in 1975 the pay envelopes and identification cards of their former employer, Lianga Bay Logging Co. Inc.

Issue: Whether or not the two corporations should be regarded as one as the employees continued to use the pay envelopes and identification cards of their former employees.

Held: No. The director of labor relations acted with grave abuse of discretion in treating the two companies as a single bargaining unit. That ruling is arbitrary and untenable because the two companies are indubitably distinct entities with separate juridical personalities.

The fact that their businesses are related and that the 236 employees of Georgia Pacific International Corporation were originally employees of Lianga Bay Logging Co. Inc is not a justification for disregarding their separate personalities. Hence, the 236 employees, who are now attached to Georgia Pacific International Corporation, should not be allowed to vote in the certification election at the Lianga Bay Logging Co. Inc. They should vote at a separate certification election to determine the collective bargaining representative of the employees of Georgia Pacific International Corporation.

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