Poseidon Fishing v. NLRC, Estoquia (2006)

Poseidon Fishing/Terry De Jesus v. NLRC, Estoquia, G.R. No. 168052, February 20, 2006, Chico-Nazario, J.:

1. Background

• [The Company] … assert[ed] that deep-sea fishing is a seasonal industry because catching of fish could only be undertaken for a limited duration or seasonal within a given year. Thus, according to [the Company], [the Complainant]was a seasonal or project employee.

2. SC Decision/Resolution

• We [the Supreme Court] are not won over.

• As correctly pointed out by the Court of Appeals, the “activity of catching fish is a continuous process and could hardly be considered as seasonal in nature.” In Philex Mining Corp. v. National Labor Relations Commission, we defined project employees as those workers hired (1) for a specific project or undertaking, and (2) the completion or termination of such project has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee. The principal test for determining whether particular employees are “project employees” as distinguished from “regular employees,” is whether or not the “project employees” were assigned to carry out a “specific project or undertaking,” the duration and scope of which were specified at the time the employees were engaged for that project. In this case, petitioners have not shown that private respondent was informed that he will be assigned to a “specific project or undertaking.” As earlier noted, neither has it been established that he was informed of the duration and scope of suc...

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