Newly OECD findings on collective bargaining as a tool to respond to the new trends affecting the world of work and to prevent rising labour market inequalities.
The report launched in November by the OECD “Negotiating Our Way Up: Collective bargaining in a changing world of work” points out the need to strengthen collective bargaining and to implement political measures. It is a “confirmation and spur for action” said Björn Böhning, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The report sees Collective bargaining as a key element to adapt to the current demographic and technological changes in the world of work and to ensure a fair and prosperous labour market. The report highlights that “measures of the quality of the working environment (…) are on average higher in countries with well-organised social partners and a large coverage of collective agreements” and job quality “is an important issue, not only for workers and for unions, but also for employers since poor quality jobs may result in increased labour turnover, absenteeism, more health problems, and lower productivity”. That’s why the report presents qualitative evidence on trade unions’ and employers’ involvement in five dimensions of the quality of the working environment: occupational safety and health, working time, training, work organisation and management practices, and the prevention of intimidation and discrimination.
The report also highlights the main findings in terms of employment, productivity and wages:
- Co-ordination in wage bargaining: high degree of wage co-ordination across bargaining units are associated with higher employment and lower unemployment for all workers.
- Collective bargaining systems and workers’ voice for job quality: the quality of the working environment is higher on average in countries with well-organised social partners and a large coverage of collective agreements.
- Collective bargaining and workers’ voice play an important role in preventing inequalities in a changing world of work, but they need to adapt.
- Collective bargaining and workers’ voice to address old and new labour market challenges.
This publication is a resource to understand the role of collective bargaining and workers’ voice to complement public regulation to face the new changes in the labour markets.
The full report is available here.
Access to the executive summary here.