Gen. Santos Coca-Cola Plant Free Workers Union v.Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils., Inc.

 CASE NO. 3 OF 50

GENERAL SANTOS COCA-COLA PLANT FREE WORKERS UNION-TUPAS, Petitioner,

vs.

COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS., INC. (GENERAL SANTOS CITY)

Respondents.

 FACTS:

Respondent Coca-Cola Bottlers Phil., Inc. (CCBPI) experienced a significant decline in profitability due to the Asian economic crisis, thus to curb the negative effects on the company, it implemented three (3) waves of an Early Retirement Program.

An inter-office memorandum was also issued mandating to put on hold “all requests for hiring to fill in vacancies in both regular and temporary positions in [the] Head Office and in the Plants.”

Faced with the “freeze hiring” directive, CCBPI Gen San engaged the services of JLBP Services Corporation (JLBP), a manning agency.

Petitioner then filed with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) a Notice of Strike on the ground of alleged unfair labor practice committed by CCBPI Gen San for contracting-out services regularly performed by union members.

In a Resolution, the NLRC ruled that CCBPI was not guilty of unfair labor practice for contracting out jobs to JLBP.

The NLRC held that petitioner failed to prove by substantial evidence that the system was meant to curtail the right to self-organization of petitioner’s members.

Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Court of Appeals.

 The CA uphold the NLRC’s finding that CCBPI was not guilty of unfair labor practice. It held that the contract between CCBPI and JLBP did not amount to labor-only contracting. It found that JLBP was an independent contractor and that the decision to contract out jobs was a valid exercise of management prerogative to meet exigent circumstances.

Hence, this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45.

RULING:

The petition is bereft of merit. Hence, the Court deny the Petition.

The issues raised by petitioner of whether JLBP is an independent contractor, whether CCBPI’s contracting-out of jobs to JLBP amounted to unfair labor practice, and whether such action was a valid exercise of management prerogative, call for a re-examination of evidence, which is not within the ambit of this Court’s jurisdiction.

The CA squarely addressed the issue of job contracting in its assailed Decision and Resolution. The CA itself examined the facts and evidence of the parties and found that, based on the evidence, CCBPI did not engage in labor-only contracting and, therefore, was not guilty of unfair labor practice.

The NLRC found – and the same was sustained by the CA – that the company’s action to contract-out the services and functions performed by Union members did not constitute unfair labor practice as this was not directed at the members’ right to self-organization.

Both the NLRC and the CA found that petitioner was unable to prove its charge of unfair labor practice. It was the Union that had the burden of adducing substantial evidence to support its allegations of unfair labor practice,17 which burden it failed to discharge.

WHEREFORE, the foregoing premises considered, the Petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED.

 SO ORDERED.

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