Sep 26, 2020 @ 0:30

After 15 years of employment: CA affirms regularization of gun firm’s workers

MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the suit filed by workers of a local gun maker who claimed the employees were not regularized because they are outsourced workers despite being employed for up to 15 years.

In a 17-page decision dated September 22 and made public on Friday, the CA’s Special Eighth Division through Associate Justice Ramon R. Garcia dismissed the petition filed by Armscor Global Defense, Inc. against the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for ruling in favor of the machine workers who filed a case of regularization and damages against the company in 2017.

The NLRC, in its decision, awarding damages of more than PHP20 million each to six workers said that employment agency Manpower and Support One, through which Armscor coursed the workers’ employment, were engaged in labor-only contracting and declared that Armscor is the employer of the complainants.

One of the original eight workers who initiated the suit was ruled to have been constructively dismissed by the company in 2017 and was also ordered reinstated aside from being awarded damages while two of them had withdrawn their suit.

The CA, in upholding the NLRC decision, said Armscor failed to refute by substantial evidence the claim of the employees that they have rendered services for several years, ranging from three to 15 years and were initially hired by petitioner Armscor but later placed in the payrolls of different manpower agencies.

On May 24, 2017, workers Jeffrey S. Cheang, Emmanuel C. Delas Armas, Jomar M. Sumalabe, Rodel C. Cruz, Francis D. Bueno, Zander B. Ollero, Ronald C. Alba, and Alejandro I. Villon, III filed before the Arbitration Branch of the NLRC a complaint for, together with private respondents Manpower Outsourcing Services, Inc. and Support One Manpower Service, Inc. The complaint was amended on June 16, 2017 to include the charge of constructive dismissal with regard to Delas Armas.

During proceedings before the labor arbiter, two workers, Cheang and Ollero withdrew their complaint. The case eventually reached the NLRC which ruled in favor of the workers.

In ruling that no abuse of discretion was committed by the NLRC in its decision, the appellate court said it finds there was “no patent and gross (abuse by the NLRC) as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility.”

“Such is not present in the instant case,” the CA said.

Associate Justices Marie Christine Azcarraga-Jacob and Louis P. Acosta concurred. (PNA)

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