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106 Phil. 607

[ G.R. No. L-12336, November 28, 1959 ]




On 7 March 1955 the Kapisanan Ñg Mga Manggagawa sa Manila Railroad Company filed a petition in the Court of Industrial  Relations  under section  12,  Republic Act No. 875, alleging that it is one of the eight labor organizations  with which the employees  and  workers of the Manila Railroad Company are affiliated; that within twelve months prior to the filing of the petition, no  certification or election has been made or ordered by the Court designating or selecting the labor organization that will act as the exclusive  collective bargaining representative of the employees and  workers  of the said Company; and that in view of the existence of eight labor  organizations in the same  Company, there is a necessity for designating or selecting the labor organization  for the purpose stated. It prayed that after investigation,  the  Court certify to the parties in writing the name of the collective bargaining representative designated  or  chosen  from among the eight labor organizations of employees and laborers working in the Company or, if there be any doubt as  to whom they had chosen  as  their representative for  the purpose of collective bargaining, the Court order that a  certification  election be held by the employees  and workers for the purpose of selecting their  collective bargaining representative (Case No. 237-MC, Annex A).

On  18 March 1955 the Manila Railroad Labor Federation filed  an answer claiming that  it is the only  labor organization or the appropriate union, and not any of the eight  labor  organizations named  by  the  petitioner union, that can legally act for all or for the members  of the union concerned as  the exclusive collective bargaining  representative of the employees  and laborers working in the Company;  that there is no urgent  need-for holding a  certification election because there are no pending demands from the employees and workers; that the petitioner union is represented by one who is ineligible to become a member of  that union because of the supervisory nature  of the position he holds in the Company; that the petitioner union being a member of the Manila Railroad Labor Federation is estopped from demanding that  it be designated as the exclusive bargaining representative of the, employees and workers; and that should the Court order the holding of a certification election, the Federation be recognized as the collective bargaining unit to represent at such election  all the employees and workers affiliated with it through  its different labor  union members.  The Federation prayed that the petition or certification election be denied, or if it should be granted, that it be allowed to participate in the election as  a unit representing the employees and workers of the Company (Annex B).

On 23  March  1955 the Manila Railroad Company filed an  answer claiming that a large number of its employees and workers  are  "supervisors" within  the meaning  of section 2(k), Republic  Act No.  875,  who  are ineligible for membership in a labor organization of employees like the petitioner union and the others existing in the Company and cannot participate  and  vote  at such election,  pursuant to section 3 of the same Act/that Vicente K. Olazo, 'president of the  petitioner union, who subscribed the petition or certification, is assistant chief, signal & electrical division of the Company, a supervisor, and for that reason he  is ineligible  for membership in the petitioner union that the supervisors ineligible for membership in the different labor organizations existing in the Company should first be ascertained and  segregated to prevent them from participating  and  voting  at the  "certification election" prayed for; that a majority of the members of the petitioner union is  also affiliated with other  labor organizations;  that  while the petitioner union claims  to have a membership of 3,014, it cannot be taken as  a conclusive  proof that they all  desire to be represented by the petitioner union for purposes of collective bargaining with the Company; and that  under the circumstances, the question as  to who should be the  proper  collective bargaining representative of all the employees and workers could only be  determined  by  holding  a certification  election;  It prayed that the petition for certification election be denied; that,  in  lieu thereof, the supervisors ineligible  for  membership in the various labor organizations be ascertained; and that after such ascertainment if the Court be of the opinion  that a  certification election  is still necessary it order, the holding thereof (Annex:C).

On 11 May 1955 the petitioner union filed  a reply to the answer of the Federation denying that there are no pending  labor demands submitted by it  to the  Company, the, truth being that they have not yet been satisfactorily settled and are the subject of pending 'negotiations,  and that the position its president is  holding in the Company is supervisory in nature; and claiming that since 6 March 1955  the petitioner  union has severed its connection with the Federation, and cannot be compelled to continue its affiliation with the Federation and be bound by the resolution of 16 March 1954 to which it was not a party; that as the Federation  is a company controlled and dominated union it has forfeited its right, if any, to be certified as the collective bargaining representative  of the  employees and workers; and that in a secret ballot election the seven unions allegedly composing the Federation cannot be joined to form a unit for the purpose of being certified as  a collective bargaining representative but  should  be considered as separate individual unions.  It prayed that the Federation be declared disqualified to be certified as a collective bargaining representative of the  employees  and  workers or to participate in the secret ballot election  (Annex  D).

