Collective Bargaining: An International Analysis
Those who focus on international or comparative employment relations have long sought to understand and explain similarities and differences among the different approaches to the regulation of people at work. Central to this quest has been a focus on the role that collective bargaining can play as a political, economic and administrative mechanism. In this chapter, we conceptualise the key aspects of collective bargaining. We cite examples from many industrialised market economies (IMEs) to demonstrate the diversity of approaches to studying and working in this important field. We also use cross-national comparisons to provide an understanding of the potential scope, role and impact of collective bargaining. We conceptualise and compare the main similarities and differences in collective bargaining, illustrating important continuities as well as substantial change. Notions discussed include: the levels of bargaining, the bargaining parties, bargaining units and the recognition of bargaining agents, bargaining processes, the functions of collective bargaining and its coverage. We exemplify tentative moves towards cross-national collective bargaining. This helps to highlight the impact of the globalisation of capital, product and labour markets - and the increase of impact of multinational corporations (MNCs). We explore the content, duration and administration of agreements that can result from collective bargaining processes, explore the association between collective bargaining and economic policies, and discuss research on trends towards decentralised bargaining.
Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations in Industrialized Market Economies