Cathay Pacific Steel Corporation vs. CA

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  CATHAY PACIFIC STEEL CORPORATION, BENJAMIN CHUA JR., VIRGILIO AGERO, andLEONARDO VISORRO, JR., vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, CAPASCO UNION OF SUPERVISORYEMPLOYEES (CUSE) and ENRIQUE TAMONDONG IIIG.R. No. 164561 August 30, 2006CHICO-NAZARIO, J.: FACTS: Petitioner CAPASCO, hired private respondent Tamondong as Assistant to the PersonnelManager for its Cainta Plant on 16 February 1990. Thereafter, he was promoted to the position of Personnel/Administrative Officer, and later to that of Personnel Superintendent. Sometime in June 1996,the supervisory personnel of CAPASCO launched a move to organize a union among their ranks, later known as private respondent CUSE. Private respondent Tamondong actively involved himself in theformation of the union and was even elected as one of its officers after its creation. Consequently,petitioner CAPASCO sent a memo dated 3 February 1997, to private respondent Tamondong requiringhim to explain and to discontinue from his union activities, with a warning that a continuance thereof shalladversely affect his employment in the company. In view of that, on 6 February 1997, petitioner CAPASCO through a memo terminated the employment of private respondent Tamondong on the groundof loss of trust and confidence, citing his union activities as acts constituting serious disloyalty to thecompany. Acting Executive Labor Arbiter Pedro C. Ramos rendered a Decision in favor of private respondentTamondong, decreeing as follows:WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered finding [petitioner CAPASCO] guilty of unfair labor practice and illegal dismissal. Concomitantly, [petitioner CAPASCO] is hereby ordered:1. To cease and desist from further committing acts of unfair labor practice, as charged;2. To reinstate [private respondent Tamondong] to his former position without loss of seniority rights andother privileges and his full backwages inclusive of allowances, and to his other benefits or their monetaryequivalent, computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actualreinstatement ISSUE: WON Tamondong was illegally dismissed. HELD: Yes.    Article 212(m) of the Labor Code, as amended, differentiates supervisory employees frommanagerial employees, to wit: supervisory employees are those who, in the interest of the employer,effectively recommend such managerial actions, if the exercise of such authority is not merely routinary or clerical in nature but requires the use of independent judgment; whereas, managerial employees arethose who are vested with powers or prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies and/or hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, discharge, assign or discipline employees.Thus, from the foregoing provision of the Labor Code, it can be clearly inferred that private respondentTamondong was just a supervisory employee. Private respondent Tamondong did not perform any of thefunctions of a managerial employee as stated in the definition given to it by the Code. Hence, the Labor Code provisions regarding disqualification of a managerial employee from joining, assisting or forming any labor organization does not apply to herein private respondent Tamondong. Being asupervisory employee of CAPASCO, he cannot be prohibited from joining or participating in theunion activities of private respondent CUSE, and in making such a conclusion, the Court of Appealsdid not act whimsically, capriciously or in a despotic manner, rather, it was guided by the evidencesubmitted before it. Thus, given the foregoing findings of the Court of Appeals that private respondent is asupervisory employee, it is indeed an unfair labor practice on the part of petitioner CAPASCO to dismiss  him on account of his union activities, thereby curtailing his constitutionally guaranteed right to self-organization.With regard to the allegation that private respondent Tamondong was not only a managerial employee butalso a confidential employee, the same cannot be validly raised in this Petition for Certiorari. It is settledthat an issue which was not raised in the trial court cannot be raised for the first time on appeal. Thisprinciple applies to a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65. In addition, petitioners failed toadduced evidence which will prove that, indeed, private respondent was also a confidential employee.WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Petition is DISMISSED. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated 28 October 2003 and 3 June 2004, respectively, in CA-G.R. SP No. 57179,which annulled the Decision of the NLRC in NLRC Case No. 017822-99 dated 25 August 1999, thereby,reinstating the Decision of Acting Executive Labor Arbiter Pedro C. Ramos dated 7 August 1998, ishereby AFFIRMED. With costs against petitioners.SO ORDERED.
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