The Troika and multi-employer bargaining: How European pressure is destroying national collective bargaining systems (June 2013)

11th June 2013

Collective agreements that extend beyond the immediate workplace or company level are rightly seen as one of the unique institutional features of the European social model. No other world region has any comparably well-developed system of multi-employer collective bargaining in which agreements cover not only entire industries but in some cases apply even nationally. The existence of collective agreements with such extensive coverage is one of the reasons why a clear majority of employees continue to be covered by collective bargaining in Europe. By contrast, in countries and regions in which the predominant level of bargaining is at the workplace or company, only a minority of employees have their employment conditions secured by collective agreement.

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Written by Thorsten Schulten, a senior researcher at the Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI) within the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Published by Global Labour Column and edited by CSID at Wits University.