Collective Bargaining Negotiation

Collective Bargaining Negotiation

Collective Bargaining, negotiation between a group of employees as a unit and an employer (or employers) on terms and conditions of employment. Before the Industrial Revolution an employer usually made an individual bargain on wages and conditions of employment with each worker, but as the factory system developed and the craftman's skill became much less important the bargaining power of the employer increased. He employed large numbers of employees and it was usually easy to replace an employee who demanded better terms. Groups of workers therefore banded together to bargain collectively, and it was from these early attempts to safeguard employee rights that collective bargaining developed.

Effective collective bargaining requires several conditions: first, an appropriate unit of employees and an agent to carry out the bargaining: trade unions fulfil this function; secondly, the employer must recognize both unit and the agent: in Britain trade unions are generally recognized as 'bargaining agents' (this is not legally required in the U.S.A. and Canada, and some British employers still refuse to recognize unions); thirdly, a procedure by which the parties can meet for discussion and exchange views; fourthly, a readiness by both sides to approach negotiations in good faith and make a genuine effort to reach agreement. Since collective bargaining in Britain is voluntary, it can be easily frustrated by either side.

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