The right to collective bargaining is recognized by international human rights conventions. Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes the ability to organize fundamental human rights unions.  Point 2 (a) of the International Labour Organization`s statement on fundamental principles and rights in the workplace defines “freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining” as an essential worker`s right.  The 1948 Convention on Freedom of Association and the Protection of the Right to Organization (C087) and several other conventions protect collective bargaining in particular by creating international labour standards that deter countries from violating workers` right to co-association and 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.  Trade unions are also able to ensure safe working conditions and adequate remuneration for their work. In 1931, the Supreme Court was appointed in the Texas – N.O.R. Co.
Brotherhood of Railway Clerks case, upholding the prohibition of employer intervention in the selection of negotiators.  In 1962, President Kennedy signed an executive order that gives public employee unions the right to bargain collectively with federal authorities.  The term “collective bargaining” was first used in 1891 by Beatrice Webb, founder of the LABOUR relations sector in the United Kingdom.  It refers to the type of collective bargaining and agreements that have existed since the rise of trade unions in the 18th century. Any duration or condition of employment can be negotiated and can be dealt with in the collective agreement. For very large collective agreement units, the collective agreement can be hundreds of pages long. However, in a typical production plant or retail business, collective agreements are more often about 30 pages long. Under common law, Ford v. A.U.E.F. , , the courts found once that collective agreements were not binding.
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.