(Question XI, Labor Law, 2017 Bar Exam)
The modes of determining the exclusive bargaining agent of the employees in a business are: (a) voluntary recognition; (b) certification election; and (c) consent election. Explain how they differ from one another. (4%)
Marcel was the Vice President for Finance and Administration and a member of the Board of Directors of Mercedes Corporation. He brought a complaint for illegal suspension and illegal dismissal against Mercedes Corporation, which moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the complaint pertained to the jurisdiction of the RTC due to the controversy being intracorporate based on his positions in the corporation. Marcel countered that he had only been removed as Vice President for Finance and Administration, not as a member of the Board of Directors. He also argued that his position was not listed as among the corporate offices in Mercedes Corporation’s by-laws. Is the argument of Marcel correct? Explain your answer. (2.5%)
State the jurisdiction of the Voluntary Arbitrator, or Panel of Voluntary Arbitrators in labor disputes? (4%)
A. (a) Voluntary recognition
Voluntary recognition is a mode whereby the employer voluntarily recognizes the union as the bargaining representative of all the members in the bargaining unit sought to be represented.
(b) Certification election v. Consent Election
Consent and certification election are modes whereby the members of the bargaining unit decide whether they want a bargaining representative and if so, who they want it to be.
The difference between a consent election and a certification election is that the conduct of a certification election is ordered by the Med-Arbiter.
(c) Consent Election
The conduct of a consent election is agreed upon by the parties to the petition.
B. Yes. Answer
Under labor law jurisprudence, one who is included in the by-laws of a corporation in its roster of corporate officers is an officer of said corporation and not a mere employee. The determination of the rights of a corporate officer dismissed from his employment, as well as the corresponding liability of a corporation, if any, is an intra-corporate dispute subject to the jurisdiction of the regular courts. Rule
In the case at bar, there is no showing that Marcel’s position as Vice President for Finance and Administration is included in the by-laws of a corporation. Hence, he is not a corporate officer. The complaint is within the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter, and not the Regional Trial Court. Apply
Thus, the argument of Marcel is correct. Conclusion
C. Voluntary Arbitrators or a Panel of Voluntary Arbitrators have exclusive and original jurisdiction on the following cases:
1) Those arising from the implementation or interpretation of the CBA;
2) Those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies which remain unresolved after exhaustion of the grievance procedure; and
3) All other Labor Disputes submitted by the parties upon agreement.
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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