Bargaining unit


▪ A bargaining unit is a group of employees sought to be represented by a petitioning union.

▪ There are several factors to determine the bargaining unit.

1. Concept

A bargaining unit has been defined as a “group of employees of a given employer, comprised of all or less than all of the entire body of employees, which the collective interests of all the employees, consistent with equity to the employer, indicated to be best suited to serve reciprocal rights and duties of the parties under the collective bargaining provisions of the law.” (Holy Child Catholic School v. Sto. Tomas, En Banc, G.R. No. 179146, 23 July 2013)

A bargaining unit is a group of employees sought to be represented by a petitioning union. Such employees need not be members of a union seeking the conduct of a certification election. A union certified as an exclusive bargaining agent represents not only its members but also other employees who are not union members. (Ibid.)

2. Factors

In determining the proper collective bargaining unit and what unit would be appropriate to be the collective bargaining agency, several factors that should be considered, to wit:

1) Will of employees (Globe Doctrine);

2) Affinity and unity of employees’ interest, such as substantial similarity of work and duties, or similarity of compensation and working conditions;

3) Prior collective bargaining history; and,

4) Employment status, such as temporary, seasonal and probationary employees. (Ibid.)

The test of the grouping is community or mutuality of interest, because “the basic test of an asserted bargaining unit’s acceptability is whether or not it is fundamentally the combination which will best assure to all employees the exercise of their collective bargaining rights.” (Ibid.)

3. Members Outside Bargaining Unit

The Labor Code states:

ART. 256. Effect of Inclusion as Members of Employees Outside the Bargaining Unit. The inclusion as union members of employees outside the bargaining unit shall not be a ground for the cancellation of the registration of the union. Said employees are automatically deemed removed from the list of membership of said union.

After a labor organization has been registered, it may exercise all the rights and privileges of a legitimate labor organization. Any mingling between supervisory and rank-and-file employees in its membership cannot affect its legitimacy for that is not among the grounds for cancellation of its registration, unless such mingling was brought about by misrepresentation, false statement or fraud under Article 239 of the Labor Code. (Holy Child Catholic School v. Sto. Tomas, supra.)

a. Procedure for contesting bargaining unit

In case of alleged inclusion of disqualified employees in a union, the proper procedure for an employer is to directly file a petition for cancellation of the union’s certificate of registration due to misrepresentation, false statement or fraud under the circumstances enumerated in Article 239 of the Labor Code, as amended. To reiterate, a union, having been validly issued a certificate of registration, should be considered as having acquired juridical personality which may not be attacked collaterally. (Holy Child Catholic School v. Sto. Tomas, En Banc, G.R. No. 179146, 23 July 2013)


Presidential Decree No. 442, Labor Code of the Philippines

DOLE Department Order No. 40, Series of 2003

DOLE Department Order No. 40-A-I, Series of 2003

DOLE Department Order No. 40-B, Series of 2003

DOLE Department Order No. 40-C, Series of 2004

DOLE Department Order No. 40-D, Series of 2005

DOLE Department Order No. 40-F-3, Series of 2008

DOLE Department Order No. 40-G-03, Series of 2010

DOLE Department Order No. 40-I, Series of 2015

DOLE Department Order No. 15, Series of 2015

▪ Jurisprudence or Supreme Court Decisions (as cited above)


Disclaimer: All information is for educational and general information only. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

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