Kapisanan ng Manggagawa sa Kahoy v Gotamco Sawmills; G.R. No. L-1573 ; 29 Mar 1948; 45 O.G. Supp No. 9, p. 147

in Legal Chyme by

For failure of respondent company to accede to the request of petitioners for a wage increase, the laborers declared a strike which suspended all the work in the respondent company. The parties reached a temporary wage arrangement and the laborers were ordered to return to work. Months later and while their main case was still pending in court, the court ordered petitioning union which again picketed against respondent company to return to work.

Whether or not the order violated the constitutional inhibition against involuntary servitude.

NO. The very impossibility of prompt decision or settlement of the dispute confers upon the court the power to issue the order for the reason that the public has an interest in preventing undue stoppage or paralyzation of the wheels of industry.

[As a result of the destructions wrought by the late war, the economic and social rehabilitation of this country urgently demands the reconstruction of industrial, commercial and residential buildings, which in turn necessitates building materials, in which lumber figures prominently among the most vital, public interest of a most real and positive character has attached to the lumber business. It is obvious that any undue stoppage or diminution in the production of lumber or allied products so sorely needed in reconstruction work will inevitably tend to paralyze, impede or slow down the country’s program of rehabilitation which, for obvious and natural reasons, the government is striving to accelerate as much as is humanly possible.]

Orders and resolution of the Court of Industrial Relations are AFFIRMED.

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