18 November 2019

Big OECD study on Collective Bargaining unveils surprise

The OECD had a closer look at social partners and more particularly at the role of collective agreements and collective bargaining.

The report presented today in Berlin is pertinent and timely. As the world of work is rapidly changing, also social partners have to consider if and how to adapt their business models.

10 Point Plan – Point 7

Collective agreements can help to promote a better work-life balance. However, if not well designed collective bargaining can harm productivity.

The trends of sharp drops of trade union membership and of collective bargaining coverage have to be reversed. Strong, representative and mandated social partners are key to a value adding social dialogue.

As they are close to the situation of companies and their workers Social Partners are well placed to broker competitive up-to-date arrangements.

Importance of social partner autonomy

As the autonomy of social partners is key to this process. Ceemet is apprehensive about OECD’s recommendation of “some governmental intervention” will eventually be in the interests of companies and their current and future workforce.

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? We think so, hence the dedicated chapters on the importance of social partners (Point 7) and the consultation of industry (Point 10) in the 10 Point Plan for a competitive industry sustaining social Europe.

Negotiating Our Way Up: Collective bargaining in a changing world of work can be pruchased on the OECD website.