EU Sources - Decentralised bargaining assessed - February 28, 2018

In a blog, the social effects of (uncoordinated) decentralisation of bargaining are treated, referring to labour market reforms, which have fostered decentralised bargaining. Social partners are thereby encouraged to negotiate company-based agreements though the new legislation does not embrace the majority principle of the most representative unions as the ones entitled to negotiate at the decentralised (company) level. The result is an open door in principle for negotiation with organisations of workers that are not necessarily signatory parties in the sectoral (national) negotiation. This has led to ‘pirate’ contracts with salaries that undermine the usually agreed wages. According to the author, uncoordinated decentralisation, particularly if combined with a lack of clear rules regarding the most representative trade unions that negotiates agreements at company level, may reinforce the worsening of working conditions, increase inequality between (and within) companies by fissuring workplaces and thereby generate precariousness for workers.

Read on: in English …

For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers or Nuria Ramos Martin, 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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