Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. v. ETEU (2012)

Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. v. Eastern Telecoms Employees Union, G.R. No. 185665, February 8, 2012, Mendoza, J.:

1. Background

• Eastern Telecommunications Phils., Inc. (ETPI) is a corporation engaged in the business of providing telecommunications facilities, particularly leasing international date lines or circuits, regular landlines, internet and data services, employing approximately 400 employees.

• Eastern Telecoms Employees Union (ETEU) is the certified exclusive bargaining agent of the company’s rank and file employees with a strong following of 147 regular members. It has an existing collective bargaining agreement with the company to expire in the year 2004 with a Side Agreement signed on September 3, 2001.

a. Complainant’s position

• In essence, the labor dispute was a spin-off of the company’s plan to defer payment of the 2003 14th, 15th and 16th month bonuses sometime in April 2004. The company’s main ground in postponing the payment of bonuses is due to allege continuing deterioration of company’s financial position which started in the year 2000. However, ETPI while postponing payment of bonuses sometime in April 2004, such payment would also be subject to availability of funds.

• Invoking the Side Agreement of the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement for the period 2001-2004 between ETPI and ETEU which stated as follows:

"4. Employment Related Bonuses. The Company confirms that the 14th, 15th and 16th month bonuses (o...

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