Paragraph 8(d) of the Act sets out what is included in the obligation to bargain collectively. Paragraph 8(a)(5) of the Act makes it an unfair labour practice for an employer to “refuse to bargain collectively with the representatives of its employees, subject to the provisions of paragraph 9(a)” of the Act. (An employer who violates section 8(a) (5) also violates Article 8(a)(1).) For example, you cannot carry out organised decentralisation within the framework set by sectoral agreements, while elements of working conditions and work organisation can be explicitly negotiated or defined at company or even employee level under certain conditions through specific procedures. In principle, the sectoral framework should respect collective bargaining and give companies and workers more freedom to determine working conditions. Decentralisation is usually carried out through company collective agreements with trade unions, but in some cases also through agreements between management and representatives of non.B unionised workers or individual employees. For Traxler (1995), who coined the term, organized decentralization contrasts with “disorganized decentralization,” a system in which company-level agreements completely replace sectoral agreements and many workers remain without representation. Unions can obtain certification of a national collective bargaining unit from a single employer and negotiate a single collective agreement covering all of that employer`s locations, or they can bargain nationally on the basis of multiple employers. Examples of both will follow. Unlike the NLRA`s bias for collective bargaining units on a construction site, the Railway Labour Act, which regulates union representation in the railway and aviation industries, states that collective bargaining units are national units at the employer level. Employees seeking union representation under the Railway Labour Act request a national unity of all employer employees in their respective class or boat, such as aircraft mechanics, flight attendants, baggage handlers or customer service representatives.
This allows any union in the rail and aviation industries – once it has secured the group`s collective bargaining rights through an election – to negotiate at the national level with a single national employer. Such an extension of the provisions of an agreement at branch level is subject to a number of conditions. Collective agreements signed by employers and unions primarily set wage levels (or wage increases) and non-wage conditions, including hours of work, leave arrangements, training, protection against dismissal, and health and safety provisions (Chart 3.1). The renegotiation of contracts by certain companies or employees may increase wages beyond the agreed rate to higher levels (or, in some cases, wages below the negotiated rate). Outcomes such as employment or productivity are generally not part of the collective agreement, although they may be taken into account in negotiations. How collective bargaining affects labour market performance depends on the bargaining strategy of the social partners, the structure of product and labour markets and the nature of collective bargaining institutions. 26. ← In systems where negotiations take place mainly at company level, company representation and coverage of collective agreements go hand in hand. At the same time, Chapter 2 shows that, in these countries, the proportion of workers covered by any form of employee representation in the workplace is lower (whereas it tends to be high in multi-tiered systems characterised by complementarity between sectoral and company agreements).
Therefore, the shift to collective bargaining at the company level could lead to a reduction in coverage. The main elements used in this chapter to characterize collective bargaining systems are: To examine the links between centralization and coordination and productivity growth, the following variant of the sectoral approach of Rajan and Zingales (1998) is used. The premise is that collective bargaining reforms tend to affect sectors with high collective bargaining and that, therefore, productivity growth in these sectors should be more severely affected. The estimation equation is that the coordination of collective bargaining helps to take into account the macroeconomic impact of collective agreements by ensuring that these agreements do not harm external competitiveness and are adapted to the economic situation. This could be a factor in the empirical association of coordinated systems with higher overall employment. The strongest form of wage coordination establishes a wage standard that defines the maximum of the collectively agreed wage increase in each industry. UNITE HERE, the hotel and hospitality union, has developed a model for negotiation with major hotel chains that are approaching national collective bargaining. The benefits of this approach are evident in what UNITE HERE members were able to achieve at Marriott Corporation in the fall of 2018. Seven different UNITE HERE locals in seven locations – Detroit, Boston, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego and Hawaii – negotiated separate contracts, but as previous collective agreements expired at the same time, workers had more influence than they would have had if they had haggled in one place. Workers went on strike at Marriott hotels at each of the sites, demanding better wages and benefits under the banner “One job should be enough.” Workers have obtained, among other things, significant increases, improvements in their pensions and strong protection against sexual harassment.
The agreements affected 7,700 of the 20,000 UNITE HERE members who work for Marriott.28 Because the agreements have such broad coverage for employees at Marriott facilities across the country, the agreements set a standard for the industry, meaning that thousands of other hotel employees employed by different companies at all seven sites have achieved the same or similar improvements. Level of negotiation: It defines the unit in which the parties negotiate and can refer to the company, sector or country. Sectoral or national agreements should reduce wage inequalities compared to decentralised systems by reducing wage differentials not only between workers in the same enterprise, but also between workers in different enterprises and, in the case of national collective bargaining, in different sectors. Agreements at the enterprise level, on the other hand, make it possible to pay more attention to the specific conditions of the enterprise and thus increase productivity. In Valuline CC v. Minister of Labour (2013)34ILJ 1404 (KZP), in which the Minister did not rely on objective evidence to examine the degree of representativeness of the employers` parties to the collective agreement that should be extended. Country-specific data (Annex 3.C) show that in all countries (with the exception of Italy, due to subdued productivity growth, not “excessive” wage increases), negotiated wages rose in line with or often less than labour productivity growth, with the exception of 2008-09. Interestingly, wages negotiated in the Netherlands have barely moved since 2000 – in fact, wages negotiated in the Netherlands have remained virtually unchanged in real terms since the 1970s (de Beer and Keune, 2017) – but thanks to considerable wage drift, real wages have risen in line with productivity. In contrast, in Germany, real wages have risen significantly less than productivity and less than negotiated wages, showing a negative “wage drift”. This unique trend towards negative wage drift (at least among European countries for which data are available) means that real wages are not linked to negotiated wages, which is probably the result of the decline in collective bargaining coverage in Germany and the use of opening clauses that allow companies to deviate from sectoral agreements (Schulten, 2013).
Wage coordination: Wage coordination between sectoral agreements (or, as in the case of Japan, between company agreements) helps negotiators to internalise the macroeconomic impact of the conditions set out in collective agreements. This is usually achieved by keeping wage increases in the non-tradable sector in line with what the tradable sector can do, or by strengthening the system`s ability to adjust wages or working hours in the face of a macroeconomic downturn. Coordination can therefore serve as a tool for wage moderation and wage flexibility throughout the economic cycle, with potential benefits for employment and resilience.  Hijzen, A., P. Martins and J. Parlevliet (2019), “Frontal assault versus incremental change: A comparison of collective bargaining in Portugal and the Netherlands,” IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Vol. 9/1, doi.org/10.2478/izajolp-2019-0008. How does collective bargaining affect productivity? The theory suggests that the effects could go both ways. On the one hand, collective bargaining can increase overall productivity by setting higher wage floors (and making it more difficult to reduce costs through lower wages), which can force unproductive firms out of the market (Braun, 2011). Stricter wages could also encourage business owners to innovate, as they would take full advantage of productivity gains – see Acemoglu and Pischke (1999) and Haucap and Wey (2004). Other ways in which collective bargaining could boost productivity growth include higher “efficiency wages,” better non-wage conditions, and an opportunity for workers to voice their concerns.
Compared to uncovered workers, the retirement premium is even lower for those involved in collective bargaining at the company level and even lower for those in industry bargaining […].