Collective Agreement Issues

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Collective Agreement Issues

If we compare Table 4.2 to Table 4.1, we can get an approximate overview of the changes that have taken place since 1990. In the public sector, there appears to have been a significant shift of jobs and workers to registered collective agreements. In the private sector, the changes appear to be less dramatic and more fragmented. Rewards remain important, particularly in sectors such as hotels and restaurants and retail, where large numbers of women work, often underpaid. While there is a shift in distinctions in the private sector, it is both the move towards the less regulated sector of unregistered individual contracts and the transformation into registered collective agreements. The organization of the employer`s business, within sectors or regions, is a necessary condition for negotiating with several employers. Associations must have the authority and mandate of member companies to negotiate an agreement with the trade unions and the union of their affiliated companies on their terms. Employers in most Western European countries have organized since 1945 to negotiate, usually at the sectoral level, as a strategy to avoid conflicts in the distribution of employment and competitive wages (Sisson 1987). Organisational rates, as measured by the proportion of workers working in companies affiliated with employers` organizations, range from about 40% in Greece and Portugal to 80% or more in the Netherlands, Sweden or Finland. Unfortunately, there are no reliable data for non-European countries. Collective agreements are always concluded at the enterprise level between management and business unions (with very few exceptions, such as the seafarers` union). In more countries, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, and more recently greece, recent legal reforms give bargaining rights to enterprise and non-union bodies instead of trade unions. In Portugal, the government warned by the Constitutional Court withdrew from the lifting of the EU veto.

But it is clear that in all these countries and in Spain, the most recent governments, encouraged by their international advisers, have insisted that they negotiate rather than sectoral negotiations and that the abolition of the trade union monopoly of wage negotiations is part of this advance. The Social Dialogue Act 2011 in Romania imposes collective bargaining in companies with more than 20 employees. The criteria for ensuring the representative status of trade unions as a precondition for negotiating valid agreements at the industry and enterprise level have been strengthened, and if unions do not meet these criteria, employers can negotiate with elected non-union representatives.