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Payment of wages

Gaa vs Court of Appeals, Europhil Indstries Corp and Cesar Roxas (Sheriff) G.R. No. L44169 December 3,1985 Point of Conflict: Rosario Gaa, who was the building administrator of Building at T.M. Kalaw Street, Manila was sued for damages by former tenant of the building, Europhil Indstries for having trespassed upon their rights by her acts cutting of its electricity, and removing its name from the building directory and gate passes of its officials and employees. After securing a favorable judgment by Europhil, a writ of garnishment was then issued pursuant to which Deputy Sheriff Cesar A. Roxas served a Notice of Garnishment upon El Grande Hotel, where petitioner was then employed, garnishing her salary, commission and/or remuneration. Petitioner then filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila a motion to lift said garnishment Issue: Whether or not petitioners salaries, commission and or remuneration are exempted from execution under article 1708 of the New Civil Code. Petitioners Arguments: Her salaries, commission and or remuneration are exempted from execution under article1708 of the New Civil Code Ruling: Her salaries are not exempt from execution. - ART. 1708. The laborer's wage shall not be subject to execution or attachment, except for debts incurred for food, shelter, clothing and medical attendance. -Article 1708 used the word "wages" and not "salary" in relation to "laborer" when it declared what are to be exempted from attachment and execution. The term "wages" as distinguished from "salary", applies to the compensation for manual labor, skilled or unskilled, paid at stated times, and measured by the day, week, month, or season, while "salary" denotes a higher degree of employment, or a superior grade of services, and implies a position of office: by contrast, the term wages " indicates considerable pay for a lower and less responsible character of employment, while "salary" is suggestive of a larger and more important services.- It is beyond dispute that petitioner is not an ordinary or rank and file laborer but a responsibly placed employee of El Grande Hotel, responsible for planning, directing, controlling, and coordinating the activities of all housekeeping personnel so as to ensure the cleanliness, maintenance and orderliness of all guest rooms, function rooms, public areas, and the surroundings of the hotel. Considering the importance of petitioner's function in El Grande Hotel, it is undeniable that petitioner is occupying a position equivalent to that of a managerial or supervisory position. - In its broadest sense, the word "laborer" includes everyone who performs any kind of mental or physical labor, but as commonly and customarily used and understood, it only applies to one engaged in some form of manual or physical labor. That is the sense in which the courts generally apply the term as applied in exemption acts, since persons of that class usually look to the reward of a day's labor for immediate or present support and so are more in need of the exemption than are other. -In determining whether a particular laborer or employee is really a "laborer," the character of the word he does must be taken into consideration. He must be classified not according to the arbitrary designation given to his calling, but with reference to the character of the service required of him by his employer. -We do not think that the legislature intended the exemption in Article 1708 of the New Civil Code to operate in favor of any but those who are laboring men or women in the sense that their work is manual. Persons belonging to this class usually look to the reward of a day's labor for immediate or present support, and such persons are more in need of the exemption than any others. Petitioner is definitely not within that class. NESTLE PHILIPPINES INC. VS. NLRC, ET. AL

G.R. No. 91231; February 4, 1991 Point of conflict: Four collective bargaining agreements separately covering the petitioner's employees were represented by the respondent, Union of Filipro Employees [UFE]), Cagayan de Oro Factory represented by WATU, and Cebu/Davao Sales Offices represented by the Trade Union of the Philippines and Allied Services (TUPAS), all expired on June 30, 1987. Thereafter, UFE was certified as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for all regular rank-and-file employees at the petitioner's Cagayan de Oro factory, as well as its Cebu/Davao Sales Office. On September 2, 1987, the UFE declared a bargaining deadlock. On September 8, 1987, the Secretary of Labor assumed jurisdiction and issued a return to work order. In spite of that order, the union struck, without notice, at the Alabang/Cabuyao factory, the Makati office and Cagayan de Oro factory on September 11, 1987 up to December 8, 1987. The company retaliated by dismissing the union officers and members of the negotiating panel who participated in the illegal strike. On January 26, 1988, UFE filed a notice of strike on the same ground of CBA deadlock and unfair labor practices. However, on March 30, 1988, the company was able to conclude a CBA with the union at the Cebu/Davao Sales Office, and on August 5, 1988, with the Cagayan de Oro factory workers. The union assailed the validity of those agreements and filed a case of unfair labor practice against the company on November 16, 1988. Issue: Whether or not petitioner may be directed to change the terms of its retirement plan. Petitioners Arguments: Since its retirement plan is non-contributory, it (Nestl) has the sole and exclusive prerogative to define the terms of the plan because the workers have no vested and demandable rights thereunder, the grant thereof being not a contractual obligation but merely gratuitous. At most the company can only be directed to maintain the same but not to change its terms. It should be left to the discretion of the company on how to improve or mollify the same. Respondents Arguments: The inclusion of the retirement plan in the collective bargaining agreement as part of the package of economic benefits extended by the company to its employees to provide them a measure of financial security after they shall have ceased to be employed in the company, reward their loyalty, boost their morale and efficiency and promote industrial peace, gives "a consensual character" to the plan so that it may not be terminated or modified at will by either party. Ruling: Yes, the company may be directed to change the terms of its retirement plan. - The fact that the retirement plan is non-contributory, i.e., that the employees contribute nothing to the operation of the plan, does not make it a non-issue in the CBA negotiations. As a matter of fact, almost all of the benefits that the petitioner has granted to its employees under the CBA (salary increases, rice allowances, mid-year bonuses, 13th and 14th month pay, seniority pay, medical and hospitalization plans, health and dental services, vacation, sick & other leaves with pay) are non-contributory benefits. Since the retirement plan has been an integral part of the CBA since 1972, the Union's demand to increase the benefits due the employees under said plan, is a valid CBA issue. The deadlock between the company and the union on this issue was resolvable by the Secretary of Labor, or the NLRC, after the Secretary had assumed jurisdiction over the labor dispute. - The workers already have a vested right over such benefits and employer may not unilaterally withdraw, eliminate or diminish such benefits.