Jackbilt Industries, Inc. vs Jackbilt Employees Workers Union-NAFLU-KMU

October 24, 2013
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Labor Law – Labor Relations – Illegal Strike

In 1997, Jackbilt Industries forced some of its employees to go on a six-month leave as it was experiencing financial difficulties due to the 1997 financial crisis.

In March 1998, the Jackbilt Employees Workers Union staged a strike without following the procedural requirements of Article 264 of the Labor Code.  During the said strike, they prevented private vehicles from entering and exiting the premises of Jackbilt.

Eventually in May 1998, Jackbilt dismissed employees who joined the strike.

In July 1998, the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) ruled that the March 1998 strike was illegal.

In October 1999, the Labor Arbiter ruled that Jackbilt is guilty of illegally dismissing the striking employees on the ground that it terminated their services without first petitioning for the declaration of illegal strike against the union (lack of due process).

ISSUE: Whether or not Jackbilt needs to have the union strike be declared illegal first before dismissing the striking employees.

HELD: No. In the case at bar, there is already a finding by the NLRC in July 1998 that the March 1998 strike was illegal for it was attended by the use of illegal means i.e. preventing vehicles from entering/exiting the Jackbilt premises. Such judgment is conclusive upon the Labor Arbiter who issued the October 1999 decision. In short, the filing of a petition to declare the strike illegal was unnecessary even though the May 1998 dismissal actually came before the July 1998 NLRC declaration.

 

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