Collective Labour Agreements

This chapter discusses how collective bargaining and the voice of workers can be flexible instruments that complement labour market regulation to promote a more profitable and inclusive future for work. This chapter examines the type of state intervention that may be needed to keep bargaining systems healthy and make the most of collective bargaining in a changing world of work. Finally, the chapter outlines how existing institutions and social partners are adapting to new labour market challenges, as well as the role of emerging actors and practices. >> information on other labour market policies and policies in OECD countries can be found in the OECD Common Employment Database, Ford/A.U.E.F. [1969].[8]. Second, the Industrial Relations Act, introduced by Robert Carr (Minister of Labour in Edward Heath`s office), provided in 1971 that collective agreements were binding, unless a written contractual clause indicated otherwise. Following the fall of the Heath government, the law was struck down to reflect the tradition of the British labour relations policy of legal abstention from labour disputes. It is important to note that after the conclusion of a KBA, both the employer and the union are required to respect this agreement. Therefore, an employer should retain the assistance of a lawyer before participating in collective bargaining.

In the United States, the National Labor Relations Act (1935) covers most collective agreements in the private sector. The Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate, spy, harass or terminate workers because of their union membership or to retaliate for organizing campaigns or other “concerted activities,” creating business unions or refusing to engage in collective bargaining with the union that represents their employees. It is also illegal to require any worker to join a union as a condition of employment. [12] Trade unions are also able to ensure safe working conditions and adequate remuneration for their work. In June 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada examined in detail the reasons for respecting collective bargaining as a human right.

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