WIBAR - 3, WageIndicator Support for Bargaining - 3

WIBAR-3 (2014/12 - 2016/12) Project name: WageIndicator Support for Bargaining - 3. Industry-level bargaining structures in relation to employment and competi-tive structures in 23 European countries. EC-Social Dialogue Program.

Project:  WIBAR-3 (2014/12 - 2016/12)

Project name:   WageIndicator Support for Bargaining - 3

Lead Partner:   University of Amsterdam / AIAS (NL)


Associate partners:  WageIndicator Foundation (NL), European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC, BE), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung - WSI (DE)

Funded by:  European Commission - Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue Program, Budget Heading 04.03 01 08 (No VS/2014/0533)

Duration:   1 December 2014 - 1 December 2016


Abstract: In the last twenty years or so, collective bargaining across the European Union has tended to shift away from industry or sector levels to the company level. This trend has undermined bargaining coverage and trade union power in many countries. Nevertheless, in some industries and countries multi-employer bargaining at sector or industry level remains robust and relevant. The WIBAR-3 project aimed to shed light on how collective bargaining as a process has been changing in 23 European countries. Drawing on the WIBAR-3 analyses and the inputs from the three project seminars held in Oxford, Bratislava and Amsterdam, enabled an assessment of the prospects of restoring multi-employer bargaining in Europe and the challenges that such a strategy would face.

The project finally resulted in the book by Maarten van Klaveren and Denis Gregory, ‘Restoring multi-employer bargaining in Europe: prospects and challenges’, published in April 2019 by the ETUI (European Trade Union Institute).

A main focus of the book highlights the interplay between industrial relations, market structures and employment patterns in five major industries: metal and electronics manufacturing; wholesale; retail; ICT; and transport and telecommunications. The unique WIBAR-3 survey permitted a detailed exploration of the relationships between indicators of industrial relations and key characteristics of the 575 largest companies in these industries and in the 23 countries. Some survey outcomes were encouraging from a trade union viewpoint, like the finding that at company level relatively high ratings of the relationship between management and trade union were connected with a high union density. On the other hand, a disquieting outcome showed that the lowest management - trade union ratings were to be found in companies and industries where employment was expanding. The authors conclude that trade unions throughout Europe have to invest heavily in capacity building and in ways and means to improve their relationships with management, in particular where employment is growing.


1 July 2016, Ruskin College, Oxford, UK, WIBAR-3 Seminar: The Defence and Advance of Collective Bargaining in the Transport / Telecom and ICT Sectors

Wibar3 General Introduction

Seminar Programme

Seminar Report

1. WIBAR3-Oxford-Van Klaveren-Tijdens

2. WIBAR3-Oxford-Portugal

3. WIBAR3-Oxford-Carvalho

4. WIBAR3-Oxford-Stam

5. WIBAR3-Oxford-Slovenia

6. WIBAR3-Oxford-McArdle

7. WIBAR3-Oxford-Currie

8. WIBAR3-Oxford-Murphy


23 September 2016, CELSI, Bratislava, SK, WIBAR-3 Seminar: The Defence and Advance of Collective Bargaining in Metal and Electronics Manufacturing: Regaining Trade Union Strength

Seminar Programme

Seminar Report

1. WIBAR3-Bratislava-The Project

2. WIBAR3-Bratislava-Slovak Republic

3. WIBAR3-Bratislava-Hungary

4. WIBAR3-Bratislava-Hungary-Trade Union Experiences

5. WIBAR3-Bratislava-Italy

6. WIBAR3-Bratislava-UK-Car Industry

7 Oct 2016, UvA/AIAS, Amsterdam, NL, WIBAR-3 Seminar: The Defence and Advance of Collective Bargaining in Wholesale and Retail (Commerce): Regaining Trade Union Strength

Seminar Programme

Seminar Report

1. WIBAR3-Amsterdam-The Project

2. WIBAR3-Amsterdam-Spain

3. WIBAR3-Amsterdam-Hungary

4. WIBAR3-Amsterdam-Slovenia

5. WIBAR3-Amsterdam-Germany

6. WIBAR3-Amsterdam-Netherlands

7. WIBAR3-Amsterdam-Portugal

8. WIBAR3-Amsterdam-UK




Van Klaveren, M., & Gregory, D. (2019). Restoring multi-employer bargaining in Europe: prospects and challenges. ETUI, Brussels, ISBN 978-2-87452-529-2