After  hearing,  on 29  September  1956 the Court held that  Vicente K.  Olazo who  is  holding the position of assistant electrical and signal superintendent in the Company, is a supervisor ineligible for  membership  in the petitioner  union, and rendered judgment as follows:
1. The locomotive drivers, firemen, assistant firemen and motormen of the Company are  hereby declared a separate appropriate collective  bargaining unit  and the  Union de  Maquiriistas,  Pogoneros, Ayudantes y Motormen is certified as their exclusive representative for collective bargaining purposes;

2. The conductors, assistant  conductors,  route agents,  assistant route agents, and train porters, are, also hereby declared, a separate appropriate  collective  bargaining unitpurposes  (?);. and

3. The rest of the  Company's personnel, except the supervisors, the temporary employees, the members of the Auditing Department the members Of the security-group", and the professional and technical employees hereinabove' enumerated, are hereby  declareda separate  collective bargaining  unit and the Kapisanan  ng  Mga Manggagawa sa Manila  Railroad  Company is hereby certified  as their exclusive  representative  for collective bargaining purposes. (Annex E.) 
The petitioner'"filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision  by the Court in banc . In its motion it specifically sought  a reconsideration of, the decision
*  *  * only  insofar as  it holds  Vicente  K.  Olazo, president  of  petitioner union, a supervisor within the meaning of  Section 2(k)  y of Republic Act,No. 875, on the ground that said ruling  is contrary to the  facts  proven at the hearings as well as to, the letter, intent and  purpose of Republic Act  No. 875.   (Annex F.)
The petitioner filed a memorandum  in support of its motion for  reconsideration  (Annex F-l).   On  16 January 1957, the  Court, sitting  in banc denied the motion for reconsideration.  Three associate   judges  voted  to  deny  while the  presiding judge and one associate judge voted to grant the  motion to reconsider the part  of  the decision  already stated (Annexes G & G-l).  The petitioner has appealed.

In  its notice  of appeal,  it  stated that  it appeals
*  *  * from the Resolution of the  Court en banc dated January 16, 1957  denying  petitioner's motion  for  reconsideration of  the decision of the trial Court dated September 29,1956, which resolution was received by petitioner on May 7, 1957, to the Honorable Supreme Court through a petition for review by certiorari; within the statutory  period, on the ground that said  resolution and decision  are contrary to law.  (Annex H.)
This petition for  review  is  only  concerned  with the case of Vicente K.  Olazo.

Section 3, Republic Act No.  875, provides:
Employees shall have the right to self-organization and to form, join  or assist labor organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of collective bargaining through representatives of their own  choosing and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining and other mutual aid  or protection.  Individuals employed as supervisors shall not be eligible for membership  in a  labor organization of employees under their  supervision but may form separate organizations  of  their  own.
Section 2, clause (k), defines the term "supervisor" as
* *  *  any person having authority in  the  interest of an employer, to hire, transfer, suspend,  lay-off, recall,  discharge,  assign, recommend,  or discipline  other employees, or responsibly to direct them, and  to adjust their grievances,  or  effectively  to recommend such acts  if, in connection  with the  foregoing,  the exercise  of such authority is not of a merely routinary or clerical nature but requires the  use of independent judgment.
With respect to Vicente K. Olazo,  the Court found and held as  follows:
Let us now take  the case of Vicente K. Olazo, president of the petitioner union. Since  1946,  he has  been occupying the  position of assistant  electrical  and signal superintendent and as  such, he is the  assistant head  of  the  signal  and electrical division.  He receives a salary of P4,500.00 per annum.

Joaquin  Romillo, Chief  Engineer and  head  of the  engineering department to which the electrical and signal division belongs, testified  that Olazo has  around  sixty men under him in the said division; that he (Olazo)  can recommend the promotion  and the disciplining of his subordinates and such  recommendation  carries  considerable weight; that he can assign work and effectively direct the work of his subordinates; that  he  acts as Superintendent in the  absence of the latter and in fact he has acted more or less tea times  as such during the  last three years.

