Like us on Facebook

Please wait..10 Seconds Cancel

Labor Law Case Digest: Feati University v. Bautista

Feati University v. Bautista

G.R. No.L-21278      December 27, 1966

Lessons Applicable: Applicability to certain specific persons – Professors in national interest

Laws Applicable:

  • January 14, 1963: the President of Feati University Faculty Club (PAFLU) wrote a letter to Mrs. Victoria L. Araneta, President of Feati University informing her that it registered as a labor union.
  • January 22, 1963:  PAFLU sent a letter with 26 demands in relation to their employment and requesting an answer within 10 days from receipt thereof.
  • Araneta answered the letters, requesting that she be given at least 30 days to study thoroughly the different phases of the demands. Meanwhile counsel for Feati, wrote a letter to the President of PAFLU demanding proof of its majority status and designation as a bargaining representative
  • February 1, 1963: the President of PAFLU rejected the extension of time and filed a notice of strike with the Bureau of Labor due to Feati’s refusal to bargain collectively.
  • Conciliation Division of the Bureau of Labor made efforts to conciliate them but failed.
  • February 18, 1963: PAFLU declared a strike and established picket lines in the premises of Feati resulting in the disruption of classes in the University.
  • March 21, 1963: the President of the Philippines certified to the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR) the dispute between Feati and PAFLU pursuant to the provisions of Section 10 of Republic Act No. 875.
    • 3 cases were filed with the CIR
      • 41-IPA – PAFLU’s petition to declare in contempt of court since Feati refused to accept them back to work in violation of the return-to-work order of March 30, 1963 and has employed professors and/or instructors to take their places
      • 1183-MC – PAFLU’s petition for certification election praying that it be certified as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative
        • Later withdrawn since the Case 41-IPA had already been certified by the President to the CIR and has absorbed the issues herein
      • V-30 – PAFLU’s complaint for indirect contempt of court filed against the administrative officials of the Feati reiterating Case 41-IPA
  • May 10, 1963: Feati filed before the SC a petition for certiorari and prohibition with writ of preliminary injunction which was issued upon the Feati's filing a bond of P50,000 (increased from P1,000), ordering CIR Judge Jose S. Bautista to desist and refrain from further proceeding
  • March 23, 1963: On the strength of the presidential certification, Judge Bautista set the case for hearing
    • Feati, thru counsel filed a motion to dismiss the case upon the ground that the CIR has no jurisdiction over the case, because:
1.    the Industrial Peace Act is NOT applicable to the University, it being an educational institution, nor to the members of the Faculty Club, they being independent contractors
2.    the presidential certification is violative of Section 10 of the Industrial Peace Act, as the University is not an industrial establishment and there was no industrial dispute which could be certified to the CIR
  • Judge Bautista denied the motion to dismiss and ordered the strikers to return immediately to work and the University to take them back under the last terms and conditions existing before the dispute arose
  • Without the motion for reconsideration having been acted upon by the CIR en banc, Judge Bautista set the case for hearing on the merits for May 8, 1963 but was cancelled upon Feati’s petition for certiorari alleging that Judge Jose S. Bautista acted without, or in excess of, jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion, in taking cognizance of, and in issuing the questioned orders in, CIR Cases Nos. 41-IPA 1183-MC and V-30
    • Feati claims that it is not an employer within the contemplation of R.A. 875, because it is not an industrial establishment
    • Feati also claims that it is only a lessee of the services of its professors and/or instructors pursuant to a contract of services entered into between them because the University does not exercise control over their work

ISSUES: W/N Feati can be considered an employer and PAFLU as an employee to be covered by R.A. 875 and have right to unionize

HELD: YES. petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction in Case G.R. No. L-21278 is dismissed
  • Section 2(c) of R.A. 875:
o    The term employer include any person acting in the interest of an employer, directly or indirectly, but shall not include any labor organization (otherwise than when acting as an employer) or any one acting in the capacity or agent of such labor organization.
§  Congress did not intend to give a complete definition of "employer", but rather that such definition should be complementary to what is commonly understood as employer
§  Act itself specifically enumerated those who are not included in the term "employer" and educational institutions are not included; hence, they can be included in the term "employer". However, those educational institutions that are not operated for profit are not within the purview of Republic Act No. 875.
ü  Feati realizes profits and parts of such earning is distributed as dividends to private stockholders or individuals
§  It embraces not only those who are usually and ordinarily considered employees, but also those who have ceased as employees as a consequence of a labor dispute.
  • employee must be one who is engaged in the service of another; who performs services for another; who works for salary or wages
  • "workers" limited to those performing physical labor
o    embrace stenographers and bookkeepers
o    Teachers are not included
  • Feati controls the work of the members of its faculty
o    prescribes the courses or subjects that professors teach, and when and where to teach
o    professors' work is characterized by regularity and continuity for a fixed duration
o    professors are compensated for their services by wages and salaries, rather than by profits
o    professors and/or instructors cannot substitute others to do their work without the consent of the university
o    professors can be laid off if their work is found not satisfactory
  • Moreover, even if university professors are considered independent contractors, still they would be covered by Rep. Act No. 875
    • professors, instructors or teachers of private educational institutions who teach to earn a living are entitled to the protection of our labor laws — and one such law is Republic Act No. 875.
  • The term "labor dispute" includes any controversy concerning terms, tenure or conditions of employment, or concerning the association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing, or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of employment regardless of whether the disputants stand in proximate relation of employer and employees.
  • To certify a labor dispute to the CIR is the prerogative of the President under the law (Because the strike declared by the members of the minority union threatens a major industry of 18,000 students which affects the national interest), and this Court will not interfere in, much less curtail, the exercise of that prerogative. The jurisdiction of the CIR in a certified case is exclusive.  The parties involved in the case may appeal to the Supreme Court from the order or orders thus issued by the CIR.
  • Section 10 of Republic Act No. 875 empowers the Court of Industrial Relations to issue an order "fixing the terms of employment." This clause is broad enough to authorize the Court to order the strikers to return to work and the employer to readmit them
  • The return-to-work order cannot be considered as an impairment of the contract entered into with the replacements. Besides, labor contracts must yield to the common good and such contracts are subject to the special laws on labor unions, collective bargaining, strikes and similar subjects