The legitimate labor organization’s primary aim is for the purpose of collective bargaining with the employer. Both the employer and the legitimate labor organization (or the exclusive bargaining representative) have the duty to bargain.

The duty to bargain collectively refers to “the performance of a mutual obligation to meet and convene promptly and expeditiously in good faith for the purpose of negotiating an agreement with respect to wages, hours of work, and all other terms and conditions of employment including proposals for adjusting any grievances or questions arising under such agreement and executing a contract incorporating such agreements by either party but such duty does not compel any party to agree to a proposal or to make any concession.”[1]

The desired end result of collective bargaining is for the execution of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which serves as the contract on what has been agreed upon as a result of the duty to bargain collectively.

In the CBA, the employer and the employee are required to include provisions that will ensure mutual observance of its terms and conditions.[2] Hence, they are mandated to establish a grievance machinery for the adjustment and resolution of grievances arising from the interpretation or implementation of their CBA and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies. [3]

The grievance machinery is the established process for settling all grievances within seven calendar days from the date of submission.[4]Otherwise, the issues will be automatically referred to voluntary arbitration as prescribed in the CBA.[5] For voluntary arbitration, the CBA should name and designate in advance a Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators, preferably from the listing of qualified Voluntary Arbitrators duly accredited by the Board.[6] If the Parties fail to make their selection, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) will be the one to do so, pursuant to the selection procedure in the CBA, which decision will act with the same force and effect as if the parties themselves jointly made the decision.

A voluntary arbitrator may either be: (a) any person who is NCMB-accredited as such; (b) any person named or designated in the CBA; (c) any person chosen with or without assistance of the NCMB, pursuant to the CBA; or (d) any official authorized by the DOLE Secretary upon the written request and agreement of the parties to a labor dispute.[7]

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[1] Ibid. Article 262.

[2] Ibid. Article 272.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] LABOR CODE. Article 219 (n).