Geronimo Genilo, electrical and signal superintendent, and immediate superior of Olazo,  identified the  signatures appearing  in Exhs. "10-Co." to "10-11-Co." to be that of Olazo and stated  that he has given the  standing  authority to Olazo  to issue the same.  These exhibits appear to be  "work, orders" directed to his  subordinates and  signed by Olazo in his capacity as assistant superintendent.

On the  witness stand,  Olazo  denied  that he has the power to recommend the disciplining, promotion or transfer of any employee under  him or that  he could effectively  direct  the work of  his subordinates.

The  work of Olazo can be seen  in  Exh.  "8-4-Company" which is the  "Job Description Questionnaire"  prepared and submitted by him  to the Wage and' Position  Classification Office of  the Budget Commission.   In  the item "Statement  of  Duties",  it appears  that 50% of his working lame  is used "to assist the Signal and Communication  (now  Electrical)  Superintendent to  maintain a sound and efficient Communications,  (Telegraph and Telephone)  signal, and switches including crossing gates for safe operation  of trains, and to maintain good electrical installations; 25% "to execute orders designated by the Superintendent especially for the inspection of communication lines,  switches,  signals, ' crossing  gates  and  electrical installations  throughout  the  line";  20%  to take  charge of  the division and do the  work  of the superintendent in case  latter is on sick  or vacation  leave";   and the remaining 15%  to  "other office routinary work".

In the item "names or  titles of those you supervise  (if more than seven (7),  list only the  numbers  and titles  of those you supervise)", Olazo wrote  the  following: "Lineman  Supervisors and their men, Jr. Communication  Engineer and his men  and Junior Signal Engineers and  his men".

This document was prepared by him on July 15,  1955, i.e., during the  pendency  of  this case, and the same was  certified as correct by his immediate superior, Geronimo Genilo, and by the Chief Engineer, Joaquin  Romillo,  who  is  the head  of  the engineering  department. These two immediate superiors of Olazo also testified that the same duties are still exercised  by  him at present.

It is, however, contended by  the. petitioner that by  virtue  of  a memorandum  dated July 6, 1954 issued by the chief engineer, Romillo, to the division engineers, road master, superintendent of buildings and  bridges and the electrical and  signal superintendent (Exhibits "R"  and  "R-1"-, the supervision  and  control of the linemen  and linemen supervisors, originally under the signal and electrical division is now being undertaken  by  the division engineers, leaving to the electrical and  signal division only the  planning, programming  and research.  On the other hand, Romillo pointed out in his testimony that the memorandum  mentioned by the petitioner affected  only the "field  men" which  refers to linemen and  linemen  supervisors but not the signal men, electricians, and electrical supervisors  who still remain under the  control and supervision of the  signal  and electrical, division.  Romillo further testified that the said memorandum was  issued  by him to coordinate the work of, the signal and electrical division with  that  of  the Division Engineers and Roadmaster  and that said division was  not completely deprived of its supervision over  the linemen and linemen supervisors.

We are inclined  to believe this testimony because of what Mr. Olazo himself wrote in. Exh. "8-4-Company" to the effect that he (Olazo) has supervision,  among others, over the "linemen supervisors  and their men".  The said exhibit was  prepared by Olazo very much later than the issuance of the memorandum (Exh. "R").

No valid reason has  been, presented why we, ought to discredit the testimony of Messrs.  Romillo and Genilo,  In fact, it appears that the latter  is also  a member of the  petitioner union. Under the circumstances,  we conclude that  Vicente K. Olazo is a  supervisor.
After a careful study of the facts as found by the Court of  Industrial Relations,  we  find no  reason  for disturbing the conclusion drawn therefrom.

The part of the judgment appealed from is affirmed, with costs against the  petitioner.

Paras, C.  J.,  Bengzon, Montemayor,  Bautista  Angelo, Labrador, Reyes, J. B. L., Endencia, Barerra, and Gutierrez David, JJ., concur.