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Trade Unions And Collective Bargaining Pdf

trade unions and collective bargaining pdf

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This digital collection is provided by the Martin P. The information provided is for noncommercial educational use only. Beginning in , the Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS acted under the mandate of the Taft-Hartley Act, also known as the Labor-Management Relations Act, to solicit collective bargaining agreements and make them available in a publicly accessible file.

Introduction to trade unions

Metrics details. Collective bargaining over labour conditions between unions and employers is a key labour market institution in democratic societies, guaranteed by international and national law. Its coverage, organization and impact have varied over time and across countries. In the Great Recession a more exclusive version based on enterprise bargaining appears to have been favoured by governments and international agencies.

How this relates to changes in bargaining coverage, multi-employer and multi-level bargaining, rules on extension and opening clauses is the subject of this paper, which surveys developments in 38 OECD and EU countries. A distinction is made between long-term and crisis-related changes, and between regulatory and non-regulatory changes during the Great Recession.

I approve minimum wage and hours regulation. Together with the right to organize, collective bargaining is a fundamental principle and right at work, recognized by the international community. For workers, collective bargaining has a protective function - ensuring adequate pay, establishing limits on daily and weekly working time, and regulating other working conditions for those with weak individual negotiating power; a voice or participation function - the collective expression of grievances and participation in the success of the enterprise; and a distributive function - securing a fair share of the benefits of training, technology and productivity growth.

For employers, collective bargaining has a key conflict management function - it provides a process for resolving disputes of interest. Managerial control tends to be more acceptable and effective when legitimised through joint rules Flanders Collective agreements and wage regulations like a mandatory minimum wage put a floor in the labour market and thus limit cutthroat competition.

This is the aspect defended by Keynes in the quotation above. Stabilizing wages reduces uncertainty about future costs and prices and can thus contribute to raising business and human capital investment decisions, which depend strongly on expectations. Collective bargaining, when sufficiently inclusive and coordinated, offers a mechanism for responsible wage setting, with outcomes that are compatible with price stability and low unemployment Aidt and Tzannatos ; Flanagan ; OECD ; Traxler and Brandl Moreover, collective bargaining relieves the state from the complex task of setting standards and solving coordination problems in an area marred with conflicts and risks of non-compliance.

It provides the possibility to tailor regulations to the circumstances in an enterprise or industry. In many countries and in EU law it is, moreover, possible to derogate by collective agreement from legal minimum standards on for instance working hours, employment contracting and employee information and consultation in the enterprise. Compared to individual bargaining or unilateral pay determination, collective bargaining is associated with higher earnings, more security for employees and more earnings equality.

In the literature a gap between union and non-union wages, or more properly specified between workers covered and not covered by collective agreements, of 4 Norway to 20 percent Canada has been reported Hartog et al. A recent study of German wage data found that the gap between the average wages of covered and uncovered workers had risen from 8 to 19 percent between and , or from 1 to 10 percent if controlled for firm size.

The authors concluded that the decline of collective bargaining in Germany in the past two decades - with the coverage rate decreasing from over 80 to under 60 percent - has contributed more to rising wage inequality than international trade Felbermayr et al. Addison et al. Their analysis shows that in a period of general standstill in wages, workers whose firms abandoned the sectoral agreement experienced a wage loss, albeit decreasing over time, whereas workers whose firms joined the sectoral agreement enjoyed a slightly increasing wage gain.

Coverage accounts for 50 percent of the variance in wage inequality across the 32 OECD member states Visser et al. If rising inequality has a negative impact on growth IMF ; OECD , then international and national policy makers should think twice before weakening the institutions that underpin inclusive and coordinated collective bargaining. Of these institutions, multi-employer bargaining above the level of single firms is the most important. The level of bargaining accounts for 70 percent of the cross-national variance in bargaining coverage in a sample of 48 countries Visser et al.

In this paper I examine what happened to collective bargaining during the Great Recession, placing the development of the past six years in a longer trend.

I focus on developments in three interrelated dimensions that together define whether collective bargaining is inclusive and coordinated: 1 the scope or coverage of collective bargaining and extension of agreements to non-organized firms and workers; 2 the vertical structure or organization of collective bargaining multi- or single-employer bargaining; the level s at which bargaining takes place; the relationship across levels; opening clauses and the involvement of non-union actors ; and 3 the horizontal coordination of bargaining behaviour and outcomes across bargaining units.

Footnote 3. The Great Recession has not been kind to collective bargaining. Since , whereas summarized over 38 countries the number of employees in employment expanded with 8 million, the number covered by a collective agreement decreased with more than 13 million.

