The Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate, spy, harass or terminate workers because of their union membership, or to retaliate against them because they participate in campaigns or other “concerted activities”, form company unions or refuse to negotiate collective agreements with the union representing their employees. It is also illegal to require any employee to join a union as a condition of employment. [12] Trade unions are also able to guarantee safe working conditions and fair remuneration for their work. The 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work reaffirms the importance of effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. This chapter provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of collective bargaining systems and rules of employee participation in OECD countries. Despite the decline in union density and collective bargaining coverage over the past 40 years, collective bargaining remains an important institution in the labour market. However, understanding of this key institution is limited by the fact that collective bargaining systems are often described by crude and oversimplified indicators in the literature. This chapter describes in more detail the characteristics of collective bargaining systems, which are particularly important for labour market outcomes. The right to bargain collectively with an employer enhances the human dignity, freedom and autonomy of workers by giving them the opportunity to influence the definition of employment rules and thus gain some control over an important aspect of their lives, namely their work.

Collective bargaining is not only an instrument for achieving external objectives. on the contrary, [it] is valuable as experience in self-management per se. Collective bargaining enables workers to achieve a form of democracy for employment and to guarantee the rule of law in the workplace. Workers get a voice to influence the definition of rules that control an important aspect of their lives. [8] The term “collective bargaining” was first used in 1891 by Beatrice Webb, a founder of industrial relations in the United Kingdom. [2] It concerns the type of collective bargaining and agreements that existed since the rise of trade unions in the eighteenth century.