The Economic Policy Institute in the US has just published research that reveals the impact of declining union density and collective bargaining on wages. It finds, for example, that falling union membership translates to a loss of $1.56 (€1.47) per hour worked for the average worker, the equivalent of $3,250 (€3,070) for a full-time, full-year worker. Meanwhile, the erosion of collective bargaining lowered the median hourly wage also by $1.56 (€1.47), a 7.9% decline (0.2% annually), from 1979 to 2017. An analysis of wage distribution found that declining unionisation had widened inequality between high-wage earners and middle-wage earners as the wages of the latter were depressed while there was little impact on high-wage earners at the 90th percentile.
Research reveals impact of declining collective bargaining coverage
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The ETUC has revealed the latest data showing the decline in collective bargaining coverage across Europe. The ETUC has been pressing the case for action on wages and collective bargaining and set out a range of key demands and red lines in its submission to the European Commission's consultation on fair minimum wages. Figures from the University of Amsterdam show that 3.3 million fewer workers are covered by collective bargaining compared to 2000. The biggest percentage declines have been seen in Romania, Greece and Bulgaria.
A new report from the European Trade Union Institute shows what aspects of work improved or deteriorated over the last decade. It updates the Institute's European Job Quality Index which covers a broad range of work and employment characteristics, including wages, non-wage aspects of employment and work organisation, and collective interest representation. The results indicate a decline in non-wage job quality over the past decade and sluggish real wage growth in the years following the crisis.
Latest figures on collective bargaining and union membership indicate that all public sector workers are covered by collective agreements. This compares to about 60% in the private sector. Overall union density is about 53% of the workforce, a figure that has been stable since 2000 but is much higher in the public sector at 81%. Read more at > EIRO (EN)