Negotiating Our Way Up

Collective Bargaining in a Changing World of Work

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Collective bargaining and workers’ voice are often discussed in the past rather than in the future tense, but can they play a role in the context of a rapidly changing world of work? This report provides a comprehensive assessment of the functioning of collective bargaining systems and workers’ voice arrangements across OECD countries, and new insights on their effect on labour market performance today. The publication provides a detailed review of existing collective bargaining institutions and workers’ voice arrangements. It analyses the role of these institutions for employment, wages, labour market inclusiveness, as well as non-monetary aspects of job quality. The publication also discusses how collective bargaining can be mobilised to address emerging challenges in the labour market, and identifies the type of government intervention that may be required to do this. The report provides a resource for policy makers, trade unions and employers’ organisations interested in understanding how collective bargaining and workers' voice can be used to complement public regulation in shaping ever-changing labour markets.


A Hard Day’s Night: Collective bargaining, workers’ voice and job quality

This chapter analyses the role that collective bargaining and workers’ voice play in promoting job quality, with a particular focus on its non-monetary dimension, i.e. the quality of the working environment. The chapter first builds a simplified framework to analyse the theoretical links between different forms of bargaining systems and workers’ voice and the quality of the working environment. In the second part, it provides an overview of the quality of the working environment across different bargaining regimes and types of workers’ voice using a mix of country-level and worker-level data. Finally, the chapter reviews what unions, workers’ voice and employers can do to improve the quality of the working environment in five key dimensions: occupational safety and health, working time, training and re-skilling policies, management practices, and the prevention of workplace intimidation and discrimination.



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