The non-weighted mean bargaining coverage rate fell from 58 to 52 percent Fig. Footnote 4 In absolute numbers this shrinkage is unprecedented since , in relative terms it intensifies a development begun a decade earlier. In the non-European part of the OECD the average coverage rate now stands at just over 20 percent compared to 50 percent in In CEE coverage has shrunk year after year since free collective bargaining was restored after and during the Recession the mean dropped by 13 percentage points, from 42 to 29 percent.

In Western Europe the coverage rate, averaged over 18 countries, stayed close to 80 percent until when it began to decline slowly until 72 percent today. The right-hand panel of Fig. Basically the same trends emerge, be it that the decline of union density started a decade or more before the decline in bargaining coverage and the level of unionization is, on average, half the level of bargaining coverage.

Footnote 5 Union density decreased during the crisis in most countries, prolonging a trend that began much earlier, but in most countries and unlike earlier recessions the fall in bargaining coverage was larger than the decline in unionization. What is decisive in these differences - across groups of countries - is the existence or not of multi-employer bargaining.

All the countries in the upper half of Fig. Leaving some difficult to classify countries Australia, Israel, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Luxembourg aside, all the countries in the lower half are dominated by enterprise bargaining. This association also holds over time. Wherever multi-employer bargaining breaks down and is replaced by single-employer bargaining, the coverage rate decreases promptly and dramatically.

Historical examples are the sharp decline in bargaining coverage after in Britain and after in New Zealand. Current illustrations are the sharp contraction of bargaining coverage in Romania and Greece following the termination of the national agreements in and the collapse of sectoral bargaining.

As shown in Fig. In each of these countries the decline in bargaining coverage was associated with, or caused by, regulatory change such as the discontinuation of national agreements and multi-employer bargaining, changes in the rules or policies on extension of sector agreements to non-organized employers, and in the legal treatment of the validity of multi-annual and expired agreements. In Germany, the UK, the USA and Japan the erosion of bargaining coverage during the Great Recession was the continuation of a process that had begun much earlier and was not related to regulatory changes during the crisis.

Only in a few countries we see a counter trend; in Australia this may be due to regulatory change obliging employers to engage in bargaining under the Fair Work Act of These cross-national differences in levels and changes illustrate that employers face different choices under company and sectoral bargaining.

Under conditions of single-employer bargaining employers may withhold or withdraw union recognition as a credible threat in seeking a cheaper or less constraining contract, or else relocate employment to a non-union environment.

Newly established firms may refuse recognition to begin with and base the choice of where to invest on how easy it is to avoid unions. Union contracts tend to become associated with older firms and investments, and coverage and unionization rates decrease together with declining employment in older firms and sectors.

Legally mandated union recognition procedures, based on elections in which workers must choose between offers from the union and threats issued by the employer, as in the USA and since in the UK, have done nothing to stop the erosion in bargaining coverage and union representation that results from this logic Moore et al.

Footnote 6. When collective agreements apply to whole branches of the economy, employers who seek a change in the contract face different strategic options. They cannot easily escape collective arrangements by switching to a non-union environment, at least not when staying in the same sector and country. All of these strategies have been used and are visible in the data, but the overall impact on coverage rates is not a priori clear.

For instance, outsourcing to cheaper contracts, or greater use of flexible employment, may be matched by an increase of collective bargaining activities and coverage of agreement in sectors such as cleaning, catering and security, and for agency work, part-time and fixed-duration employment, as has been the case in the Netherlands Visser Extension is an act of public policy based on explicit legislation mandating the government, a public agency or, in some cases, the court to apply the collective agreement beyond its signatories.

Extension makes the normative provisions of the agreement mandatory for non-organized employers. It serves different purposes, such as the promotion of collective bargaining and self-regulation; the creation of common standards or funds for apprenticeships, training or pre-retirement; the enforcement of minimum wages and minimum terms of employment; and the binding of foreign service providers to domestic standards.

Extension has been used for more than a century and the legal possibility of extending collective agreements exists in 28 of the 38 countries in this survey. The use of extension orders has declined continuously since the s in Israel Kristal and Cohen , has been revived somewhat in Australia since , is legally possible but not used in Japan and Korea, plays an important but declining role in supporting the few sectoral agreements that exist in CEE, and continues to play a large role in Western Europe, with the exception of Denmark and Sweden where no legal basis for mandatory extension exists.

In Italy, however, courts tend to honour minimum wage claims based on sectoral agreements for workers performing similar work. Extension makes it less risky for employers to sign a sectoral collective agreement as it exposes them less to below-standard competition. For trade unions, extension cuts two ways Flanagan et al.

