EU Sources - Trends in collective bargaining - June 30, 2016

The Eurofound Annual Report 2015 includes several sections on collective bargaining and wage setting. In the social dialogue section, the report signals that one of its core functions – collective bargaining – has been fragmenting at Member State level. Eurofound identifies two paths along which collective bargaining is evolving. Along one path, the role of collective bargaining is narrowing to a mechanism for setting wages within a corridor determined by firm performance, competitiveness and productivity. The other is a wider path where the role of collective bargaining encompasses social integration, equality and fairness, and influences employment and working conditions as well its subsidiary role in regard to income and wealth distribution in society more broadly. The process of decentralisation has been reinforced by increasing freedom of employers to deviate from the provisions of a collective agreement. Bargaining coordination has weakened since 2008, despite a potentially increasing need for coordination due to decentralisation. A number of countries with traditionally strong coordination have experienced a weakening of coordination in certain sectors.

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For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Willy De Backer For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit Since June 2013 readers can consult our archive and search through all articles in our database at www.cbnarchive.euYou may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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