DE OCAMPO v NLRC
September 4, 1992
PROJECT EMPLOYEES: RATIONALE
Can’t find the actual meat meat of this case related to “nature of work”. There was a controversy regarding seasonal and regular
employment but was actually not tackled that much by the court and was only glossed over. FACTS:
Petitioners De Ocampo et al are employees of respondent company, Baliwag Mahogany Co with some serving as officers of its union, Baliwag Mahogany Co Union - CFW
1988: Baliwag Mahogany entered into a CBA with its union
1989: Union made several requests from the company. Some were granted, others denied (cash conversion of leaves)
1990: Company issued suspension orders for 20 employees for failure to render overtime work, the union went on strike the same day. Thereafter, the company issued a termination letter to De Ocampo, Villanueva, and Dela Cruz allegedly for redundancy. o
Company contracted the services of another company to replace its machinery department which was were the latter employees were working under.
Union picketed the compound of the company. Company moved to declare the picket/strike to be illegal. De Ocampo is now the president of the union.
NLRC declared strike to be illegal.
1991: Upon petition, NLRC m odified its decision declaring the strike illegal and terminating 20 employees including the first three for participating in the said strike..
WoN the original dismissal of De Ocampo etc are valid RULING:
CA affirmed NLRC, SC sustained. HELD:
YES. The company has the prerogative in terminating employees based on redundancy as long as they follow the requirements of the law which they did in this case. In this case, the company has the prerogative to contract with another company in order to further its business: The reduction of the number of workers in a company made necessary by the introduction of the services of Gemac Machineries in the maintenance and repair of its industrial machinery is justified . There can be no question as to the right of the company to contract the services of Gemac Machineries to replace the services rendered by the terminated mechanics with a view to effecting more economic and efficient methods of production. In the same case, We ruled that " (t)he characterization of (petitioners') services as no longer necessary or
sustainable, and therefore properly terminable, was an exercise of business judgment on the part of (private respondent) company. The wisdom or soundness of such characterization or decision was not subject to discretionary review on the part of the Labor Arbiter nor of the NLRC so long, of course, as violation of law or merely arbitrary and malicious action is not shown" (ibid, p. 673). In contracting the services of Gemac Machineries, as part of the company's cost-saving program, the services rendered by the mechanics became redundant and superfluous, and therefore properly terminable. The company merely exercised its business judgment or management prerogative. And in the absence of any proof that the
management abused its discretion or acted in a malicious or arbitrary manner, the court will not interfere with the exercise of such prerogative.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014