It also reduces the incentives for consumers to shift purchases to the non-union sector and therefore increases union bargaining power.

In Greece, the Budget Law of suspended extension for the duration of the financial assistance measures, until or later. Unilateral recourse to arbitration, which usually helped trade unions to defend their case, was also struck from the law.

Once non-member firms were no longer bound by the sector agreement, many took the opportunity to negotiate company agreements with less favourable provisions. After the change in government in May , the Portuguese administration stopped issuing extension orders. Pressure from the Troika led to the introduction of a quantitative threshold, similar to those in other countries; in order to qualify for extension the agreement must already cover half of the workers in the branch, geographical area or professional category Ramalho The result has been a dramatic drop in both sectoral agreements and extension orders, from an average of per year between and , or 61 percent of all sectoral agreements concluded during these years, to 17 in , 12 in , 9 in and 13 in Footnote 7 The number of newly reached sectoral agreements had been declining since but dropped under for the first time in with 36 new agreements in and just 27 in There was some recovery in sectoral bargaining in but the number of workers covered by newly concluded sectoral agreements, thousand, is only a fifth of the number covered by newly reached agreements in It is only through the coverage of older, still valid agreements, of which half are more than eight years old, that a coverage rate of about 70 percent is reached, but this begs the question as to how relevant these older agreements are in terms of minimum wage protection.

The decline in bargaining activity at all levels suggests that the change in extension policy is not the only or perhaps not even the main cause, but that the dire economic conditions in many sectors and firms and uncertainty about government policies and regulatory changes may have prompted a standstill in bargaining see for another interpretation Addison et al.

In Ireland, decisions by the High Court in and the Supreme Court in found that Employment Regulation Orders and Registered Employment Agreements REAs , which give binding effect to wage-setting mechanisms in some sectors, are unconstitutional see also Regan The Industrial Relations Act was amended in to re-allow extension. Estonia has moved away from automatic extension, although applying to very few agreements.

The procedure for triggering extension in Slovakia has been a source of controversy and was changed each time after elections. A law had removed the requirement that a non-organized firm affected by extension orders must give its consent.

This decision was reversed in and reinstated in , after the change in government. The result was that there were no extension orders between and In the Czech Republic the law was amended in to provide for a provision that allows for the exemption of SMEs or firms in financial distress. Going in the other direction, the Dutch government tightened in the rules under which firms can get exemptions from extension decisions. In the period — about half the exemption requests, most of which are related to the extended agreements for agency workers, have been rejected.

In some industries, for instance construction, the social partners award exemptions. In , following the change in government, the German authorities took some measures, among which setting a threshold lower than 50 percent, intended to facilitate the uptake of extension procedures. In Bulgaria the government revived the law and issued three extension orders in but it did not stop the decline in sectoral bargaining in manufacturing. It is unclear whether the lowering of the representation threshold for trade unions in has had any effect.

Procedures that influence the length of agreements and their validity beyond expiry also influence bargaining coverage. Such procedures tend to protect workers should employers refuse to negotiate and they strengthen the union negotiating position in case employers want to lower standards.

The purpose of reforms of recent years has been to move unions to concession bargaining in times of recession. In Greece the reform of replaced the possibility of indefinite collective agreements by a minimum validity of one and a maximum of three years Dedoussopoulos et al.

Working with trade unions: employers

Skip to content. Find out about trade unions, including what they are and the benefits of being a trade union member. A trade union is an organisation made up of members a membership-based organisation and its membership must be made up mainly of workers. One of a trade union's main aims is to protect and advance the interests of its members in the workplace. Most trade unions are independent of any employer. However, trade unions try to develop close working relationships with employers.

What happened to collective bargaining during the great recession?

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Collective bargaining is the process in which working people, through their unions, negotiate contracts with their employers to determine their terms of employment, including pay, benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety policies, ways to balance work and family, and more. Collective bargaining is a way to solve workplace problems. It is also the best means for raising wages in America. Indeed, through collective bargaining, working people in unions have higher wages, better benefits and safer workplaces. In the United States, some three-quarters of private-sector workers and two-thirds of public employees have the right to collective bargaining.

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ГЛАВА 71 Токуген Нуматака закурил уже четвертую сигару и принялся мерить шагами кабинет, потом схватил телефонную трубку и позвонил на коммутатор. - Есть какие-нибудь сведения о номере? - выпалил он, прежде чем телефонистка успела сказать алло. - Пока ничего, сэр. Кажется, придется повозиться дольше, чем ожидалось, - это был звонок с мобильника.

Introduction to trade unions

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