collective bargaining

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collective bargaining,

in labor relations, procedure whereby an employer or employers agree to discuss the conditions of work by bargaining with representatives of the employees, usually a labor union. Its purpose may be either a discussion of the terms and conditions of employment (wages, work hours, job safety, or job security) or a consideration of the collective relations between both sides (the right to organize workers, recognition of a union, or a guarantee of no reprisals against the workers if a strike has occurred). The merits of collective bargaining have been argued by both opponents and proponents of the process; the former maintain that it deprives the worker of his individual liberty to dispose of his service, while the latter point out that without the union's protection the worker is subject to the dictation of the employer. As an essential process in labor relations, collective bargaining was first developed in Great Britain in the 19th cent. It has since become an accepted practice in most Western countries with a high level of industrialization. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, known as the Wagner Act, established the right to collective bargaining in the United States.


See G. Farmer, Collective Bargaining in Transition (2 vol., 1967); J. S. Fishkin, The Limits of Obligation (1983); E. E. Herman et al., Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations (2d ed. 1987); J. P. Windmuller et al., Collective Bargaining in Industrialized Market Economies (1987).

collective bargaining

the negotiations about terms and conditions of employment which take place between an employer, or an employers association, and one or more TRADE UNIONS. Sociological interest in collective bargaining has involved, for example, consideration of the implications it has for the structure, aims and accomplishments of trade unions, the relations between managers and employees, and the dynamics of capitalist society; an underlying theme being the extent to which it is associated with the institutionalization of conflict and, relatedly, the separation of economic and political issues (see POSTCAPITALISM, INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS).

collective bargaining

[kə′lek·tiv ′bär·gən·iŋ]
(industrial engineering)
The negotiation for mutual agreement in the settlement of a labor contract between an employer or his representatives and a labor union or its representatives.
References in periodicals archive ?
Much of the pressure to decentralise pay bargaining in the 1980s has arisen from the exceptionally high relative wage levels in the South-East.
Dominic MacAskill, who is Unison's head of local government in Wales, said: "Bridgend is the first and only council in Wales to give notice that it intends to withdraw from national pay bargaining.
I have long made clear my commitment to national pay bargaining in our colleges, and I have put in place a team to help with the necessary work.
Unite has always opposed local pay bargaining in the health sector and previous attempts to implement such a strategy proved disastrous across the board.
But the SNP's Swinney warned that local pay bargaining would be "totally irresponsible" at a time when Scotland desperately needs a consumer confidence boost to get the economy moving again.
The Tories are also talking about local pay bargaining which would introduce instability to the system in terms of recruitment and retention of staff.
The 2004/05 MECA is an historical landmark, representing a significant change in approach to pay bargaining.
Callaghan's speech bad not changed his attitude towards the need for a return to free pay bargaining.
Agreement in 2004), police representatives were reportedly demanding the right to strike if the Government did not make the police a special case where pay bargaining was concerned.
Alastair Hatchett, head of pay services at IDS, said: ``Our annual study of pay prospects for the coming year forecasts that higher inflation this autumn will have a strong impact on pay bargaining in January 2005 and April 2005, the two key months in the pay calendar.
But she admitted some assumptions made in the business plan, such as local pay bargaining, have not happened.
FIRST Minister Carwyn Jones is facing increasing pressure over his local council's decision to pull out of national pay bargaining and refuse to honour a 1% wage rise for its workers.